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replace domain controller

Posted on 2014-09-03
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Last Modified: 2014-09-05
Hi,

I'm using Windows 2003 standard as DC. I need upgrade our network and make more up-to-date.
I ordered new server with Windows Server 2012 on it.
What is the best practice to switch DCs.
My domain controller is working also as file server, dns and DHCP.
Small network, around 40 users.
I was thinking about working completely separate, recreate users, move scripts, recreate share drives, move data.
When done  switch over weekend.
Any comment about this?
Better connect to existing domain and then working on it ?

thanks
henry
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Question by:henryk123
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7 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Rafael
ID: 40302185
What you're wanting to do is possible and there are scripts out there that certainly help. However, if you're under time constraints, I would do a add in the 2012 server into your existing network. Replicate them and afterward move GC to the new server. I would also leave the existing server in place for other functions such as file and print server to keep the load off the new server.
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Brad Groux
Brad Groux earned 1000 total points
ID: 40302218
There is no reason to recreate everything from scratch. You can put the 2012 R2 DC side by side with the 2003 without issue. You can then migrate roles off of the 2003 DC, then eventually demote the DC and remove it from the forest/domain. At that point you can then upgrade the Forest Functional Level to 2012 R2.

Unless you have an AD environment in very bad shape and/or you want to start from scratch - don't rebuild, you're just creating a ton of work for yourself and possibly introducing many issues with your environment that you aren't currently aware of.

AD is extremely resilient, and people go through these sorts of upgrades all the time in environments thousands of times your size without issue.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:DMTechGrooup
ID: 40302224
I would also just place the new server in the domain, make it a DC.. and move stuff from there.  It's not only the files, scripts etc. but when you recreate a domain then all 40 desktops will need to be rejoined.. all user profiles will need to be moved from old profile to new one.. all user custom whatever recreated.. you are talking hours.  Just for a 5 user domain it takes like 4-6 hours to do all that.. so figure about 2 hours per person to get back to what they want.

Moving from a 2003 DC to 2012 is no issue at all.. when you are ready to remove the DC from 2003 then you can also update the forest and domain levels to 2012r2 (hopefully)..
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:David Paris Vicente
ID: 40302545
Just for reminding in case you have in place Exchange 2003, moving to 2012 R2 is not possible if you want to keep mail running.

In case you have Exchange 2003 and want to migrate o 2012 you will need to upgrade exchange first to 2007 or 2010.

David.
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LVL 35

Accepted Solution

by:
Seth Simmons earned 1000 total points
ID: 40302634
you can start by reading these articles on introducing the first 2012 domain controller in your environment so you have an understanding of what is involved.  no need to create a new forest and move users and computers over; simply add to your current domain which can be done at anytime

Introducing the first Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2012/09/03/introducing-the-first-windows-server-2012-domain-controller.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2012/09/06/introducing-the-first-windows-server-2012-domain-controller-part-2-of-2.aspx

once the server is on the domain and is configured as a domain controller, AD and DNS will replicate automatically
i would also check both servers after a couple days for any replication issues - run dcdiag from an elevated command prompt
you will, however, need to change any static IP addresses to use the new server first for DNS and change any DHCP scopes to use the new server for DNS - DHCP will need to be moved manually

Step-By-Step: Migration of DHCP from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012
http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2013/04/29/step-by-step-migration-of-dhcp-from-windows-server-2003-to-windows-server-2012.aspx

you will also need to move the FSMO roles to the 2012 server; suggest running netdom query fsmo from an elevated command prompt first to verify the 2003 server shows all the roles

Transferring FSMO Roles
http://www.petri.com/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm

you will also need to make the 2012 server an authoritative time server since the PDC role will be moved there

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

these series of articles should assist with moving the file services role to the 2012 server

Migrate File and Storage Services to Windows Server 2012
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj863566.aspx

file services and dhcp should be done off hours or on the weekend
you could change your dhcp lease time to a small number so that when you are ready to turn the old one off and the new one on, you don't have to wait long to test if systems and devices to get an address or renew the lease

should give you plenty of reading material to better prepare yourself
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Author Comment

by:henryk123
ID: 40303274
thanks all of you, super helpful information,

One more questions: What about user licensing ?
If I add server 2012 into existing domain all user licenses will work ?
Should I buy user CALS for Windows Server 2012 ?

thanks

h.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40303361
technically it will just work
legally you need to get CALs
should discuss with your vendor or reseller for exactly what you need
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