is it possible to add 2012 standard server to sbs2003 domain

i have installed a new virtual 2012 standard server as a member server into my 2003 sbs domain.
i have installed sql on the 2012 server and the plan is to eventually move the sql databases from 2003 to 2012
however i dont want to rush this and want to take time and test properly
i am also using exchange on the sbs server but i plan to move to hosted exchange as i only use 1 email address.
I would like to promote this 2012 server to be a domain controller so i can have active directory redundancy.
I also would like to be able to use this server as a second dhcp server and store data on it.
Is it possible to run this server as a 2nd dc in my 2003 sbs domain
I dont want to be forced into retiring my sbs server
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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:

EULA rules states SBS servers should be the only ones in a network. In other words Microsoft does not approve 2 domain controllers in one SBS driven network.
It is possible though but not recommendable.

There is no problem adding the 2012 box as a memberserver (as long as your domain functional level is 2003)
This is one of most common mistakes about SBS you may install additional servers and make them Domain Controller.

Only thing that is the case you can only have one SBS server in your domain and the SBS server must be the "primary" domain controller and hold all 5 FSMO roles. The link in the previous comments is exactly describing what is and is not accepted.

For adding a windows server 2012 DC make sure you forest and domain functional level is 2003. Before adding the new server as domain controller make sure you check your server and domain on errors using bpa and dcdiag so you will not run into replication issues etc.

For some additional information see this blog post:

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dougdogAuthor Commented:
yes i will only have 1 sbs srver as the new server is 2012 standard
currently all the fsmo roles would be on the 2003 sbs server
so is it ok to add the new server as a domain controller
could i demote the sbs server to a member server and continue to use sql and exchange on it
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Yes you are fine if you just install the new 2012 server as a domain controller.

But it is not alright to demote the SBS 2003 this is against the license agreement, SBS needs to be a domain controller if you demote it you will probably destroy other features of SBS. Only time you demote a SBS server is the moment you are removing it from your domain completly.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
you can promote a 2012 server in a 2003 SBS domain
the requirements are that the 2003 SBS hold the FSMO roles and be at the root of the domain

i don't recommend having this same 2012 domain controller running sql
dougdogAuthor Commented:
i have created a seperate 2012 sql server its also virtual
so how would i go about removing the sbs server
dougdogAuthor Commented:
and is it ok to have the 2012 server running as a dc for say 6 months to a year
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented: long as you abide by the 2003 SBS rules, 2012 domain controller can co-exist
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
also, keep in mind that if you decide to deploy a 2012 R2 domain controller, it won't support your 2003 server; forest/domain functional levels have to be 2008 or higher for 2012 R2
dougdogAuthor Commented:
no its 2012 standard
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
understood...just wanted to throw that out there in case you decide to go with R2 either now (once it's available next month) or in the future while your 2003 server is still there
dougdogAuthor Commented:
no problem so it is safe for me to promote the 2012 server to be a dc
as long as i dont touch fsmo roles
this will then give me active directory dns dhcp and dc redundancy??
then i can move the sql install implement exchange 365 move my data then move fsmo roles
and demote sbs server
is this correct?
Yes it is safe to promote 2012 to a dc if you leave the fsmo roles on the SBS.

this will give you DC and dns redundancy, dhcp is not redundant it is not in Active directory and dhcp high availability can only be created since server 2012 (you need two 2012 servers for that).

Than move indeed everything away from your SBS server and I would recommend uninstall exchange before you demote SBS this will cleanup you AD by removing all Exchange objects. It might give you problems in the future if you would like to go back to a local Exchange installation.

After demoting the SBS you have to manual remove some DNS records pointing to the old SBS and delete the computer object from active directory users and computers.
newmanmeNetwork Administrator\EngineerCommented:
I don't know if anyone is still active in this thread, but if so I have a DNS issue in a SBS 2003 adding a 2012 DNS Server.

It says to manually delegate the new server, but I have never done this and am not sure. Our first attempt at this caused complete loss of access to the domain and had to bring in Microsoft Paid support to help cleanup everything after removing the new DC from the Domain.

I have followed the steps in this process, but DNS is giving access denied errors and I cannot connect to the existing DNS on the 2003 server, access denied errors.

Can someone assist me?
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
please open a new question for your issue
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