Here's a weird scenario I'm looking for some guidance on.

I have a VM that is a purpose-built "self-contained" demo environment. It has an application stack installed, as well as Active Directory, where it is the only Domain Controller and has all roles.

The AD instance is ONLY used for authentication of the users that run the applications that are installed on this same server. Again, the intention is to have a completely self-contained environment.

Now, I've gotten a request to clone this VM and put two copies on the same subnet. Everything I know about AD is making me reject this request, and I'm going to put it behind a pfsense VM, on another subnet.

BUT - the question I have is: would there actually be any real problems if I put 2 exact copies of this particular domain controller on the same subnet? (Obviously I would change the IP address and related network configuration on the clone.)

Keep in mind that there are no external clients authenticating against the AD instance, and no other domain members (workstations or servers).

  • I can't think of any reason this would be a problem. It's a standalone AD instance unto itself. I've done this with SBS before to give salespeople their own copy of a demo environment for a software package that integrated with Exchange Server and SQL Server.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:43
  • If the two domain controllers can't pass traffic to each other, how would there be a problem? Of course, domain controllers really don't like having their IPs changed, but I assume you've considered that already. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:11
  • @HopelessN00b They can pass traffic to each other just fine if they're on the same subnet. The question is, does that matter?
    – jlehtinen
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:18
  • Why do you need AD in a self-contained environment vs. using local accounts?
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:20
  • @TheCleaner application requirement (AD integration is an important feature)
    – jlehtinen
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:21


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