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Explain configuration scenarios concernig Win Server 2008 with a Win Server 2003 on same subnet.

Posted on 2013-11-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
Hi Experts,

I am sure that you all have had some configuration that puzzles you. I have been an SBS tech for 10 years and have never had another server on the same domain/subnet.

Please explain how a 2008 server can co-exist with a 2003 server on the same domain and subnet. I see folders including SBS this and SBS that on the 2008 server.

I have a new situation where I must provide support for a network that my company inherited which has a Win Server 2008 and a Win Server 2003.

The 2003 server was the PDC before the 2008 server was introduced. I see files on the desktop of the 2008 server concerning FSMO changes.

I think that the 2003 server was demoted and the server 2008 was installed giving the 5 FSMO roles for the domain. I know that the 2008 server is the domain controller of this network as it is running AD, DHCP, DNS, etc.

Problem - The 2003 server is still running a proprietary app that users input data. The servers are connected to the same e-switch located in the Computer Room. There is only 1 monitor which is plugged into the 2008 server. There is a shortcut to access the 2003 server on the desktop of the 2008 server.

All users authenticate to the new 2008 server but access the proprietary database on the 2003 server. Could it be that the 2003 server is now merely considered a computer on the domain?

Are all subservient servers to the PDC considered computer accounts?

Forgive my ignorance,

Question by:Netsyssol
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Skyler Kincaid earned 2000 total points
ID: 39626382
This article will tell you how to make sure that the server 2008 has all the master roles:


Here is the part you will use:

Click Start, click Run, type dsa.msc, and then click OK.
Right-click the selected Domain Object in the top left pane, and then click Operations Masters.
Click the PDC tab to view the server holding the PDC master role.
Click the Infrastructure tab to view the server holding the Infrastructure master role.
Click the RID Pool tab to view the server holding the RID master role.

If the 2008 holds all the master roles the only thing that the server 2003 server might still be is DNS and a secondary domain controller. A good test would be to shutdown the 2003 after hours and make sure that you can still log into the workstations, access files and use everything like normal.

Eventually you will need to remove the 2003 server, migrate the database and application to a new server, and verify that there are no more DNS or other entries for the old server.

To answer you primary questions: the situation you described is very possible.

Author Comment

ID: 39626390

Damn! I have posed many questions on EE. This is the best answer that has been provided by an EE expert.

The 2008 server is providing all FSMO roles. There is a proprietary app still running on the 2003 server that users input data on. And Maybe some folders shared on the 2003 server as well.

There are about 15 users accessing this database app. I have documented all mapped drives and performed IPCONFIG /ALL to make sure that the nic was getting IP through the 2008 server - DNS as well. Checked properties of all 15 users and they belong to the same domain as the users that do not access this database.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39626421
What do you mean by the last part that you posted?

Checked properties of all 15 users and they belong to the same domain as the users that do not access this database.

If it was me I would see if there is anyway to migrate the database application by working with the developer, software support or whoever provided the application.

I would build a new server, install ESXi, do a physical to virtual of the current Server 2003 server, make sure I have good backups, build a new Server 2008 server to migrate the application too and eventually shutdown the old server.

Make sure you have good backups of everything. That is by far the most important step in anything done in IT. The most overlooked step also.

I can't tell if you were joking about that being the best answer or if you were being serious.

Author Comment

ID: 39626438
Meaning - the 15 users that access this database of the 30 total domain users (including the 15 users) all get their IP and DNS from the 2008 server. I have not verified user accounts on the 2008 server nor computer accounts.

I need to see how the 15 users are accessing the data on the app on the 2003 server. I would imagine that they are authenticating somehow to this app or 2004 server or is their shared access to the app?

This was my first day auditing the network. I have set up many SBS servers. This has messed me up with the PDC and another server on the same network.

Pardon my growing pains
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39627274
I am sure the files are shared probably with "everyone" access and the authentication happens with the program, username and password kind of thing. This is probably even more true depending on the age of the software.

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