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Windows Server version for new PDC

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-21
I have the usual setup with two DCs, each running on W2003 32-bit at a client. It's a small shop with < 10 workstations and two file servers.

I wish to add a new DC as the PDC leaving the old PDC as a normal DC.

But which server OS should the new PDC run in? Should I jump to W2012 R2 or will a previous version be fine? I have a W2008 license which could be allocated for the purpose.
Or I could ask: Will a W2012 R2 based PDC add any relevant benefit for this scenario compared to a PDC running W2008 or even W2003?

The plan is soon to install an Exchange 2013 server. Will that change requirements to the level of AD?

/gustav
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Question by:Gustav Brock
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by:Chris Millard
Chris Millard earned 400 total points
ID: 39796771
The minimum OS requirement of Exchange 2013 is Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1), so if your license covers R2 then you may as well stick with that.

Whichever option you go for, you'll need to update the schema.
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Will Szymkowski earned 800 total points
ID: 39796781
You can have FSMO roles on any DC in your environment that is a R/W DC. This has no barring on the type of OS you have. Personally i like to put the FSMO roles on the server that has the most resources. I say this because when you add FSMO roles to a DC it creates overhead which requires more resources to be used.

Exchange 2013 requires a domain/forest  functional level of 2003 or higher. As long as you have that you will be fine. As for the server side you can use 2008 R2 or 2012. Personally if you have a license ues the latest (mitigates from doing OS upgrades in the future) OS version. If not 2008 R2 will work fine for the install.

Exchange 2013 minimum system requirements

Will.
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by:Mike Kline
Mike Kline earned 800 total points
ID: 39796850
A lot of the functionality comes when you updated your domain and forest functional levels (AD recycle bin for example.).

Having said that I'd at least try to get to 2012 because of the new ADAC and things that will make it easier for administration.  

Nice job getting to 2 DCs.  I've seen plenty of folks try to get away with one on a small network and that thing crashes hard and then they have a lot of work to do.  That second one gives you some insurance.

Thanks

Mike
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by:Gustav Brock
ID: 39796871
Thanks all of you, that was fast!

I should point out that both Exchange 2013 and the new DC will be separate installs on two dedicated servers.

So is it correctly understood that for operations I could go with W2003+ for the DC and W2008 R2 for the Exchange 2013 server, but should choose W2012+ for the DC to be prepared for future updates and to have the ADAC functionality?

/gustav
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 39796880
that is what I'd do, ADAC is there in 2008 R2 but it is greatly improved in 2012.

Thanks

Mike
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by:Gustav Brock
ID: 39796907
Thanks! Much appreciated.
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