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Forest Trust - Functional Levels

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I plan to create a forest trust between an AD 2003 forest (2003 native mode) and 2008 R2 AD (2008 R2 functional level) - is this ok to do with the different levels or do I need to leave the 2008 in 2003 mode for the duration of the trust?

Also, is there any technical risk in creating trusts? Is anything likely to break? (other than security risks)
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Question by:GeorgeFromTheBank
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by:ImaCircularSaw
ImaCircularSaw earned 20 total points
ID: 35054917
These functional levels are compatible, you should have no issues.  Makes sure each server can see the other via DNS host name.  Use NSLOOKUP to test.

All the trust does is allow cross-domain authentication, it won't automatically authenticate, only allow you to search another domain for users and assign permissions to them in the trusted domain.  You cannot run 2008 FFL in a domain without any 2008 domain controllers (infact I think all of your DCs have to be 2008.

What are you going to be using the trust for?
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Chev_PCN earned 30 total points
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You do not need to change the domain functional level at all - the trust will function across the forests.
There is no technical risk in creating a trust - you are simply making resources from one domain available in another. The only real risk (in my opinion) is managing the trusts going forward.
Do you have a resource sharing strategy in place?
Do you have a plan to work groups & group membership across trusts?
Are your DNS servers configured correctly?
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by:Chev_PCN
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by:GeorgeFromTheBank
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Thanks for all your responses, very helpful.
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