Knowledge Base

Backing up your Active Directory domain


Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is a crucial part of organization's IT infrastructure that has to be available at all times. 

If a domain breaks down or goes offline, it is necessary to get it up and running in the shortest time possible. This article will explain how you can safely back up your entire domain controllers and make sure that you are prepared for any disasters that you might run into.


In case of disasters, the first thing you should do is to restore a domain controller to its working state. This requires you to have at least one domain controller (DC) per domain backed up. One DC, after restoration, can replicate all AD data to the other DCs in the domain. 

RecoveryManager Plus helps you back up entire domain controllers, including the system state (Sysvol folder), boot volume, and AD database (Ntds.dit), applications, and all files & folders within the DC. Once a full backup of the necessary components is made, RecoveryManager Plus can be configured to periodically search for changes made to the domain controller. When a change is detected, it’s backed up and stored as an incremental backup. This will ensure that you have the most recent copy of your domain controller at any time. 

To configure a domain controller for backup using RecoveryManager Plus, follow the steps listed below.

  • Navigate to Active Directory → Bare Metal → Backup Configuration.
  • Select the domain for which you wish to configure bare metal recovery from the drop-down box at the top-left.
  • After the domain is selected, a list of all domain controllers in the particular domain is displayed. Select the domain controller(s) that you wish to configure for backup and recovery.
  • Click Configure For Backup.
  • In the Full Backup Scheduler field, specify the frequency (monthly, weekly or daily) at which full backups of domain controllers must be taken.
  • In the Incremental Backup Scheduler field, specify the frequency (monthly, weekly or daily) at which the incremental backups should be taken to supplement the full backups.
  • Select the number of full backups to be retained by selecting the appropriate value in the Retain Last field and click Configure.

The bare metal backup agent will now be installedin the selected domain controllers.

Now that your domain controllers are backed up, you can stay relaxed knowing that no matter what the disaster is, you can have your domains up and running in no time. 

Watch this space as we get back to you next week with step-by-step instructions on how to authoritatively and non-authoritatively restore your domain controllers. 

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