2003 to 2008 Domain Functional Level upgrade

rslive used Ask the Experts™

I have almost removed all my 2003 DC's and will be looking to raise the domain functional level to 2008 for my new 2008DC's.  I do have a 2003 Exchange server which i understand is supported under a 2008 functional level as long as it's not a DC.

Any pointers or guidance on what to look out for or potential pitfulls would be greatly appreciated.
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Make good backups and then go for the schema extension if you have not already.  The functional level just says that a server running an OS < Functional Level can not be a DC for the most part and will give o access to any new features for ad introduced in the newer OS.  I have never personally run into any isses with AD extension or change in functional level and although they can happen, it is rare.

Make a good backup.  Log into the DC you are going to upgrage.  Disconnect the connection the the network.   Make the changes.  Verify it worked.  If all good hook it back up and let it replicate.
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Member server can safely exists in windows 2008 domain functioal level as it is not an domain controller.

You are going good with this . If you have removed all the Domain Controllers Running windows server 2003 then its a Very good Idea to Raise the Functional Level as You will get extra Features as Sysvol Migration with DFSR,RODC ( Can deploy with 2003 DC's as well but not recommended) and much much more .

-- You can still have member Servers Running with windows 2003 as you have already mentioned .

-- I dont see any issues with this Process .As this can not be reverted back once done,Please check again if there would be any compatiblity Issues you might face with Third Party Apps. or any other application which is hosted in your Network .

-- As far as Windows features are concerned i would say it would be a very good move to raise the Functional Level to 2008 for Better security,Extra Features and Reliablity .

Thanks .
Premkumar YogeswaranSr. Analyst - System Administrator
Domain Functinal level is only for Domain Controllers..! So you dont need to worry about the member server ever so it is having exchange...!

For more details refer this article in Petri..!


All great info, Thanks!

I have split the points, many thanks

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