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DFS Compatibility

Posted on 2011-02-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have two DFS servers. One DFS server needs to be rebuilt. It is currently running Server 2003 and we would like to load Server 2008. The other DFS server is running Server 2003 and will stay the same. Are there any issues or show stoppers to be aware of if we use two different Server OS's together?
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Question by:jslaymon
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Fridolin Mansmann earned 2000 total points
ID: 34943117
I would do the following:
Remove all DFS links from the server that is to be decommissioned.
Create these DFS links on another(e.g. a member server) server, it is not necessary to do this on an ADDC (Active Directory Domain Controller) => so you have still all the DFS links redundant (just in case)
Then rebuilt the server with W2K8 and later recreate all DFS that are necessary.
I do not see a *general* compatibility problem, also in big environments there are mixed server OS within the same AD and there are DFS on different OS versions.
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by:arnold
ID: 34943180
if this is a windows 2003 pre R2, than you have an issue i.e. the pre win2k3 R2 used NTFRS the same as the sysvol for replication. The newer versions of the OS have a replication feature which is much better.

You could configure DFS to point to two different targets, but their data will not be synchronized in a wind2k3 pre R2 and windows 2008 (R2 or not).
Replication is an important component if the share data is to be stored on two or more systems.
If the only purpose to use DFS is for the domain level share \\addomain\ versus associating the share to a specific server \\servername than as long as you copy the data from one to the other preserving the permissions/settings,etc. you can move the DFS target from one server to another as you need.
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by:Fridolin Mansmann
ID: 34943390
IT doesn't matter whether using 32bit or 64bit operation system
But the domain must be prepared to the new level (adprep, forestprep) etc....

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by:Fridolin Mansmann
ID: 34943465
Also arnold added a good comment. I would think about the lifecyle and also update the other machine to a higher level (= W2K8) in the near future. (how old is this machine?) Or after the second is up and running fine with W2K8 you could also reinstall the other Server2003 machine with Server2008?
Replacing / Re-Installing Domain Controllers can be tricky, be sure to move all necessary roles (Schema master, Operational Master RID, etc...)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801 correctly
This might also be interresting:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255504
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