Hyper-V Replica and Active Directory

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.