Can I use an imaging tool to capture and restore the state of my Windows Active Directory domain controller?
Active Directory domain controllers pose a special problem for data protection specialists. Software tools like...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Symantec Ghost or Acronis True Image can capture an image of the domain controller, but the problem comes in restoration.
Remember, a backup is older than the current state of the system. So restoring a backup effectively rolls back the affected system to an earlier state. This is usually not a problem for an ordinary workload, but the domain controller must be "aware" of the restoration so it can receive appropriate updates to synchronize with other domain controllers. If the restored domain controller is not "aware" of the restoration, it could wind up replicating old data to other domain controllers and causing severe AD problems.
Imaging or snapshot tools can certainly capture the current system state, but restoring those images may roll back the update sequence number (USN) and fail to reset the domain controller's Invocation ID – which could have catastrophic consequences.
The trick to successfully restore domain controllers is to make the system is "aware" of the restoration so it can synchronize with other current domain controllers. This typically requires the use of Windows Backup or some other Windows-aware backup/restore tool that can capture the entire system state, including boot and registry files, class registration database, SYSVOL and Active Directory components. In addition, Active Directory backups should be more recent than the AD's tombstone setting.
Dig Deeper on Microsoft Active Directory Tools and Troubleshooting
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Migrating to Service Center 2016 requires a good deal of preparation and work. Are the features in Orchestration and Service Management Automation ...continue reading
We need better control and visibility for workloads, but still want dedicated compute capacity. How do Dedicated Hosts work and what are the ...continue reading
We're exploring AWS instances and need the best option for mission-critical workloads. What are the benefits and drawbacks of EC2 Dedicated Instances?continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.