Should I virtualize all my domain controllers?

The same question/statement always comes up during a scoping call or project implementation that involves Windows servers in a virtual environment. “Should we virtualize all of our servers (including DCs)?” or “We are planning to virtualize all of our servers.

The short answer is: No! Don’t do it.

Here is why…

Planning to Virtualize Domain Controllers

Review #4 under the “Avoid creating single points of failure” heading:

  • “Maintain physical domain controllers in each of your domains. This mitigates the risk of a virtualization platform malfunction that affects all host systems that use that platform”


Things to consider when you host Active Directory domain controllers in virtual hosting environments

Review the last note under the “Things to consider when you host domain controller roles in a virtual hosting environment” heading:

  • Note: Always have at least one DC that is on physical hardware so that failover clusters and other infrastructure can start.


Best Practice on Virtualizing Domain Controller

Good luck.


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