I am running Backup Exec 2010 R2 and am running a full/incremental backup on a primary domain controller for a Windows 2003 domain environment. I would like to test the restore using a virtual machine. The domain controller is a physical box.
What are the best practices in testing something like this?
To protect your AD, you need to backup the system state of your DC.
To restore your DC, you would need to restore its system state. I doubt you can do this with a VM. When you restore the system state and try to restore the VM, it will probably fail to boot because there will be drivers missing.
To test a restore of the DC, you would need a similiar hardware.
Here is the technote regarding the Disaster Recovery of Domain Controller.
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH10797 : Disaster recovery of a local Windows 2000 or 2003 computer (includes non-authoritative restore of Active Directory for a domain controller)
For complete Disaster recovery you will first have to build the OS (same version and same Service pack level) and then restore the C: drive and System State from the backups (check the technotes for detial steps).
Also as PKH mentioned this would not be right idea to test on VM instead go for restore on similar hardware.
Can I isolate a virtual machine from our active directory domain, and restore the SYSVOL and other backup files and recover the active directory server that way? I would like to be able to restore a domain by using an available piece of hardware I have on hand so I can restore it as quickly as possible (if needed).