Step-by-Step Guide – Installation of Active Directory & DNS on Windows Server 2012

Overview

The first requirement for a home lab is a fully functioning Active Directory / DNS set-up. For your home lab this guide goes through the installation steps for a successful Active Directory and DNS installation. After the installation, we go through the process of adding DNS A records for various parts of your lab.

Contents

  1. Configure – Hostname & Static IP Address
  2. Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Service)
  3. Promote to Domain Controller
  4. Configure – Add DNS “A” records for your LAB

Prerequisites

  • Lab has a newly deployed Windows Server 2012 R2 Image

Key Configuration Information

  • Hostname – lion
  • Domain – vmlab.local
  • IP Address – 10.0.0.5
  • Subnet Mast – 255.0.0.0
  • Default Gateway – 10.0.0.2
  • DNS 1 – 10.0.0.5
  • DNS 2 – 8.8.8.8

1. HOW TO – Configure – Hostname & Static IP Address

Step 1 – Configure a host name (computer name), for your newly deployed Windows Server 2012.

> Open Server Manager > Click on Local Server > Click on the computer name > You will see system properties > Click change > Type the Computer Name e.g dc > Click OK > Restart the Server

Configure - Hostname & Static IP Address - Hostname

Step 2 – Configure a static IP address, for your newly deployed Windows Server 2012.

> Open the Control Panel > Click on the Network & Sharing Center > Click on Ethernet 0 (or your main network interface > Click properties > Click the properties for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Select the radio button for- Use the following IP address & User the following DNS server addresses > Configure the details provided, or your down static IP address details > Click ok and close windows.

Configure - Hostname & Static IP Address - IP Address

Step 3 – Configure a complex password for the Administrator account, this is a required perquisite before installing the Active Directory role.

> Type Control & X on home screen > Click on Computer Management > Click on Local Users & Groups > Click Users > Right Click on the Administrator Account > Select Re-set password > Configure a complex password e.g “Vmware1!” click ok and close windows.

Configure - Hostname & Static IP Address - Complex Password

2. HOW TO – Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services)

Step 1 – Start Wizard

Click on Start > Open Server Manager > Start the Add Roles & Features Wizard

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Start Wizard

Step 2 – Select Role Based Installation

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Select Role Based

Step 3 – Select a server from the server pool > Select your server “dc”

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Select Server

Step 4 – Select Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) from the list of Server Roles you wish to add, it will auto add dependent roles when you select the ADDS.

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Add ADDS Role

Step 5 – Accept defaults and press next.  Note – When you install the ADDS role, it will automatically install the DNS Role on the same machine

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - AD DS Summary

Step 6 – Accept defaults and press Install

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Confirm

Step 7 – Wait for Installation to complete, and the installation of the ADDS role is complete.

Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services) - Completed

3. HOW TO – Promote to Domain Controller

In Server Manager you will see a notification “Configuration required for Active Directory Domain Services at DC”, this is because you now need to promote your server to be a Domain Controller.

Step  1 – Open Server Manager > You will see a notification Click “More”

Promote to Domain Controller - Notification

Step  2 – In the All Servers Task Details dialogue box > Click on the Action “Promote this server to a domain…”

Promote to Domain Controller - Action Promote

Step  3 – Click on “Add a new forest” > Specify your Root domain name e.g vmlab.local > Click Next

Promote to Domain Controller - Add New Forest

Step  4 – Leave the Forest & Domain functional levels as Windows Server 2012 R2 > Type a complex Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password e.g Vmware1! 

Promote to Domain Controller - DC Options

Step  5 – Leave the defaults > Click Next

Promote to Domain Controller - DNS Delegation

Step  6 – Specify a netbios name e.g vmlab > Click next

Promote to Domain Controller - NETBIOS

Step  7 – Leave the defaults > Click Next

Promote to Domain Controller - AD Install Path

Step  8 – Leave the defaults > Click Next

Promote to Domain Controller - Summary

Step  9 (optional)  – For all you Windows PowerShell enthusiasts you can click on the View Script button to see the PowerShell script.

Promote to Domain Controller - Powershell

Step 10 – Click Install

Promote to Domain Controller - Confirm Install

Step 11 – Restart your server after successful installation

Promote to Domain Controller - Restart

Step 12 – Active Directory & DNS is now successfully installed on your server.

Promote to Domain Controller - Successful Install

 

4. HOW TO – Configure – Add DNS “A” Records for your LAB

The addition of additional “A” Records to your internal DNS server will allow the internal name resolution of servers within your home lab including your ESXi hosts, storage server and vCenter.

Step 1 – Click on Start > Go to Administrative Tools > Click on DNS

Configure - Add DNS A records for your LAB - Open DNS

Step 2 – Expand your Domain > Expand Forward Lookup Zones > Expand and click on your domain e.g vmlab.com > Right Click in a white space on the right hand side window > Select New Host (A or AAA)…

Configure - Add DNS A records for your LAB - New Host A Record

Step 3 – Type a host name you want to resolve here e.g ESX 1- notice the FQDN – Fully Qualified Domain Name is populated for you > Type the corresponding IP address you want ESX 1 to resolve to e.g 10.0.0.50 > Ensure you tick create PTR (Reverse DNS) record > Click Add Host

Note – PTR (Reverse DNS) record creation is optional, and is not required for the lab purpose. If you need it to work, ensure you have a reverse lookup zone configured first.

Configure - Add DNS A records for your LAB - Add Host

Step 4 – You should see your new forward lookup “A” Record appear successfully. All DNS resolution requests for esx1.vmlab.local will now forward to 10.0.0.50.

Configure - Add DNS A records for your LAB - Successful

Step 5 – Repeat steps 1 -4 in this section to add the remaining “A” records for the remaining servers in your home lab. You should have the following A records present for your home lab.

  • vcenter.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.10
  • storage.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.20
  • ESX1.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.50
  • ESX2.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.60

Configure - Add DNS A records for your LAB - All Records

 

Your Lab is now successfully configured with Active Directory & DNS to resolve your internal lab name resolution. The second part in this series looks at vCenter Server 5.5 Appliance installation.

 

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