JumalaSika ltd - Fotolia
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 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 Windows administration tools
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
SDN functionality helps administrators shape network traffic to reduce congestion and boost security. Discover what other SDN features Microsoft ... Continue Reading
Azure Update Management works with other Microsoft administrative tools to give IT pros a more complete offering to patch operating systems. Continue Reading
Azure Update Management supports a large number of Windows and Linux systems on premises and in the cloud, but there are certain requirements to meet... 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.