AD backup/restore plan that fits disaster in AD/Exchange upgrade ??

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    Hi everyone,

    I know, AD backup / restore sound familiar. But what’s normal is not what I desire. The plan is implemented when upgrading the whole system (Ad then Exchange), and I focus on the AD restore (in case AD upgrade failure) that fits the current functional Exchange system (2 FE, 4 BE).

    AD backup / restore (only) make our life easier, in compared with the situation when Exchange come into play: faster, easier, less servers (can move 5 role to 1 DC before backup), smaller size (in compare with 4 BE exchange server), less operation affect. Besides, it may seem that AD dont have to depend on Exchange (in terms of backup / restore), but Exchange do depend on AD for operation.

    So, in case AD upgrade failure ? Ok, fast and easy backup/restore will make the old backed up good environment come back into play right on the way.

    But problem raises when Exchange organization come into integration.

    Can we be sure that AD restore (come from the old backed up file, in case AD upgrade failure) will fit completely with the current Exchange organization ??? May the exchange-side attributes that integrate with AD, and so the mailing operation, be affected ?

    In multi-master AD environment, we know that the AD restored from backup file will be over-written, updated by the newer, current AD, unless we make the restore authoriative. That’s the way DCs update to each other. But what about the update/replication relation between DCs and Exchange server, before and after we make the AD restore ? Do we have to restore Exchange (too) after restore AD to make the relation/operation of the whole system less at risk ? If that’s a must for a complete disaster recovery, should we backup AD before or after we backup Exchange, for the restore (in chain) to make sense ?

    Backup, though seems good, can lead to nightmare restore. Technical books can’t cover all and every picture. So after reading books and technical guides here and there, I still want to express my thoughts, situations, and wait to see real advices from experienced experts.

    Thank you in advance.

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