Demoting Windows SBS 2008 Domain Controller

Posted on 2011-10-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello everyone,
We have a new build Windows Small Business Server 2008 with the latest SP installed. The new build Windows SBS 2008 server was configured to be a domain controller by our vendor mistake, and we already have our own domain controller that is currently running with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. Our goal is to demote this new build Windows SBS 2008 server and make it as a member server.

Can Windows Small Business Server 2008 be a member server of our current Windows 2003 ENT environment?

When demoting this new build SBS 2008 server, and to avoid errors or failing during the demoting process, what are the recommendations or considerations to be taken before we proceed?
Question by:lappladmin
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    Only recommendation I can give is do not do it.

    What plans do you have for the SBS 2008 once it is demoted. That server is made to be the Domain controller. If you are going to use any SBS features it need to be the domain controller.  You can have more than one Domain Controller but the SBS has to have most if not all the FSMO Rolls.
    LVL 56

    Expert Comment

    by:Cliff Galiher
    SBS must both technically and legally be a DC, and furthermore MUST hold all FSMO roles. If you do not want this then you mist not use SBS. A standalone 2008 (or R2) standard server is a better fit, and if you want exchange, separate exchange licenses as well. But if you want the pricing discount and I tegration SBS provides, you uist also accept its requirements.

    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    by:Darius Ghassem
    SBS 2008 can NOT be a member server. SBS is built to be your primary DC for your network.

    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    You other option, than buying a new O/S, is to migrate the existing domain to the new SBS 2008, demote the old 2003 enterprise DC, join it to the SBS domain, and if you like you can promote it to be a second DC in the SBS domain.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    SBS is designed to be the primary DC in an environment. It must hold all FSMO roles. As Robwill suggested, you can do the other way around where you can have existing enterprise servers as member server with DC roles, although FSMO roles will have to be with SBS.
    Any reason why you purchased the SBS licensing instead of standard/enterprise?
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    The other thing to consider is SBS uses different CALs. If you did join the enterprise server do the SBS domain you would have to buy all new CALs for existing users/devices, and keep in ming SBS is limited to 75 users.
    You are probably best to just toss the SBS license and buy a new server std license.

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