Is it safe to backup and/or replicate a Domain Controller (Win2003 & Win2008) using Veeam Replication & Backup 7?

I am aware of the Application Aware option in Veeam. We can enable, but I can't find official documentation saying that that's enough.

How would the restore be done? let's say the Domain Controller host dies and I want to restore the Veeam backup from 24 hours ago. Just restoring it and starting it would start the Active Directory replication where it left up and continue replicating normally?


  • 1
    Have you called Veeam and asked them directly? – TheCleaner Feb 8 '14 at 17:58
  • No - I have tried to locate published articles/information. I guess that maybe they could point me to some (or somebody could me to it). – rufo Feb 9 '14 at 11:31
  • The only way to know is to try it. Even if they support it, doesn't mean it will work in your environment. Better to know the shortfalls when you aren't in disaster recovery mode than when the boss is staring over your shoulder wanting to know why he can't login.. – MikeAWood Feb 9 '14 at 19:19
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    MikeAWood: thanks for the insight. I disagree with the idea that there cannot be a level of documentation appropriate to trust the answer. They could have fully documented procedure, and that would be enough for my case. Please note that our customer backup the DCs using normal network backups, so this is more a curiosity question than a question that they are willing to invest 10 hours of research to find out the response. – rufo Feb 10 '14 at 19:08
  • Although this is quite old, i was after the same sort of information and found a best practice guide on Veeam's site: veeam.com/… – selspiero Mar 30 '15 at 14:49

I contacted Veeam directly. Their answer is:

There is no specific recommendations regarding domain controller backups, just make sure you have application-aware image processing enabled. You may find more information here: http://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/70/vsphere/application_aware_processing.html

In case of restore, you may encounter the situation when for the first time DC boots in safe mode. It's an expected behavior, however, which is explained here: http://www.veeam.com/kb1277

So, I believe this means that the scenario is supported, and there are no special considerations to take apart from enabling the application-aware image processing, and make sure to know the DC's restore domain admin credentials (which one should know anyways).

  • Did you mean to say 'Veeam' rather than 'VMware' by any chance? ;) – dbr Apr 11 '15 at 21:11
  • Yes - corrected. – rufo Apr 13 '15 at 12:40

I personally have done it a lot of times. It's absolutely safe once you use VSS (application aware). The second KB which was recommended by Veeam is worth to be checked.

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