Avatar of KCU1
 asked on

Mixed Server Domain

I am making preparations to upgrade our primary domain controller to Windows Server 2008 R2 and am finding that I have questions that I can't seem to find answers to.

If I upgrade my PDC to Server 2008 R2 and have 3 other Server 2003 machines as BDCs, can the 3 Server 2003 machines be used to support a full featured Windows 7 Workstation environment with Roaming Profiles?

Keeping in mind that hose Server 2003 Servers will eventually be phased out in favor of Server 2008 R2 machines, are there any disadvantages that are great enough that I would be better off to upgrade the operating systems on all servers now?

When it comes to Active Directory, I have never set up a mixed Domain like that before.  I suppose I would like to discuss what the disadvantages of the Mixed Server Domain are, compared to making a full switch to a pure Server 2008 SR2 Domain...
Windows Server 2008Windows Server 2003Active Directory

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
Sandesh Dubey

8/22/2022 - Mon

you can't get the full benfits of Win 2008 domain until all domain controllers are on Win 2008. You can run a mixed envirnment, I did for about a year, but you have to prepare the forest first with forest prep before you add a Win 2008 box on the domain as a DC. Here's a thread so you dan read more about that:


You must also know/transfer your FSMO roles accordingly:


So eventually, once all of the Server 2003 Domain Controllers are gone, I can then upgrade Active Directory and gain full benefits of Server 2008?

I'm also running multiple other servers (Exchange 2010, Microsoft TMG, MS SQL, etc...).  Can you think of anything I should research regarding those other servers that will help the transition go smooth?

Does it matter if the Server 2008 Domain Controller is 64-bit, while the Server 2003 Domain Controllers are only 32-bit?

32bit verses 64 bit does not matter & yes once the 2003 DCs are gone, you can take full advantage of the Win 2008 DC featrures such as read only DCs, etc. When a Win 2008 DC is introduced to an AD forest the environment will funtion at the lowest level, meaning if a Win 2003 DC is on there, you will have those features. As far as making other things run smooth, All looks fine except I have heard others having issues when messing around with Exchange 2010 but I have no experience in that area, or not enough to feel comfortable giving advice on. Hope this helps.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
Sandesh Dubey

View this solution by signing up for a free trial.
Members can start a 7-Day free trial and enjoy unlimited access to the platform.
See Pricing Options
Start Free Trial
Ask your own question & get feedback from real experts
Find out why thousands trust the EE community with their toughest problems.