Virtualizing Active Directory on VMware

The question came up today regarding if Microsoft Active Directory could be virtualized using VMware?

At first I thought, that is a no brainer, why not?  It seems logical that it could.  So I asked some IT friends, and of course one says yes, and “we have been doing so the last 2 years”.  Another asked me, “can pigs fly?” He always recommends physical servers for his domain controllers.  Well, I guess this is not as straight forward as I had first thought.

So hold your horses, as this appears to be a lot easier said than done.

Then of course the next thing to do was to google around. What I found out was there are many issues virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory prior to Windows Server 2012, and a couple big ones are problems with cloning, USN bubbles and VM Generation IDs.

The good news is Windows Server 2012 fixes a lot of these issues when using virtualized domain controllers.  It appears that Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Virtualization works for Windows Server 2012 it is supported  by VMware vSphere ESXi 5.

About wmichel

Principal Consultant, vExpert, VMUG Leader, vBrownBag LATAM, NetApp United, VCP, TOGAF, ITIL, CISSP, USMC, Geek, Mariachi Singer and Dad A seasoned architect and technologist at heart that loves innovation and playing with datacenter virtualization, cloud computing, operating systems and information security.
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