When backing up Active Directory in your local data center, you usually have control of everything from power and cooling, through networking, to physical machines and hypervisors. This also gives you control of the terminal for your virtual machines. In the Azure cloud however, when installing an IaaS VM, this VM is unavailable during reboot. No console, no terminal, no nothing; until the VM starts responding to services defined by the ports you’ve opened through your endpoints, you’re in limbo.
This isn’t usually a problem, but when doing an Active Directory restore, authoritative or otherwise, console access us often used to force the computer into Directory Services restore mode.
Let me take you through an AD restore in Azure. First of all, here’s my status quo:
I’ve got an OU named BackuptestOU, which I’m deleting
Now for the restore:
- Open System Configuration (Windows key, type System Configuration)
- Here’s how it differs from a typical AD restore. Go to the tab Boot and make the following selections
- Press OK and select Restart
- Log on with your Domain Services Restore Mode username and password
- Before starting the Restore, revert boot options. Open system configuration again, and set the options as below to avoid rebooting into Directory Services restore mode after the restore.
- Open Windows Server Backup and press “Recover”
- Choose the correct location for your backup (in my case local)
- Select the point in time you’d like to restore to
- Select “System State”
- Select “Original Location” and tick of the checkbox “Perform an Authoritative Restore of Active Directory files
- Read this warning and confirm this warning by pressing ok
- Press Recover. I like to have the server reboot automatically, but if you’d like to retain control of the reboot, leave it unticked
- Select Yes to confirm starting the recovery
- Wait for the recovery process to complete
- And last, I demonstrate the AD restore is successful by showing you the OU I deleted. My backup was taken before I moved the last user, which is why there is only one user present.
So I hope this gives you some input on how to manage Active Directory in the Azure cloud. Please feel free to comment any question below.