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On my VMware ESXi environment there are 10 VMs running. One of the VMs is the domain controller (Windows Server 2008 R2). The other VMs are configured with a static DHCP and DNS IP address in their network settings.

How long is the downtime limit of my domain controller?

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I have a domain controller on AWS that I use for my home domain. Not only do I keep it off for months, but I recreate it every time it starts. I keep an image of the server on S3, and AD's critical files on a small EBS volume. I've had this for over a year, and have not had a problem. – Edwin Mar 2 '14 at 1:41
@Edwin And if that works fine for your use-case, good for you. That's not something that any professional I know would use at a business. – mfinni Mar 6 '14 at 19:41
@mfinni, you hang in your own circles and have a limited perspective as to what AD can be used for. – Edwin Mar 6 '14 at 21:07
Edwin - have you used this approach at a business? – mfinni Mar 6 '14 at 21:09

If it is the only DC, there is no limit since it has no replication partners. If there is more than one, other DCs will refuse replication from it after it has been offline longer than the tombstone lifetime, which is 180 days by default.

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But if the DC is down and I want to join a Server oder a Computer in the domain, than the DC should be online. Otherwhise this is not possible. Is that right? – MaxMix Mar 2 '14 at 1:46
That is correct. If you only have one DC and it is down, directory services obviously doesn't function. You should never have only one DC. – MDMarra Mar 2 '14 at 1:48
@Edwin it works well enough, for as long as it works. That's why you never use just one. – Falcon Momot Mar 2 '14 at 6:31
@edwin you appear to have a strange definition of "reliability". Only having one DC is never a reliable situation for a production network. – RobM Mar 2 '14 at 12:35
@Edwin I hope you're referring to your home network here. A single DC in a professional environment is asking for trouble. – MDMarra Mar 2 '14 at 12:37

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