I want to transition our Windows 2003 32-bit domain controllers to Windows 2008 R2 64-bit domain controllers, moving from physical servers to VMware VMs in the process. My primary DC is also our primary file server. I have read several articles on transitioning a domain to a new platform and understand that this is not an atypical need. The snag I have is that we use some proprietary software that unfortunately has UNC paths specified in very many places. While changing these paths is obviously not impossible, it would make the transition to the new DCs far more noticeable to my users and risky to me than I'd like. We're a small shop and I don't have a real test lab (although VMware admittedly does help with isolating production from test).
What would be the best way to build out new servers to replace the old and still be able to keep the shared files accessible at \\oldserver\\fileserver instead of \\newserver\fileserver? It seems I might be able to make this work with a DNS alias by following a couple of the directions at http://www.geekshangout.com/?q=node/14
but I don't know if that would cause me problems in a production environment.
What are my options? Am I pretty much stuck with creating a new server name and changing all of the UNC paths?