Upgrading 2003 to 2012 Best Practice

I currently have 5 Servers
2 DC Windows 2003 Enterprise 32 bit migrating to 2012
1 Member server 2003 Enterprise 32 bit  migrating to 2012
2 Windows 2008 Member Servers. both 64 bit  both staying as member servers on 2008 platform.
    2008 1  SQL 2008 Server
    2008 2  Exchange 2010 Server

1 domain

since windows 2003 Server support is ending this July 2015 it is time to plan an upgrade.

My plan is to upgrade the Windows 2003 servers to Windows 2012 R2 Standard 64 bit

The Windows 2003 Member server is no problem runs a few third party apps that I need to check out for 2012 support.
Again should be no problem.

My concern is the DC's

since I have two DC's I would like to use the same physical hardware as I have now.

Currently all FSMO Roles are on one DC lets call it DC2

DC1 runs DNS DHCP WINS IIS 6 SharePoint Global Catalog GC
DC2 runs DNS DHCP WINS IIS 6 for my hosted Sites Global Catalog GC

My thinking is that I can Demote DC1 then rebuild as Windows 2012 DC
SharePoint can be down that is not a problem I believe SharePoint 2013 runs in the 2012 Server environment.
As far as DHCP DNS  and WINS that will be handled by DC2
All my primary devices have DHCP reservations which are defined in both DHCP servers and the scopes are with my network.

When ready to demote I can use this

once demoted then can I install windows 2012 Server using same Serer name and ip address? or should I use new name and new ip address.  I have had in the past issues with DC's and always had to use new name and ip address

Once this new 2012 server is online
On DC2 I need to run adprep32

Then I can add the AD services on the 2012 Server

Is this all I need?

Now when the 2012 Server is a DC and all is replicating well I can move all the FSMO roles to the new Dc correct?

Once the new Server 2012 DC has all the FSMO roles then I should be able demote DC2 and install 2012 on it.

Am I missing anything?

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Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorAsked:
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
once demoted then can I install windows 2012 Server using same Serer name and ip address? or should I use new name and new ip address.

It is fine to use the same name and IP. Just make sure that when you remove the DC1 from the domain that you also deleted the computer object as well (as it will be left in a disabled stated and not removed)

On DC2 I need to run adprep32
This is correct as well. Just make sure that your FFL and DFL are at the 2003 level. This is required for 2003/2012 co-existence for DC's

Now when the 2012 Server is a DC and all is replicating well I can move all the FSMO roles to the new Dc correct?
This is also correct. Make sure that you check replication again after transferring the FSMO roles to the 2012 DC.

The only thing I would add is make sure that you update your DHCP client Scopes for DNS. If you have DC1 as primary for DNS your users will experience delays when fails to find DC1 and the timeout period before it hits DC2 the secondary DNS IP. Do the same thing when you demote DC2, make sure that the DHCP Clients are configured for DC1 as the Primary again.

You will also want to ensure that You update your DNS on your servers as well which have static addresses.

Aside from that everything looks good.


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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
For the argument on whether or not to keep the same IP for the new DC, one consideration would be if you have any devices that have had their network settings done manually. By changing the IP of the DC, you will change the IP of the DNS server. That could cause you other problems.

Keep in mind that 2012 also offers backup/failover DHCP which you should look into as part of this plan.

Another thought is consider virtualizing the DCs. This depends on if you hardware is capable of course, but it could allow you to get a 2012 server running without affecting other operations. You also have the benefit of simply moving the VM and also making a case for true virtualization once your existing hardware starts to get replaced.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for the input and the encouragement.

Glad to be on the right track.

Just one more thought

Do I really need WINS any more?  I know on 2008 they have it sill it is for legacy systems correct?

My oldest OS is Vista all others are Win 7 and up  


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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Unless you have something old on the network you most likely don't need WINS .
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
thanks guys

In a few weeks going to start this major project.

Lots of planning will make a smoother process.

I am thinking of removing WINs first do not have any old devices that I believe requires WINS I will find out soon.

Thanks again

Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Update Just bout ready to start this

One more question

I have a Server Windows 2008 R2 running Exchange Server 2010 RU8 Enterprise 64 bit

Once I take one other DC's off line will the Exchange Server have any issues?

Both DC's are Global Catalogs

Will the Exchange server get upset if one of the DC's are down?

Yesterday I took down the One DC after a hotfix install  and the exchange server got this two errors

Event Id 8365 Security Decriptor

Event id 6003 SACL Watcher service

I am thinking the Exchange should function with One DC as I am working on the other DC
The one DC owns all the FSMO Roles too.



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Windows Server 2003

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