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I have an SBS 2011 domain at a single site. I had previously added a second domain controller for redundancy (including DNS) so that when the SBS server needs rebooting the network is uninterrupted. SBS is a virtual on a hyperv host, and the secondary DC was also a hyperv guest on another physical hyperv host.

The secondary died however and while I was able to restore it still caused issues in the domain. I was able to demote it using normal means eventually, and dcdiag reports things are fine on the SBS server.

I'd like to re-promote the server now, and I'm wondering if it avoid issues like this in the future if it would be better to make this a read only domain controller (RODC). The site is very small, just one location, and only rarely are changes to AD made. Also given how SBS works (the SBS server must hold the FSMO roles) it seems like it would simplify things while still allowing some redundancy.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach or is there a reason I should have a second RW domain controller?

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I would leave the second DC RW. In case of hardware failure, the SBS server might be down for [a day/four hours/whatever your support contract says] while you get the replacement part.

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Once the 2nd server is restored, was it still part of the domain? you will need to connect this server to the domain and add AD role. It can be RW domain but all FSMO roles will remain with SBS.

  • It was restored, but it was causing problems on the domain so I demoted it. It remained part of the domain though. – Andy Apr 20 '15 at 16:39

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