Continuing the story of how I am using Hyper-V Replica in my house – we arrive at the interesting discussion of Hyper-V Replica and Active Directory. This first thing to point out is that if you are running Windows Server 2012 or later for your domain controllers, this is a fully supported configuration (official documentation here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn250021.aspx).
However, a question that I have received a couple of times now is “Should I use Hyper-V Replica or Active Directory replication?”
My answer to this question is usually “both!”. Which is exactly what I do in my house. I have two Hyper-V servers and two Active Directory virtual machine – each of which is being protected by Hyper-V Replica.
Why am I doing this?
Well, Active Directory replication provides me with automatic protection from downtime. By keeping the two domain controllers running on different physical servers I can ensure that I always have domain services available, even in the event of hardware failure. Adding Hyper-V Replica to this equation means that if I lose a physical computer – I do not have to go through the process of building a new domain controller. I just failover to the replicated copy. In this way, using both technologies gives me the best experience for handling a failure and for recovering from a failure.