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A stand alone windows 2012 R2 essentials server was used to control a technical installation. Essentials was used (afaik) because of license reasons. The server is its own domain controller (and is an will ever be its own only member).

The operator of the installation now wants a spare Server. In case of failure the server would be completely exchanged with the spare server. Because there is no data that needs to be replicated, we thought that would be easy. Create an identical clone of the Server (they won't ever be online both at the same time, so even IP adress could be the same) and put it in the spare part storage.

A colleage of me told me, that this will not work. He wasn't sure about tombstone time if the controller is its own single member but he thought some certificates that the domain controller will generate from time to time will time out or something like that.

Is he right? What would happen if (after 1 or 2 years) the original server crashes and the 2 years ago cloned spare will be powered up?

  • Why would the clone be 2 years old? Wouldn't you be using a current Full server backup of the main server to restore to the spare server in the event of a failure of the main server? If that's not your plan, it should be. Perform regularly occurring Full backups of the main server using a backup product that can perform bare metal recovery (Windows Server Backup can do this), and use the most recent full backup to restore to the spare server and then restore any applicable differential or incremental backups. – joeqwerty Jan 30 '17 at 16:06
  • Because the Server is static. There is no data changed that needed to be backed up. So it would be more easy to just clone it once and then store it until it is needed. – Holger Thiemann Jan 30 '17 at 21:51

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