Spinning Up an ADDC VM "in the Cloud" - Best Practices, Tips, Tricks, Advice on Logistics, Providers, Etc?



  • I can't for the life of me find a thread that someone else started either here or on SpiceWorks that may or may not have gotten off topic where several reply posts mentioned having an additional ADDC off site for redundancy/availability.

    Being that I can't seem to work my search magic today, I would like to know what the best practices and considerations would be in implementing an ADDC "in the cloud". Perhaps this is better suited as its own thread, anyway.

    Thanks for the help.



  • You'll need a way to connect that ADDC to your onsite ones. I have no idea how Azure would let you do that, short of using ZT or Perinto. Perhaps you could install a VPN client directly on the server, have it terminate to a VPN device on your local network -but that just seems weird.

    But the long and the short of it is, how would you do this for two locations, assuming you had a server at both locations?

    Me, I'd have a VPN between the two sites, and make sure they could see each other. Then replication would happen automatically.



  • I just got Pertino approved not 5 minutes ago, so I would be using that. :)



  • @wrx7m said:

    I just got Pertino approved not 5 minutes ago, so I would be using that. :)

    Be aware that Pertino is designed to be installed on every device in your network.. .not just the two servers.

    If you don't install it everywhere, you could end up having DNS issues.



  • @Dashrender Thanks, I went enterprise with the gateway. :) And last time I checked you still needed to have the connection software installed on all DCs in your domain for the DNS to work properly even with the gateway option.



  • @wrx7m said:

    @Dashrender Thanks, I went enterprise with the gateway. :) And last time I checked you still needed to have the connection software installed on all DCs in your domain for the DNS to work properly even with the gateway option.

    No clue - I've never looked at the gateway appliance - I heard it cost an arm and a leg, and a car too - though I've never actually seen the price.



  • @Dashrender It is expensive. Much more than I thought, actually. You have to get the Enterprise 100 or better for the gateway option. I have been dealing with their team off and on for over a year and provided feedback on trial usage and that is when they told me that they were implementing smartzones and the gateway. I had been waiting and did a redesign of my network and now I am finally ready to use it. Even though the sales guy has gone to another company, Todd Krautkremer (active on SW) put me in touch with another sales guy and after getting floored and disappointed by the initial price they worked with me some more and gave me an incredible deal. Technically, I am going to still trial the gateway et al, but it would have to have some serious problems for me to pass it up.



  • Wow - sounds like you have a lot of time invested - so I have to ask.. why look at keeping the traditional LAN at all?

    Why not move to the LANless design? If you can move all of your desktops to Windows 10 or Linux you can use Azure AD or another central authentication service.



  • Trialing Pertino was one of those things where it made me recognize that the network/systems I had inherited from a succession of admins that didn't have the knowledge, budget or both, really needed to be reworked, logically. I made some minor upgrades in network equipment and major modifications in terms of wireless, implementing separate VLANs with ACLs for respective SSIDs, RADIUS authentication and logging, etc.

    I was not working full tilt on just the Pertino stuff. I am the lone admin here and we are a company with about 88 employees. I have made great strides in trying to keep things moving and staying up with the best methods for all facets of IT and implement what is necessary to ensure integrity and stability of the systems with as little interruption to service as possible. I went from 6 physical servers that were 9-10 years old and out of warranty, to being 85% virtualized on 4-hour onsite warrantied hardware, which puts me in a much better position to be more flexible in terms of where services are provided from. I only have 3 physical servers. 1 older file/print server, an RDG/RDS server and an Exchange server. I am planing on virtualizing the first two and migrating to hosted Exchange within the next year to year and a half.


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    I just got Pertino approved not 5 minutes ago, so I would be using that. :)

    I actually designed the AD handling for them :)


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    @Dashrender Thanks, I went enterprise with the gateway. :) And last time I checked you still needed to have the connection software installed on all DCs in your domain for the DNS to work properly even with the gateway option.

    That's new since any of us used it.



  • @scottalanmiller you never cease to amaze me


  • Service Provider

    What we did, before phasing out AD and our LAN/VPN completely, was use AD on Azure (not Azure AD) and Pertino.

    We put our "primary" AD DC into Azure East (Virginia) and our "secondary" into Azure Iowa. We used the two vCPU option which is 2.75GB of RAM, if I remember correctly. Worked fine. Windows Server 2012 R2.

    With Pertino on each server and on every node in our network everything was able to talk to both AD DCs at any time. All functions like a single normal LAN. No special configuration needed other than the DNS handling built into Pertino.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wrx7m said:

    @Dashrender Thanks, I went enterprise with the gateway. :) And last time I checked you still needed to have the connection software installed on all DCs in your domain for the DNS to work properly even with the gateway option.

    That's new since any of us used it.

    Which part is new; the gateway or the DC requirement?


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    @scottalanmiller you never cease to amaze me

    I'm the one who pushed them for the gateway appliance, too. They had had one before they went live with the product but never released it. I made them bring it out because the product really wasn't fully viable without it for 90% of customers.


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wrx7m said:

    @Dashrender Thanks, I went enterprise with the gateway. :) And last time I checked you still needed to have the connection software installed on all DCs in your domain for the DNS to work properly even with the gateway option.

    That's new since any of us used it.

    Which part is new; the gateway or the DC requirement?

    The gateway. We at @ntg were using the AD system before they released it. We did the work manually to make it work, documented it and I did some work with them on designing both the AD handling and the DNS override ideas (the DNS especially) to get it to work with our design and to enhance it for better flexibility and ease of use. So the AD has been around for a long time, the gateway only recently.



  • @scottalanmiller very interesting. I completely agree that it makes the most sense to have the gateway. I am just surprised that they wouldn't include it in the lower tier business plans.



  • OK, so VPN, check.

    Is SAM endorsing Azure for hosting an ADDC VM?


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    Is SAM endorsing Azure for hosting an ADDC VM?

    Azure works fine, Rackspace works fine. RS has VPS functionality which makes them far more accessible to SMBs. Amazon AWS is excellent but much harder to use, but not really harder than Azure. Rackspace is the best if you only have a box here and there. We use four cloud carriers currently plus normally multiple colo facilities. It depends on your other systems what will work best for you.



  • @scottalanmiller I should check out rackspace. Although, I am using S3 and glacier for some off-site backup and archiving.

    Speaking of which, I am using VMware and Veeam for all my virtual machines. What would I use to backup the hosted DC?


  • Service Provider

    Hosted is backed up to the hosting facility. If you choose Rackspace, for example, you would take a snapshot of your virtual machine and it will automatically export to RS Cloud Files (the same facility that hosts our images for the site here) and that is your backup. If you need a file based backup additionally you would likely use something like StorageCraft which is agent based and target any storage that you want. But typically you would just use the image backup on the host itself. Remember that you are looking at multi-regional high availability here so going to backup to do a system restore would be a truly epic situation.



  • @scottalanmiller good info. Seems pretty straight forward. Since this is a DC, I would only be concerned if RS AND my on-site infrastructure and backups AND off-site backups some how got destroyed.

    I was also wondering for future projects in a general sense.


  • Service Provider

    You are going to maintain an on premises AD DC as well?



  • @scottalanmiller I was planning on it



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