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Domain controller FSMO roles

Posted on 2013-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
Hello all,

Here goes...

I presently have a W2k3 std server with all DC, DNS, DHCP and Wins roles installed as well as being the Exchange 2003 std host. (I know, I know, not best practice).

I am presently in the process of migrating everything to a W2012 datacenter environment (on VMware).  I have setup a 2 new DCs (PDC and BDC) that will take over for the old one and I want to transfer the FSMO roles between the new DCs.  1st DC will handle forest roles (Schema and Domain) while 2nd Dc will handle domain roles (RID, Infrastructure and PDC emulator).  And yes, there will be a separate exchange server vm.

I have not yet gone ahead with this because I read that transfering the roles might "break" my exchange server and we all know that would be unacceptable.

Have any of you had to do this type of transfer in the past?  Did you have any problems and if so how can I prevent them or correct them if they present themselves?

Thanks!
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Question by:Jay-P_C
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by:valmatic
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by:rajivkumar07
rajivkumar07 earned 166 total points
ID: 39656735
I don't see anything breaking when transferring the roles.

We have a mixed environment of directory services. AD 2003 with server 2008 as domain controllers. I just moved the forest FSMO from 2003 to 2008 and we didnt't get into any issues and we are using exchange 2010.

I would suggest if you can bring server 2012 in your environment and make them additional DCs and let them cook for a while. After that, transfer the forest fsmo roles to one of them and then wait again to make sure everything works. Then you can transfer the rest of the fsmos to another 2012 DC.

Decommissioned 2003 when you think all is well including legacy apps stuff.
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Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 39657169
Transferring FSMO roles should not be a problem.  HOWEVER, demoting the DC hosting exchange *IS* a problem.  That's why you need to uninstall Exchange prior to demotion.  If you remove the GC function on the 2003 system, you will have a problem as well, though it SHOULD find the new GC in a relatively short amount of time.

Also, UNLESS you have multiple domains, I wouldn't both splitting the roles... it's pretty pointless.  Indeed, *IF* you aren't experienced in AD restores and don't understand what an authoritative restore is, you should spend some time learning about AD recovery procedures (when to use them, how to use them) or you should just have ONE DC, not two.  Especially if you're hosting both on the same virtual server.
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Author Comment

by:Jay-P_C
ID: 39659446
Thank you all for taking the time to help me.

I do not have multiple domains but I do have multiple sites (5) each with it's own DFS server to provide files access in the event that there is IP link failure with the head office.  Maybe I will put a BDC at the next largest office to ensure AD & DNS availabilty to all users...

I have no intention of touching the Exchange server until everything on the 2003 has been successfully migrated to the 2013 box.

Cheers!
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39660237
With multiple sites multiple DCs can make sense... just MAKE SURE you understand the correct methods of backing up and restoring AD DCs though again, I wouldn't bother splitting the FSMO roles... with a single domain it's pointless.  And if you ever added another domain, you could split them just before.
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by:Jay-P_C
ID: 39663170
Thank you leew
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