Using Windows Azure for Disaster Recovery

Hello everyone, this being  my first blog post I choose a topic which I believe will be exciting since it is about Windows Azure. I will be covering the steps to create a Replica AD on Windows Azure for disaster recovery.

Before starting I want to point out that the Active Directory button in Azure is for Windows Azure Active Directory, which provides identity management and access control capabilities for your cloud applications, but you cannot use it as secondary(disaster recovery) Active Directory for your on-premise Active Directory.

For more information about Azure Active Directory:

http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/features/identity/

In our scenario we need fully running Active Directory Function so we will create new Virtual Machine and we will install normal AD on top of it, once the below listed steps are implemented you will be able to create a Replica AD in windows Azure.

Before creating the virtual machine you have to do the following;

  • Link the networks with a site to site VPN. (See how to do that with Server 2012 here).
  • Configure your AD Sites with a new site.

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1-Just open you Azure portal.

2-Click on + new bottom.

3-Select compute then virtual machine and finally choose from the gallery

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4-Select the Required Operating System.

5-Fill the required information and click next.

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6-Put the DNS Name (this will be used to reach the VM through the internet).

7-Either using ready made storage account or create new one.

8-Choose your Affinity group.

9-Choose the Virtual network then click next.
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After the Virtual Machine become provisioned you have to complete the following:

  • Attach new VHD this will be used to store the AD Database.
  • Join the Server to the Domain.
  • Promote the Server to a Domain Controller

Congratulation now you have Replica AD on Windows Azure.

If you are interested in more details on guidelines and options for deploying Active directory in Azure be sure to check out the Microsoft documentation:

Guidelines for Deploying Windows Server Active Directory on Windows Azure Virtual Machines
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/jj156090.aspx