Virtualizing a domain controller
Posted by martijnl on January 4, 2007
The topic seems hot on the VMWare forums. One of the better posts I found in the Strategy & Planning section (forum post, this post started because of this post). That got me thinking about a DC that we put online just before Christmas and we found out that it wasn’t functioning properly.
We were able to fix the problem (the NTP Client on the ESX Server wasn’t running and because of that the DC wasn’t getting the right timing from our NTP server) and everything is running fine now. So in the end: if you put the DC in “Server mode” in stead of “Client mode” (which is the same as flipped the registry key mentioned in the first forum thread) and make sure your NTP Client is running on the ESX server than there is nothing to prevent you from not virtualizing your DC’s.
We are taking it slowly though. Our dedicated Exchange Global Catalog will remain a physical box for the time being and we will probably let the Primary Domain Controller be a physical box. (edit 04/01/07 – 17:17 — in this case I don’t mean the PDC as in the NT4 terminology, just to keep one main DC in physical form)
In my search for additional information I found some links that might be interesting:
- Microsoft KB article on virtual DC: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794
- This article also refers to VMWare, not only MS Virtual Server
- The VMWare Whitepaper on timekeeping
- It’s something you will find pretty soon as it’s the first hit in Google if you search on “vmware virtual domain controller”