Raise DFL and FFL from 2003 through 2012r2

Hi All,

Working  on rebuilding my entire network infrastructure.  I recently demoted and removed an old Server  2003 DC.  The second got stuck, even with /forceremove and had to be deleted manually.  Metadata cleanup was done and all remnants removed from DNS and AD apps.  So, I'm left with 5 Server 2012r2 machines, 2 of which are DC's across 2 sites and a  Server 2008r2 machine running Exchange 2010.

The final task, for the most part, is raising the DFL and FFL from 2003 to 2012.  Couple questions before doing so.

Will it affect Exchange at all?
Should I step through them (ie 2003 - 2008 - 2008r2 - 2012 - 2012r2)?
We don't really use any apps, but do have some things that access AD for auth like Wordpress, Unitrends, Uniflow, Ecopy, etc.  Any potential issues with external apps?  They are all new versions, so they support higher functional levels.
Mike JonesIT AdministratorAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
No, raising functional levels does not impact Exchange in a properly operating environment.  With that said, *HAVE BACKUPS.*  Bad things can always happen, even with simple changes, and unexpected corruption can have dire consequences.

No need to step through. There is zero benefit to that approach.  In fact, one could say you are introducing more replication change and (negligibly) increase the risk of something going wrong with each step.

Other apps should have no problems.

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Windows Server 2012

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