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Common mistakes in backing up Active Directory

Microsoft expert Brien Posey looks at the widespread mistakes many users make when backing up Active Directory in this Expert Response.

What are the most common mistakes you see users do when backing up Active Directory?

For the most part, backing up the Active Directory is simple and straightforward. However, some mistakes are somewhat common.

Since all of the domain controllers within a domain typically contain the same data, you should be able to back up any domain controller. The exception is read-only domain controllers. Read-only domain controllers only store a subset of the data that is found on a writable domain controller and are unsuitable for recovering a domain.

Another common problem is not providing enough free space on domain controllers to facilitate a restoration. Depending on the backup software being used, an Active Directory restoration could require twice as much space as the Active Directory database normally consumes. It is therefore critical to make sure that domain controllers have enough free space to accommodate a restoration.

This was first published in September 2013

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