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Adding Windows Server 2003 or 2008 into existing 2003 Domain

Posted on 2009-05-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We currently have one 2003 DC and a 2003 exchange server.  I have ordered the hardware for another server to be used as a Data Server (File Server - Not Database Server).  Both of the existing servers are running 32bit Windows 2003 Server.  I will be moving approx. 800GB of files (Doc, excel, images, etc) to the new server.  Would I benifit from a 64 bit OS and would there be any conflicts with the existing servers on 32 bit.  Also, whether or not if I choose 64 or 32bit, how about suggestions on incorporating a 2008 server with 2 other 2003 servers?  Should I just stick to 2003 for now?
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Question by:kmillernet
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24378512
For file server purposes 64 bit won't do much for you... but if you purchase server through a volume license agreement, then you can switch as needed (will require a fresh install).  OEM copies are cheaper, but are locked to the hardware they are sold with - volume licenses can be moved to other servers.  Plus a volume license will give you downgrade rights, so you can install 2003 but buy 2008 and when you want to use 2008, you can at no additional charge.

There's no problem mixing 2008 and 2003 servers... the only restriction you have is that you cannot change your domain functionality level to 2008 (if you use Active Directory AND you have a 2008 server UNTIL you remove the last 2003 DOMAIN CONTROLLER - other 2003 servers can still exist).
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by:kmillernet
ID: 24378627
Are there any new wonderful benefits to the 2008 software? Performance?  Also, we have access to 2003 and 2008 licenses.
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 24378663
There are benefits... but it depends on your network... and one I forgot when I first posted - if you have Vista/Windows 7 clients AND Gigabit networking, network performance has been greatly improved in Vista/Windows 7 to Server 2008 systems.  Of course, you still have other bottlenecks to deal with.

There are also security considerations in that you could setup a file server using Server Core instead of the full blown product, reducing the need to patch and update.
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