Can you Migrate Your On-Prem Domain Controller to the Cloud?

Can you Migrate Your On-Prem Domain Controller to the Cloud?

Of course you can!

Use TrueStack Direct Connect to migrate your on-prem Windows DC and file server to the AWS Cloud so your end-users can access their files from anywhere, even outside the office, and you can manage their computers using Active Directory as usual. Wa-La, goodbye closet server!

How it works:

  • First set up a free tier AWS account and launch a Windows server 2012 R2 or 2016 EC2 instance and rdp into the windows server.
  • Then subscribe to a TrueStack Direct Connect free trial from the the AWS marketplace.
  • Follow the directions here to set it up.
  • Create an installer and install it on your on-prem DC. This will connect your on-prem DC to your AWS Windows server.
  • Now DC promo your AWS server.
  • Migrate your data to the AWS server. You can use robocopy.
  • Demote your on prem server.
  • Rename your on prem server and completely remove it from the domain.
  • Rename your AWS server to the same name your on-prem server had.
  • Create and install TrueStack Direct Connect on all of your Windows connected computers and restart the computers. This isn’t hard because you can email the installer links to the end-user.  Since your AWS server now has the same name as your on-prem server had, your end-users will be able to access their mapped drives and short-cuts securely without issue and they won’t even notice the server is out of the closet.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully migrated your Windows domain controller to the cloud!

How much does it cost?

  • TrueStack Direct Connect can be purchased on the AWS Marketplace. Sign in on the Marketplace to get a free 30-day trial. After the trial, the cost is about $140 a month for unlimited connections or $50 a month for 10 connected devices and $100 a month for 25 connected devices.
  • The additional cost will be the price of the base server that will run TrueStack Direct Connect. This is generally run on a Linux EC2 T2 micro instance which cost $8.50 a month. You will also need to pay for the Windows server and storage. A simple Windows 2012 DC with 100GBs of storage cost about $27 a month.
  • Calculate your cost using the AWS Calculator then add .19 cents an hour for TrueStack Direct Connect. Generally if the server is on 24/7 it cost about $140.

Get a free 30-day trial at the AWS marketplace.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions go to:

Additional considerations:

  • If your printers were shared through your on-prem server, use a GPO to install the printers locally or use Branch Office Printing or install them TCPIP manually.
  • If your copier uses scan to file, switch to scan to email. Authenticate through Gmail or O365. You can also use local accounts to authenticate with SMB.
  • Snapshot your AWS server periodically to back it up. Shut it down first. Add a second Cold HDD (sc1) 500GB or larger hard drive in AWS to the Windows server. Install Windows backup on the server and back up to that hard drive. Snapshot it periodically for archived backup. Or if you have SPLA or Volume licenses bring your own licenses to AWS (see BYOL AWS) build a DPM server in AWS and backup to that. Put the server in a different AWS region and use TrueStack Direct Connect to connect the two servers. You can also use Cloudberry to S3 backup or another 3rd party solution. For AD redundancy add a second AWS Windows AD server in a different region and use TrueStack Direct Connect to connect them.


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