Active Directory Forest Recovery

Why Active Directory backup?

In most organizations Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) is a mission-critical service; faults and downtime have a significant impact on users and business productivity. If AD is not functioning correctly then users might be unable to access key resources such as printers, use email properly, or even login. In the most serious cases, where Active Directory forest recovery fails, businesses can be affected for days, putting them at serious risk. For this reason, technology analysts Gartner, classify AD as a tier 0 service, super-critical for business continuation.1

This is not a blue moon problem: a survey of IT professionals by Dell in 2014 found that 87% had experienced incidents or disasters with AD, more than half at the key forest or domain levels.2 Even the most diligent systems administrators may find themselves beset by hardware failures or malware attacks.

Well thought out disaster and recovery planning for AD is therefore essential and this should include associated services such as DNS and DHCP. Microsoft recommends the performance of a full Active Directory forest recovery drill once a year.3

Regular backups and fault tolerance through system redundancy are fundamental parts of this process. Automation and centralization of backup procedures is likely to lead to increased adherence. There are a variety of techniques for this, including Microsoft’s own Windows Server® Backup utility, but these processes are often time-consuming.

How do I restore Active Directory?

activereach offers an easy-to-use Active Directory forest recovery tool that features a fully optimised, real-time backup and roll-back process for the full AD forest, with recovery in minutes. Its efficient Active Directory backup processes help save valuable system administration time and increase confidence in service level (SLA) commitments. The solution uses private or public cloud technology and is therefore fully data centre independent.

See our solution page on Active Directory restore to find out more about the full feature set.

Active Directory disaster recovery

Although backing up Active Directory is relatively straightforward, recovery can be far more difficult, in part because of the way its domain controllers replicate their information. AD cannot be restored by standard disaster recovery solutions. In the event of serious Active Directory failure, recovering a whole Active Directory forest can be a hugely time-consuming and difficult process (Microsoft documents some fifty required steps3). This can have a serious effect on Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and agreed SLAs.

For this reason, many organizations use activereach’s Active Directory Forest Recovery solution to automate time-consuming and complex procedures. This tool dramatically smooths the process of recovery, minimising downtime and protecting critical service levels.

Active Directory Forest Recovery solution from activereach

The AD Forest Recovery tool from activereach is the only product on the market which provides a full forest, 100% automated recovery process. It uses a unique, parallel restore process, which dramatically improves recovery speeds and guarantees full forest restoration times that are measured in minutes rather than days.

As well as backup and recovery of AD, it also offers full restoration of essential dependent services such as PKI, DHCP and DNS.

Active Directory Forest Recovery: 3 Steps To Recover From Active Directory Disaster

Its simple, wizard-based HTML interface allows for easy, zero-touch forest recovery and also features domain controller repair and granular recovery of individual AD attributes and objects.

The solution provides a high level of reassurance to busy administrators who need to maintain service levels by offering an automatic test of disaster recovery process validity and an ‘isolated’ full recovery test and configuration procedure.

Request a Personalised Live Demo of the activereach AD Recovery Tool.

activereach Centralised administration panel for Active Directory Forest Recovery
Fig 1: Centralised administration panel for Active Directory Forest Recovery

The Active Directory Forest Recovery solution from activereach provides:

  • Domain controller repair and recovery
  • Granular recovery of individual AD attributes
  • Reversion to recover an object or attribute to any point in time
  • Database corruption recovery in three-click process
  • Guaranteed RTOs of minutes
  • Optimized AD backup processes
  • Full 100% automated AD forest recovery with simple wizard-based processes
  • Automated Group Policy recovery
  • Recovery of dependent services (e.g. DNS, DHCP)
  • Real-time analysis and roll-back to previous states
  • Web-based administration interface

Request a Personalised Live Demo of the activereach AD Recovery Tool.

1 Werner Zurcher, Modernizing Business Continuity and DR Using Virtualization and the Cloud (Video), Gartner Catalyst Conference, 29th July – 1st August 2013, San Diego, CA., [29:51]

2 Dell Techcenter, #ActiveDirectoryDisasters – Will Your Organization Be Ready? [blog], Dell Inc. (8th July 2014),

3 Microsoft, Windows Server 2012: Planning for Active Directory Forest Recovery (Redmond: Microsoft Corporation, April 2013),

Microsoft and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.