I looking for advice on how to upgrade (3) File Servers for a small business. The file servers are 7+ years old and all running Windows Server 2003 (32-bit); The DC is running active-directory, DHCP, & DNS and the 2 other file servers are dedicated for applications. The domain name for this LAN environment is very lengthy and ends with a "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.com" as opposed to ".pvt" and users state they have experienced DNS issues (can't view webmail or website as the public/private names are identical), since it was initially deployed.
My initial plan was to install 3 new Windows 2012 R2 virtual file servers on a VMware ESXi host and create new domain name during the process. The entire network consists of 35 PC's, 15 Printers, and 25 User Account Profiles located at 3 different office locations.
I need to replace one of the Windows 2003 Servers quickly as existing hardware is experiencing issues.
1.) Can I deploy a Windows 2012 R2 Server within an existing Windows Server 2003 (32bit) Domain as an application server?
2.) If so, will I be able demote the existing 2003 domain and promote a Windows 2012R2 afterwards?
3.) If not, are there any other recommendations/suggestions that I should follow?