DC migration

I am in the process of planning to upgrade my domain controllers. I am currently running Server 2003. I have a couple of questions as I am podering a few different configurations. Are there any known issues with making you domain controllers virtual vs physical? I am running ESXi 5.1 with 3 hosts in an HA configuration. Also, what are the pros/cons of upgrading all the way to Server 2012 versus Server 2008 R2?
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ktpoitmAsked:
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Commented:
IT is best practice to have at least on physical DC on the domain.
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Their is a lot of debate to have all your DC virtual. I personally prefer to have one DC running on a physical box. Regarding 2008 R2 vs 2012, definitely 2012. Why to spend all this time migrating to 2008 R2 and then again to migrate to 2012.

Some good reading "Virtual Domain Controllers and Windows Server 2012 Improvements".

Also read "Safe virtualization of domain controllers ":http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831734.aspx
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Mike KlineCommented:
Windows 2012 has some safety features built in for virtual DC.  ESX 5.1 supports the features

http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2013/01/22/list-of-hypervisors-supporting-vm-generationid.aspx

http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2012/09/07/new-features-in-active-directory-domain-services-in-windows-server-2012-part-12-virtualization-safe-active-directory.aspx

The caveat to the previous statement is that if you have two sites for example and have your virtual machines split then it is safe to go all virtual.

The danger of going all virtual is if you are running all your DCs on the same host or connected to the same back end storage and although unlikely if the storage or hosts totally dies you are in trouble because all your machines are gone.  

Thanks

Mike
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SandeshdubeySenior Server EngineerCommented:
Configuring DC either from clone/snapshot/image is not recommended.

How to Virtualize Active Directory Domain Controllers

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/06/10/how-to-virtualize-active-directory-domain-controllers-part-1.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/06/15/how-to-virtualize-active-directory-domain-controllers-part-2.aspx

Deployment Considerations for Virtualized Domain Controllers
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/d2cae85b-41ac-497f-8cd1-5fbaa6740ffe(v=ws.10)#deployment_considerations_for_virtualized_domain_controllers

For DCs virtualization, not the that it recommended to have at least one physical DC / DNS / GC server that holds all FSMO roles.
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