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Windows Server 2003 to 2012 Migration into a mixed Windows server enviroment

Posted on 2014-07-25
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Last Modified: 2015-03-12
I'm currently managing a windows environment running all Windows 2003 servers (1 master DC and 2 DCs) ; all running AD, DFS, DNS, and DHCP services.

As you can see its time for us to upgrade, so the plan I have is to upgrade all existing windows 2003 servers to a newer version of Windows NOS.  

 -Master DC: windows 2003 -> 2012 (new box)
 -Other two DCs: Windows 2003->2008 (using OS using existing hardware)

So my approach is (rough draft):

1) Add the Windows 2012 R2 server to the domain, then migrate AD from 2003.
2) Add all the services I need on the new server
3) Add Windows 2012 R2 as a DFS member, namespace, and start DFS replication
3) Promote the Windows 2012 DC, and demote the 2003 server
4) Install and configure Windows 2008 server
5) Add the both Windows 2008 server to domain
6) Update AD and make sure AD is replicating
7) Add required domain services
8) Add both Win 2008 as a DFS member, add namespace, and start DFS replication
9) Demote existing Windows 2003 server from domain

Can you anyone who has perform a similar migration or is familiar with this migration, give me their opinion if this is the right approach? If I'm missing a step, please comment.

Also, this is my first time migrating an existing DFS. Is this the right approach...should I configured and migrate DFS on the server and add it as a member before demoting Windows 2003 servers?  I figured if I do it this way it will minimize the down time.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:NatoMas
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Cliff Galiher earned 200 total points
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That is a good approach. There are many "right" approaches. Some people prefer to demote old servers early to minimize replication. Others prefer to pressed DFS to speed up replication there.. so many of your steps have alternatives, but that doesn't mean any of your steps or their order is wrong. Just have backups and VERIFY each step. Make sire AD and DFS are replicating. Watch your event logs throughout the process. Stuff like that. Your approach should be fine.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 150 total points
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Just caught this recently - you should be aware of issues you MIGHT experience while you have 2003 and 2012 R2 DCs on the network:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2014/07/23/it-turns-out-that-weird-things-can-happen-when-you-mix-windows-server-2003-and-windows-server-2012-r2-domain-controllers.aspx
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by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 150 total points
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The issues are for 2003 to 2012 R2
If you are adding DCs with 2012, am not aware any known issues for that

Also your approach have version mismatch i think

If you are adding 2012 or 2012 R2 DCs?

If you are adding 2012 R2 as DFS member, then why you again adding 2008 server as dfs member or this is just typos?
U need to either add 2008 OR 2008 R2 OR 2012 OR 2012 R2 DFS members
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by:NatoMas
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Thanks for all the reply.  

Cliff - I think I will demote the 2003 server after I confirmed Windows 2008 R2 AD and DFS is replicating.

Lee- Good link, issues that I'm not looking forward to deal but have to hopefully Microsoft issue a fix.

Mahesh- Sorry its a typo. 2012 R2 server. I'm running  two other server running DFS which I will be upgrading to Windows 2008 R2.

Thanks,
Again
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by:NatoMas
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Thank you for all your comments. Like Cliff said there are some many ways to approach this. This was just a basic helpful guideline to give me guidance.  I was able to migrate to Windows 2012 R2 succesfully.  Windows 2003 server can co exist with Windows 2012 if the domain function level is set to Windows 2003.
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