Things to remember and keep in a safe place when you go and run Active Directory in a VMs:
In my experience I run a virtual infrastructure since several years. On my laptop in VMware Workstation or Virtual PC. In my homelab where I run ESXi4. But if you're new to virtualization or you are not convinced that you could and should ever run an Active Directory on virtual Infrastructure, then this read IS A MUST.
I found this great doc on VIOPS (VMware Infrastructure Operations) … The things you should not forgot when you virtualize a domain controlers. There is an excelent Xtravirt doc too..
Make sure that:
- You should consider using VMtools timesync
- Avoid to Suspend VM which is a DC for a long period, because you'll have errors 2042 for NTDS replication (Tombstone Lifetime)
- Do not use a snapshots to go back for a VM which is a DC
- Don't do a P2V on a DC, instead just create your VM from a scratch and do a DC promo afterwards.
- Time Synchronisation – Timekeeping in a VM (PDF)
- Installing and Configuring NTP on VMware ESX Server (1339)
- VMware Sync and Windows Service (1318)
- Continue using System State Backups at least once a day.
- Have several separate virtual Disks for your VM ( Active Directory database, log files, and SYSVOL)