For the third post of the Azure Stack Migration series, we are having a look at how you migrate your Active Directory Domain Controllers to Microsoft Azure Stack. If you have worked with Active Directory before, you know there are many ways to move and migrate your Domain Controllers. In this blog, we will take the method of creating two new Windows Server virtual machines on Azure Stack, join them to an existing domain and then promote them to Domain Controllers.




How to migrate Active Directory Domain Controllers to Microsoft Azure Stack


There are different ways how you can migrate your Active Directory Domain Controllers to Azure Stack. In this blog post we will follow the following high-level steps:


  1. Create new Windows Server virtual machines on Azure Stack
  2. Join them to an existing domain
  3. Promote them to Domain Controllers


Since we are using Azure Stack, we have a bit of an advantage. We are taking some of the benefits of the Azure IaaS platform to speed up that process and automate some parts of it. We will use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, to deploy our servers and directly join them to a domain.




Make sure that you already deployed and connected your Virtual Network on Azure Stack, connected it to the network where your existing Domain Controllers are running and set the DNS server of your virtual network to be these Active Directory Domain Controllers. This means you might need to create a VPN connection for your Azure Stack to your on-premises or cloud environment. You can find more about creating VPN connections on Azure Stack here.


Deploy new servers on Azure Stack


By taking advantage of Azure Resource Manager on Azure Stack, we can speed up and automate the process.


  1. Deploy Azure Resource Manager Template on Azure Stack to deploy Windows Server VMs and join them in an existing domain.
  2. Promote them to Domain Controller. (Even this step could be added to the ARM template.)


To speed up and automate the process we are going to use an Azure Resource Manager template from the Azure Stack Quickstart repository on GitHub. There you can find a template that will deploy your Windows Server VMs and directly join them to an existing domain.

As you can see there are multiple other templates available to for example create new Domain Controllers from scratch.


After you have deployed you can promote your servers to domain controllers as you would do with other servers. If you not only want to move your Domain Controllers to Azure Stack but also upgrade them to a new version, you can follow this guide here.


If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Azure Stack Migration Series


You can find the full playlist with the complete Azure Stack Migration video series on YouTube.