Recovery Manager for Active Directory includes a component called the Active Directory Virtual Lab. This component helps you create virtual test environments from an Active Directory forest. You can use the created test environments to design and evaluate Active Directory disaster recovery scenarios, test planned Active Directory changes before deploying them to production, train your staff to perform Active Directory related tasks, and more.
To create a virtual test environment from an Active Directory forest, you first need to select the source computers (domain controllers or standalone servers) you want to include in the test environment, configure settings to create a virtual machine from each source computer, and then have the Active Directory Virtual Lab create the test environment for you.
When creating virtual machines from the source computers, the Active Directory Virtual Lab uses third-party virtualization software, such as Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), VMware ESX, or VMware vCenter. For a full list of supported virtualization software, see the System Requirements section in the Recovery Manager for Active Directory Release Notes.
You can configure virtualization settings to create virtual machines that maintain all the data available on the source computers, including Active Directory, installed programs, and files. To manage the created virtual test environment, you need to use the native tools provided by the virtualization software with which the Active Directory Virtual Lab created the virtual machines in the test environment.
Alternatively, you can use Recovery Manager for Active Directory Disaster Recovery Edition to create a virtual test environment. For details, see Creating a virtual test environment using Disaster Recovery Edition.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory automatically and remotely quarantines domain controllers during recovery so that any domain controllers that are not being recovered cannot replicate corruption back into the newly restored environment.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory provides the following features that allow the product to continue operating without interruption in case of any failure:
Switch from the initial Recovery Manager Console to an alternate instance of the console in case of any system failure. For more information, see Full replication.
Consolidate backup information from multiple backup registration databases on a single Recovery Manager for Active Directory computer. For details, refer Consolidating backup registration data.
Resume the last forest recovery operation in case it was unexpectedly interrupted. For details, see Resuming an interrupted forest recovery.
All domain controllers in your forest or domain can be restored simultaneously from one centralized location, using backups created with Recovery Manager for Active Directory, eliminating the need to manually interface with each domain controller separately saving a significant amount of time and effort.