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Business Server Solution Design

Posted on 2014-11-11
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Hi Experts!

A client has a server running Server 2008 Foundation which is nearing EOL for hardware plus they will soon exceed the 15 user limit but not expected to be more than 20 users. The server workload includes AD, DNS, SQL Server 2008 Express, RDS and WSUS.

The solution being considered is to replace the hardware with sufficient capacity to run Server 2012 R2 Standard configured with Hyper-V on the physical server and two Server 2012 R2 Standard VM instances. The 1st instance would run the existing workload except for SQL Server 2008 Express.  The 2nd instance would be dedicated to the SQL Server 2008 Express workload.

I know it's not the ideal from a security standpoint but can you have RDS on a DC running Server 2012 R2 Standard?

Is there an in place upgrade option to go from Server 2008 Foundation to Server 2012 R2 Standard?

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:bosshognz
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by:it_saige
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You never want to run an RDS on a domain controller.  Since you will be implementing Hyper-V, creating a third that represents your RDS server won't be too much further of a leap.

As for the in-place upgrade, no, there is no *direct* in-place upgrade from Server 2008 Foundation to Server 2012.

However,

1.  Server 2008 Foundation can be upgraded to Server 2008 Standard.  Source
2.  Then Server 2008 can be upgraded to Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise.  Source
3.  Finally Server 2008 R2 [Standard/Enterprise] can be upgraded to Server 2012 R2 [Standard/Enterprise] or Datacenter as long as Server 2008 R2 is running SP1.  Source

But, I would not recommend a in-place upgrade.  Funny things can happen when you try to do upgrades of this magnitude.

-saige-
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by:bosshognz
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Thanks Saige for the very quick reply.

I realise you're saying DON'T do it but my question was can you have RDS on a DC running Server 2012 R2?

Regarding fresh install vs upgrade - quite significant use has been made of group policy and security groups etc. Is there an easy way to carry this over to the new server if a fresh install is done?

Once again thanks for your help.
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it_saige earned 500 total points
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You can have RDS installed on a DC, but I strongly recommend against it.  Here is a previous EE PAQ discussing it:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Q_28441188.html

As for the fresh install versus an upgrade, just because you have to do a fresh install of Server 2012 (this would be on new hardware I assume), this does not preclude you from adding it as a domain member server with the ability to promote it as a domain controller.  Once the 2012 R2 server is promoted to a domain controller, Active Directory (and all of it's group policies) would replicate to the new server.

The only part where it may become dicey is where you need to run ADPREP, I personally do not know if you can ADPREP (or have the ability to ADPREP) a 2008 Foundation AD instance (logically I can see no reason why you would not be able to but I'm going to err on the side of caution).  I'll do some looking to see if I can find further information but leave this open for another expert to comment on.

-saige-
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by:bosshognz
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**bump**
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