upgrading Windows server 2008 R2 to Server 2012 R2

I have a DC, RDS and data server on one domain.  The owner want's the server upgraded from 2008 R2 to 2012 R2.  Is there an easy upgrade path or do I need to create new servers and move the users and data?  All the server are virtual server.
kfasickAsked:
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becraigCommented:
There is a great youtube video I have used in the past:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUHV9rqnA-o

I do not see any caveats in the process used in the video and actually find it is less error prone since you are able to see this step by step.
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
I never run upgrades on the Servers and instead setup/build a new server and migrate everything over.  There are lots of migration guides to follow and below is an example.  It takes a little while but the transition was simple.  How many users do you currently support?

This guide shows a simple migration from 2008 R2 to 2012 R2 with screen shots:  Migration Guide
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Upgrades are NEVER as stable as clean installs - you're running VMs - MIGRATE, do not upgrade.
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McKnifeCommented:
Agreed, Lee W, however, on a new DC (2012 and higher), he will not be able to install the RDP role. If he upgraded, it would remain.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
And he shouldn't be running RDS on a DC AT ALL - that's a HORRIBLE thing for security and at best not recommended and at worst (and likely) not supported.  With 2012 R2, he gets two VM licenses - the appropriate thing to do is to take one of the VM 2012 licenses and make it an RDS servers.  One license covers both roles and gets things working in a more secure/supported/supportable way.
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kfasickAuthor Commented:
There are three different server, all VM's.  One DC, one terminal server and the other is a data server.  All servers are 2008 R2.  I don't have the resources to create three new virtual server on the host.  So I was wondering if there is a way to upgrade each server from 2008 R2 to 20012 R2.
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becraigCommented:
To be frank, I would start with a clean install of the NEW DC and move the FSMO roles there, then simply migrate the other servers as indicated in the youtube video I posted in comment:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Q_28491056.html#a40241823
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you don't have resources to do all three at once, do one at a time.  Or setup a temporary VM Host, build them there, and then migrate them to the main host.  That's the beauty of virtualization.  "I don't have enough hardware" really isn't an excuse these days.
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kfasickAuthor Commented:
All answers sound good.
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