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Recovery Manager for AD Disaster Recovery Edition 10.0.1 - Deployment Guide

Develop a backup and restore plan

It is recommended to follow these rules to prevent Active Directory failure:

  • Use only reliable and tested hardware, such as hard disks and uninterruptible power supply.
  • Test any new configuration in a test lab before deploying it in your production environment.
  • Ensure that each domain in your Active Directory forest has at least two domain controllers.
  • Keep detailed logs about the health state of Active Directory on a daily basis, so that in case of a forestwide failure you could identify the approximate failure time.

Determine which domain controllers to back up and how often

To perform an online restore of deleted or corrupted Active Directory objects, it is recommended to back up at least two domain controllers in each domain for redundancy. If you intend to restore cross-domain group memberships, then it is also necessary to back up a global catalog server. The global catalog server backup must be created with the option When backing up Global Catalog servers, collect group membership information from all domains within the Active Directory forest enabled on the System State tab of the Computer Collection Properties dialog box.

If you intend to use Recovery Manager for Active Directory to recover failed domain controllers (for example, using the Repair Wizard), it is recommended that you back up all domain controllers in all domains with the option Collect Forest Recovery metadata enabled on the System State tab of the Computer Collection Properties dialog box. This option creates backups that can be used by the Forest Recovery Console to recover a forest. For more information, refer to the User Guide supplied with this version of Recovery Manager for Active Directory Disaster Recovery Edition.

It is recommended that you back up your domain controllers on at least a daily basis. In any case, back up all domain controllers each time you make important changes to your environment.

Methods for deploying Backup Agent

Recovery Manager for Active Directory employs a Backup Agent to back up data on remote domain controllers.

The Backup Agent must be deployed on each remote domain controller where you want to back up Active Directory data.

There are two methods to deploy the Backup Agent:

  • Have Recovery Manager for Active Directory automatically deploy the Backup Agent before starting a backup creation operation and automatically remove the Agent after the operation is complete.
  • Manually preinstall the Backup Agent on all target domain controllers where you want to back up Active Directory data.

The latter method allows you to:

  • Perform a backup operation without having domain administrator privileges. It is sufficient if Recovery Manager for Active Directory runs under a backup operator's credentials.
  • Reduce network traffic when backing up a Computer Collection.
  • Back up domain controllers in domains that have no trust relationships with the domain where Recovery Manager for Active Directory is running, solving the so-called “no trust” problem.

Note: To preinstall Backup Agent, you can either use the Backup Agent Setup Wizard or perform a silent installation. For more information, refer to the Quick Start Guide supplied with this release of Recovery Manager for Active Directory®.

Retain recent backups

If you create full backups on a daily basis as recommended earlier in this document, you should configure a backup retention policy to maintain the backups created in the last two weeks (14 last backups for each domain controller). This approach will provide you with a sufficient number of backups to recover from an Active Directory failure that remained undetected for some time. For information on how to configure a backup retention policy, refer to the User Guide supplied with this release of Recovery Manager for Active Directory Disaster Recovery Edition.

In addition to the retained backups, you can also archive at least one domain controller backup on a weekly basis. This will allow you to retrieve Active Directory data (for instance, deleted objects) from a period past the recent backup history you retain. Make sure that these archived backups cover the entire tombstone lifetime period (that is, 60 days or 180 days by default, depending on the Windows operating system version).

For security reasons, keep at least one copy of each backup off-site in a properly controlled environment in order to protect it from possible attacks by malicious individuals via the network.

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