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
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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.