Theoretical Failure of FSMO Domain Controller and the Continued Functioning of Active Directory.

I am wondering about the following theoretical scenario.  

In it you have a simple Active Directory based domain being replicated between a few Windows Domain Controllers, and the Domain Controller with which the FSMO or Operations Master Role resides fails or dies.  

In this case, how objectively redundant (not to be mixed up with marketing radiation terms for redundant) is Active Directory in this case?  IE how long will all of the AD hosted up services continue to operate before issues start to occur?  Assume FSMO roles have not been seized etc.

If the answer is something along the lines of AD is not really redundant and a FSMO roll based DC is essential to the health of AD.  Does server 2012 finally replicate or make the FSMO role spread across all DCs, or does it get rid of the concept altogether, integrating the 5 roles more deeply into the Active Directory replication process.

Thanks for the clarification and info.
CnicNVAsked:
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Don S.Commented:
AD will continue to operate, serving authentication to whatever needs it.  It will not be able to effect any changes, however, until there is a PDC role active in the environment.  What that means is that you cannot add or change users, computers, etc.. until you seize at least the PDC role.
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CnicNVAuthor Commented:
Ok, this is really good information and what I was after.  Just one more thing.  Do you know if Server 2012's implementation of Active Directory still relies on the FSMO or later renamed to Operations Master role DCs being in the replication topology?
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Don S.Commented:
2012 does not change the basic operation of domain authentication or replication.  There is still only one master for each roll.
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CnicNVAuthor Commented:
Ok this is perfect.

Thanks for all of the information, it is appreciated.
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