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Best method to move a 2k3 DC to physically different 2k8 server?

Posted on 2009-05-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hello,
Current my network consists of two DC's (DC1 and DC2).  DC1 is the DC with the GC. I want to move the entire AD from this server to a physically new 2k8 server.  Which is the best/most reliable method in doing this?
Should I promote the 2k8 server to a DC with all roles, and then let replication copy all the data to the new server, and then demote the old DC1 server?  
Or
should I upgrade the 2k3 server to 2k8, make a backup, and move the entire backup over to the 2k8 box?  

Obviously the second option is a longer process (and in my mind, more prone to data errors)

 The reason I have not mentioned DC2 is because it is running purely as a backup, and it's primary function is actually
 as an internal sharepoint server.

 My network does have 2 sharepoint servers, Exchange 2k7, MsSQL 2k5 and 2k8 servers.  I intend to add a 2k8 storage server and run a small SAN in the near future.

 Also, a small side question: Is there a tool that will validate an AD for "best practices" ?  

The reason I ask, is because I was not the one who setup this AD forest, and it seems to have some issues. For example: If I create a new user in AD, the user does not automatically get replicated to the exchange server. Any good resources/books/websites would be awesome information to have.

 Any help/suggestions are MORE then welcome and apreciated,

 O.B.
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Question by:privasoft
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:ddanonimity
ID: 24406760
Connect the server to the network and promote it to a domain controller in active directory. The promote it to GC. It should automatically propogate from one server to the other.
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by:bluntTony
ID: 24406771
Your best bet would be to promote the new server to become a DC, then demote the old PC. You don't need to backup the entire server to transfer the AD database.
When the new server is promoted it'll get a complete copy of AD. Besides, like you say, you're asking for hardware related problems using the backup method.
Before you demote the original server, transfer any FSMOs over to the new server and make it a GC. Bear in mind that this is just AD, not anything else on the original server.
When you say that the users aren't appearing on the Exchange server, is the Exchange server also a domain controller? How are you viewing the users on the Exchange server?
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Author Comment

by:privasoft
ID: 24407082
The exchange server is NOT a DC, and I am using Exchanges console to view users.  
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Author Comment

by:privasoft
ID: 24407149
I forgot to add that the DC1 server is also running as a DHCP and DNS server, will promoting the 2k8 server also port these configurations ?
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OriNetworks earned 300 total points
ID: 24407443
After promoting the server 2008 server and moving all roles, you would of course have to install any other roles that the original server was hosting. So on the new 2008 server you will have to update any DNS settings and install DHCP. If installed correctly, DNS should not require any additional configuration in order to replicate correctly. You can use netdiag and dcdiag to verify AD functionaility before demoting DC1

As for Exchange 2007 not "seeing users"...from my understanding with the new architecture of Exchange 2007, it isnt as closely integrated as it use to be. User mailboxes will not automatically be created so the mailboxes wont exist until you actually create it for the existing user account. To avoid doing extra work, you can setup an exchange shell script and put it in task manager that will check for user accounts without mailboxes and create them.
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Expert Comment

by:bluntTony
ID: 24409637
DNS will be moved over as it is (or should be) part of the AD database.

Just install the DNS server role in 'Role Management' and the DNS zones will drop into the DNS console on the new server. DHCP is not integrated with AD so you will have to add the role and configure the new server. You can make a backup of the existing DHCP DB and import it into the new DHCP server, but with a lot of setups it's a quick job to just configure the new server from scratch. Once you've done this, just disable the DHCP service on the old server and the new one will start giving leases out.


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