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W2003 Domain Controller demotion

Posted on 2011-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have one flat W2003 server domain with 2 Domain Controllers. I need to demote 1 Domain Controller so I end up with only 1 Domain Controller. Please let me know steps necessary in order to avoid any problems. This is a production environment.
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Question by:virtech
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36497068
Make a FULL backup of both servers.

Transfer any FSMO roles it may hold to the other server.

Make sure the other server is both a DNS server and Global Catalog.

Make sure DNS is configured on the remaining server so it's not using the one to be removed.

Run DCPROMO and demote.
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 36497069
First of all if this is production not recommended to only run with 1 DC

You use dcpromo to demote   http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771844(WS.10).aspx#BKMK_remove_domain_interface

If the box holds any FSMO roles transfer them.

Make sure if this box is running DNS that the other one also has DNS and clients are pointing to it.

...but again try to run with 2 DCs.  Just think if you only have one and that crashes hard.  

Thanks


Mike
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Author Comment

by:virtech
ID: 36497096
Best pratices dictate 2 Domain Controllers.

Cost constraints demand 1 domain controller.

Who's correct: Accounting or IT?
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 36497118
You have to tell Accounting what is the cost if the single DC goes down and what is that outage worth to the company.

If you have one DC and that dies hard (major hardware failure for example) you will have definite downtime for users with hours/days worth of work.

If you have two then the users should not even notice(or barely notice) if one dies hard.

It is not a lot of money to build a low end second DC.

Thanks

Mike
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Author Comment

by:virtech
ID: 36497145
Good point.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36497178
I do agree- going down to 1 DC is dangerous and you should have two.

How is reducing a DC going to decrease costs?  If you pay for maintenance by an IT company, then logically, YOU are not asking this question because the IT company should be doing this at your request.

Power costs are minimal - $100-200 per year.  

Admin/Maintenance costs - if one server is going to be the deciding factor in laying someone off, then you're probably doing WAAAAAAAAAAY to much to "maintain" the server.  Basic monitoring and maintenance should amount to just a couple of hours per month.  If that.
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Author Comment

by:virtech
ID: 36497236
Yeah, it's a bit complicated. I'm in charge of making this happen but they have an outside IT company who charges them per device supported. I'm supposed to reduce their devices so they pay less per month.
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Accepted Solution

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Sandeshdubey earned 2000 total points
ID: 36501051
You can explain the cleint about impact of single DC in the enviroment and let the decision be taken by client on the same.

If they still want to continue with removal of DC.Ran dcpromo to remove the DC from network.Also check the FSMO role if the server you are planning to demote is FSMO role holder then you have to transfer the role to other DC before you proceed with removal.

Also the cleint PC should point to the existing online DC i.e change all of the clients , to point to the online DC for their preferred DNS server this may be in DHCP options or the TCP/IP settings.


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