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I'm currently running Windows Server 2008 R2 at home, and I'm really enjoying having the power of Active Directory on my side.

However I currently have the server also being used as a desktop, and along with simply having users logging in and using it there are a lot of features missing from the server os that help make the desktop experience.

So I'm currently wondering if it is possible to use a cheap VPS provider to perform the AD service?

Edit: I'm also hugely interested in the potential exploits and security concerns around running a primary domain controller in the cloud.

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There is no technical reason why you couldn't do this (once you have factored in security), but perhaps running a VM desktop on the server might be an option, or running the server as a VM inside a destkop operating system? – Paul Jul 9 '12 at 6:20
Doesn't Kerberos handle the security side of things? That plus encrypting the disk should cover everything. Running a VM doesn't work that well as I need gpu acceleration on the desktop and having the desktop dependant on a VM it runs is asking for trouble. – Technicolour Jul 9 '12 at 7:36
Desktop dependencies on AD aren't clear cut, particularly with cached credentials, but in any case, you could run the vm as a service so it is running prior to login. So the answer to your question is "yes", but was there something more you were trying to get out of this question? – Paul Jul 9 '12 at 12:45
Basically, I wasn't 100% sure about the security sides of things and I wanted a more clear view before I went ahead (other than "surely Kerberos is secure enough") – Technicolour Jul 9 '12 at 21:01
A VPS that can support the ADDS would be quite expensive though. You'll need at least 1GB of RAM to avoid exessive paging (and loads of event log warnings of the server being unresponsive.) My suggestion is use an old laptop as the domain controller. – Jul 9 '12 at 21:43

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