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Virtualized Domain Controller Cloning

Virtualized Domain Controller Cloning (VDCC) is a new feature added to Windows Server 2012. It allows you to rapidly create new a BDC to join to an existing Active Directory domain.

Do not confuse VDCC with U-Move cloning. The capabilities of VDCC are actually quite limited.

Limitations of VDCC

VDCC has the following limitations:

  • You can only use it to create a new Backup Domain Controller (BDC) in an existing domain.
  • You can only clone from an existing BDC, not from the Primary Domain Controller (PDC).
  • You must clone the entire C: drive.
  • The source and destination BDCs must both be Hyper-V guest VMs.
  • The new BDC must join the existing AD domain.
  • You must manually assign a new name, a new IP address, and a new security identity account to avoid a conflict with the source BDC.
VDCC versus U-Move Cloning

The purpose of VDCC is to add an another BDC to the same domain. It cannot be used to create an independent clone for offline testing. It does not preserve the FSMO roles, and it clones the entire C: drive, a relatively slow operation.

In contrast, U-Move quickly creates a true clone of any PDC or BDC. It copies the minimal information needed to create a true clone that is indistinguishable from the original DC. U-Move preserves all AD settings including the FSMO roles, computer name, machine account, and the security identity.