What are the implications of running AD on a standalone server

I manage a windows server 2008 R2 environment and am planning to migrate to a AD domain. I have just recovered from a network domain DNS failure where a GPO glitch locked out access to all domain machines. I will not want that situation to occur again for any reason so I am considering options.
I already have DNS running on a standalone server with a planned domain name. What I would like to know Is:
1. Can I successfully run AD on a widows 2008 R2 ent machine without joining it to the active directory domain?
2. what exactly the implications are of unticking the DNS option while running dcpromo.exe while installing AD on a server.

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