Windows SBS 2003 in Windows 2008 domain

Posted on 2014-04-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-04-13
Hello experts,

I have recently upgraded my domain to Windows 2008 R2.
Now I have a Windows SBS 2003 server which I want to use as a backup/additional domain controller.
I have googled this but all the informations I am getting is in reverse i.e., adding Windows 2008 as backup/additional domain controller.
Is it possible to add Windows SBS 2003 as backup server to Windows 2008 domain?

Question by:abdul_sami
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Assisted Solution

Jason_Perryman earned 150 total points
ID: 39980465
No, Windows Small Business Server 2003 is intended to be the Primary Domain Controller only.  It will not operate as a BDC for a single or multiple domains.

LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39980476
When SBS is on a network, it HAS to hold ALL FSMO roles and basically will be the 'Primary' Domain Controller (although that term has long since been retired).

You can add SBS 2003 to the existing domain running Windows 2008, but you will have to transfer the FSMO roles to the SBS server, or rather, it will take them from the existing FSMO holder when it is installed.

Both server can and will happily run as Domain Controllers - although you may read plenty of information about that not being the case, it simply isn't true.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 39980592
Speaking of retired... support for SBS 2003 is retired this month.  If you can find, and you probably can, and want the advantages of SBS, look for SBS 2011.
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Author Comment

ID: 39981110
Thank you for the inputs, experts.

Correct me if  I am wrong, as per my knowledge SBS editions have been discontinued by Microsoft.
Moreover, if I have to make the SBS as primary domain controller, I will better not go for it.
I don't want to disturb my existing Windows 2008 R2 server as DC.
Instead, I think I should better install another Win 2008 R2 and make it as additional/backup DC.

Comments/suggestions please.
LVL 76

Accepted Solution

Alan Hardisty earned 150 total points
ID: 39981182
SBS is no more - that is correct.  The last version that shipped was SBS 2011 and that was released back in March 2011, so it's already 3 years old and now as scarce as rocking-horse do-do if you are looking to get hold of a copy.

SBS 2003 support has just been discontinued as Larry pointed out.

A much better choice for 2nd Domain Controller would be another Windows 2008 R2 server, or even a Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 as 2008 is now getting a little bit old too!  SBS is Windows Server and Exchange Server and if you are only looking for a Domain Controller, then SBS would be adding far more to your network than you would need.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 39981471
And if you have limited numbers of users/computers in your org, consider Windows Server 2012 R2, either Essentials or with the Essentials role.  This gives you PC backup and Remote Web Access.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39997320
Thanks for all your comments. I have distributed the points based on the answers  i like the most.
Thanks again.

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