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Adding 2008 R2 DC in a 2008 domain with Exchange 2007 SP1 UR4

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Our environment consists of several domain controllers, running a mix of Windows Server 2008 Standard SP2 x86 and Windows Server 2008 Standard SP2 x64.  The domain functional level is 2008.  We also have Exchange in our environment, with roles split amongst several different servers.  The Exchange version is 2007 SP1 UR4.

I was about to set up a new domain controller at a new site and was going to install Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard SP1.  I have no plans on upgrading the OS of the rest of the domain controllers and raising the domain functional level to 2008 R2 at this time.  Before going ahead with the adprep, I decided to do some research.

One comment I saw on one of the Microsoft TechNet forums was that Exchange 2007 doesn't support 2008 R2 DCs until SP1 UR9 or SP2.  Unfortunately, I was not able to discern if the poster meant that it won't function correctly in a 2008 R2 functional level domain or if having even one 2008 R2 domain controller in a lower domain functional level will cause issues with Exchange.  As such, I am posting here.

Can I run a 2008 R2 domain controller in a 2008 functional level domain without also upgrading Exchange to 2007 SP1 UR9 or higher?
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Question by:officecare
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Mike Kline earned 125 total points
ID: 35063594
You need UR9 if the functional level is at 2008 R2 see the exchange matrix here:   http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff728623.aspx

I'd just go to SP3.

Thanks

Mike
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by:officecare
ID: 35064114
I agree that going to Exchange 2007 SP3 would be nice and would eliminate any potential pitfalls here, but it simply isn't an option at this time for a myriad of reasons that I am not going to go into here.

According to that compatibility matrix, it looks like we will be fine at Exchange 2007 SP1 UR4 with a single 2008 R2 domain controller amongst many 2008 domain controllers in a 2008 functional level domain and forest.  Do you concur?
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 35064363
Yes you should be fine according to the matrix, haven't fully tested the scenario byself but that matrix is solid.
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by:officecare
ID: 35070279
I heard this from someone on the Microsoft forums:

"Based on my experience, we can run a Windows 2008 R2 domain controller in the existing Exchange 2007 environment as long as there also exists Windows 2008 SP2 DCs. The newly added Windows 2008 R2 DC won’t affect the normal Exchange operations.

However, to take use of this Windows 2008 R2 DC, you still need to schedule a down time to upgrade the Exchange servers to Exchange 2007 SP2 or later."

This worries me as doing an Exchange patch is precisely what I want to avoid.  I see on the matrix provided by mkline71 that 2008 R2 DCs are supported by Exchange 2007 SP1 (so long as they are not at a 2008 R2 functional level), but then I read that post and it has me worried again.

I think I might open up a support case with MS.
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Author Comment

by:officecare
ID: 35090112
Ok, I have confirmed and am relieved to know that installing a 2008 R2 DC will not cause issues with our existing Exchange 2007 SP1 UR4 implementation.  However, another bit of fear has come up.


I have discovered that two of our ten DCs are 2008 SP1 and not 2008 SP2.  Will this be an issue if I plan on going forward and adding a 2008 R2 SP1 DC?
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by:officecare
ID: 35143966
The answer to my last question is "no".
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