This technical white paper provides best practice guidelines for deploying AD DS on vSphere. The recommendations in this guide are not specific to a particular set of hardware or to the size and scope of a specific AD DS implementation.The examples and considerations in this document provide guidance, but do not represent strict design requirements.
As the prominent directory service and authentication store, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is in the majority of network infrastructures. In some environments AD DS is viewed as another required service, but it does not attract much attention. In other environments AD DS is treated as the business critical application (BCA) that it is.
Considering that the ability to access network resources and the Internet, look up user information, and use email often requires AD DS, it is worth understanding the importance of this service and the stability of its underlying infrastructure. In much the same way that the criticality of AD DS differs from organization to organization, so does the acceptance of virtualizing this service.
More conservative organizations choose to virtualize a portion of the AD DS environment and retain a portion on physical hardware. The cause is typically misinformation, lack of experience in virtualization, or fear of the unknown. With the release of Windows Server 2012, new features alleviate many of the legitimate concerns that administrators have about virtualizing AD DS. These new features, the latest versions of VMware® vSphere® , and recommended practices help achieve 100 percent virtualization of AD DS.