Installing 2003 domain controller to the remote branch area office


We have 22 windows 2000 domain controllers in total part of single active directory domain.
Five of them are based in the head office and has operational master roles and global catalog. Remaining servers are in the remote branch offices. Each remote branch office has 1 domain controller part of the same domain and its own AD site and configured as global catalog.

We have recently built a hosting center in new remote site, and i want to install 2003 domain controller in hosting center. Now I understand i have to run adprep /forestprep and /domainprep before i install 2003 domain controller. But what is the proper way install domain controller in the remote site. Should i install 2003 domain controller first here in head office where i am at themoment and then ship the server in the hosting center and change IP addresses as there will be a different subnet in hosting center and i may have to built seperate AD site. Or can i install remotely domain controller but then there will be a replication traffic as well.

What is the proper way installing 2003 domain controller in the remote site and in the existing 2000 envoirnment. OR should i install 2000 additional domain controller in the hosting center and should i forget about 2003.
please tell me the detail and correct way of installing. Should i be installing as additional domain controller and also tell me about the roles. Should i then transfer few of the domain roles to hosting center domain controller as well?

Thanks in Advance

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Go through this web page it has information about installing domain controller @ remote site over the lan

Go through this web page it has information about installing domain controller @ remote site over the lan

Hi tech2010,

I'm not sure why you are bothering with Win2003 any licenses you buy today entitle you to Win2008, but anyway, I believe the correct upgrade process would be to run the "forestprep" on your Schema Master box and "domainprep" on your Infrastructure Master box. After that it shouldn't be too difficult to upgrade the rest of your Win2000 domain controllers to Win2003. Follow the article from Microsoft I've listed below and you'll be fine. 
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Sorry I missed the second part of your question the first go around, but yes you want to consolidate your roles to the domain controllers in your head office or hosting center. Which ever one you feel will be your data center. The importance of the Schema Master and Infrasturcutre can never be overstated. For performance reason keep those two roles on seperate domain controllers and you should have no problems.
tech2010Author Commented:
Can I keep my all existing 2000 domain controllers (22) as it is (without upgrade to 2003) and just add 2 new windows 2003 domain controller. Is this ok or do i really have to upgrade all 22 domain controllers to 2003 as i dnot want this to upgrade all dc's. Can i run mixed envoirnment?
And the same thing applies to my exchange servers as well. I have got two exchange 2000 in headoffice and two exchange 2003 servers in the remote site in hosting center. But i have not moved users mailboxes to 2003 yet because I had moved one mailbox and sent some test emails but it did not work so then i realize that i need to have a domain controller on the same site where i have 2003 exchange servers in order to work properly so thats how everything started where i thought that i will install 2003 domain controller rather than 2000 domain controller. But the link Oztrodamus sent seems very complex. Is there any easy way how can i achieve this?
Correct you can keep all your Win2000 domain controllers. By default when you add or upgrade existing Windows 2003 domain controllers into an existing Windows 2000 domain it upgrades the funchtional level of the domain to Mixed mode.
tech2010Author Commented:
OK, but can i also leave all the roles on the existing 2000 domain controllers as well, as they are at the moment, and not transfer any roles on 2003 domain controllers.

Another worry is that, if i don't transfer any role to my hosting center 2003 domain controller and when users will be accessing any resrouces of hosting center from the remote location. It will slow down the performance?
The short answer is yes/no if you leave the roles where they are you will need to upgrade those domain controllers.
tech2010Author Commented:
so it this means that if i add / introduce 2003 domain controller into my existing 2000 envoirnment, I will definately have to transfer roles onto 2003 server OR I have to upgrade my existing 2000 domain controllers who has all these roles.

So it that is true then probably the best is if i upgrade all my 5 DCs who holds the roles to 2003 and once they are upgraded then i add additional 2003 into remote site. how does this sound?
You need to upgrade your existing Schema and Infrastructure master role domain controllers.
Can I ask why you have each role on a seperate box? Overkill is the word that comes to mind.
tech2010Author Commented:
No actually we have PDC,RID,Domain Naming Master on the same domain controller, and IInfrastructure master and seperate Schema master on seperate domain controller. I think which is right.

So its mean that I 100% need to upgrade my schema master and infra DC to 2003 otherwise I can't install additional 2003 DC into my existing 2000 domain?

Also as you mentioned that all i need first to upgrade existing schema and infrastructure master to 2003 and then i can add additional 2003 box. But again the debate will be either i should first build addtional domain controller in my head office and then ship to remote or install addtional DC into remote site?
I think I'm starting to understand what you are debating, but it's not really a debate, because you cannot have a Windows 2003 domain controller in a Windows 2000 domain. It's not possible so you before you think of doing anything in the remote offices you need to upgrade your head office domain controllers.

Microsoft reccomends in this regard to place all the FSMO roles onto a sinlge box, isolate it from the network, back it up and then upgrade it. Only after verifying the upgrade was successful do you reconnect it to the production network. This way if the upgrade goes south you only need to restore the single domain controller.

Regarding the remote office you are asking if you should upgrade the domain controller over the WAN I would strongly advise against it unless you have a remote console card.

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