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Is there a way to directly upgrade Windows 2008 R2 Domain Controllers to Windows 2012 R2?

Posted on 2014-04-28
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We have 4 Domain controllers running over 100 GPOs which are all Virtual Machines running on Windows 2012 R2 Hosts. I was just wondering if there's a way to directly upgrade the Domain controllers from Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 R2. There are over 50 servers in the farm, including an RDS Farm. Would it break anything if I perform a direct upgrade? How would it affect the remainder of the servers in the farm that are joined up to the domain? I just need to know if there's a way to upgrade, or even a TechNet article that covers how to do this, and whether it's recommended. Again, everything is virtualized, so they are all VMs. Is it easier to do a clean install of Windows 2012 R2? If so, how would the functional level be configured, and at what point does the functional level need to be raised to 2012? Thanks!
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Question by:synoptek
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Bembi earned 2000 total points
ID: 40028321
DC is would never upgrade, especially if you have such an amount of servers. You can add a 2012 DC to an 2008 environment. By adding new DCs, you can remove older ones, one by one. If all DCs are replaced, you can raise the domain level to the lowest existing DC.
Means, if all DCs are replaces, you can raise the domain /forest functional level to the next stage.
As long as you have older DCs in place, the oldest DC determines the domain / forest functional level. As long as you have enought server resources, just add never servers to the domain until all oler DCs are replaced by never OS.
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