I'm putting together a Windows 2012 (Standard) server that's sort of a special case - it needs to be an "all in one" appliance. I literally don't have any other physical servers I can use. As part of this, I would like to have this machine host Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) - I need 3-4 clients to be able to connect to this server (and run a Windows 7 VM).

From my testing, VDI requires Active Directory/a domain controller. I actually don't need AD for anything else and it won't be used for anything besides VDI - no other machines on the network need it. Hosting AD, VDI, and Hyper-V all on the host doesn't work.

I can't run the VDI under a VM because it's not allowed by Hyper-V. So it needs to run on the host Win 2012 machine. So that means the AD box needs to be a VM. Except my host machine has to be a member of the domain for VDI.

What are the implications of my Hyper-V host being a member of a domain that is being run on a VM it is actually hosting?

I found this question which is similar, but no real answers about the implications of this (beyond possibly using something like ESX, which is way less than ideal for me).


The first thing that comes to mind is that your host won't ever have connectivity to a DC during startup since the DC will be a guest VM. That's going to affect things like group policy, especially those aspects of GP that only execute during startup (e.g. scripts). Since GP refreshes in the background, not just during startup, most other settings will still get applied.

Any services running on the host that are configured to run using domain accounts will fail to start. You'll need to stick to local accounts exclusively for any services.

Beyond that you should be fine.

I'm sure such a configuration isn't recommended and probably not supported by Microsoft (I don't have easy access to check for articles one way or another right now). But I doubt that's a concern of yours.

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