FSMO Transfer from 2003 Sbs 2012 Standard


Why do FSMO roles need to be transferred to the destination (New upgrade server) after migration?
our old server is 2003 and working perfect in its box.  Apart from the mainstream support that is due to expire 7/13/2010 - I see no reason to decommission this server and leave it till this date as a backup Domain controller.

The migration is complete apart from FSMO role transferral as mentioned.  We are running Server 2003 and Server 2012 together which are replicating and I don't want to de - promote 2003 but also don't want to run into any problems by doing so.  I just don't understand why standard protocol is to de-promote when you could use it as a backup AD server.  

Thanks for any advice

Jon johnsonAsked:
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In case of a 2003 server disaster (hardware/software) and things can't be recovered properly, you will be spending much much more time on fixing your AD.
Not only is the hardware older on that server (presumably), after July, you will have a weak spot (security wise) in your network. The likelihood of something happening to the 2003 server is marginally (dare I say at least 100%??) higher than the 2012 server. Also, the 2012 server provides better backup/restore solutions in the even of a mishap (if you want to turn arguments around about the failure rate of older hardware/software).
All these facts combined, the effort you put in to transfer FSMO roles and demote the old server, will outweigh the pending problems you create by leaving the 2003 server as it is (just a mathematical probability that's quite close to being a certainty).
Hi Jon

The original purpose of the SBS server is that it is an all in one server, and it must be the only primary DC in the domain.

You could run the new DC as the secondary DC and migrate the FSMO roles before you decide to decommission - but as its only a couple of months away why bother.  Move the roles, decommission and build a secondary DC that is also running 2012.

There are hacks that allow you to demote it, but as mentioned above - why bother.  I'm sure its had a good run and isn't really going to be worth the effort of limping it along....
Jon johnsonAuthor Commented:

All clients are pointing to the new 2012 domain controller server.  DNS and files are also mapped to this so its just a case of moving the FSMO roles across and then pulling the patch cable from the old baby and shutting her down.  I don't think I will bother demoting it until next month in case the new Server VM starts to play up for some reason.  This is the first time I've run a virtual domain controller from Hyper visor so I'm a bit .....hmmm not sure on reliability etc.

Thanks again
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You have time to do your testing (in terms of Server 2003), but having done this at a client and getting the migration and transfer completed was a good thing to do. The server was a older machine and was not as reliable as the newer machine (as has already been said above).
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Don't let that old server sit idle for a month. AD does like to replicate and a missing server kills performance, and left long enough, introduces actual corruption. A few days. A week maybe. But don't treat the old server as some sort of long-term backup. Use backups for that.  Test. Verify. Decommission.

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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Why do FSMO roles need to be transferred to the destination (New upgrade server) after migration
The FSMO role holder should be on the DC that has the most resources CPU/RAM etc. This is because this DC has additional roles which requires more resources to perform well.

I see no reason to decommission this server and leave it till this date as a backup Domain controller.
This may be true and it will not create an issues leaving it as a DC, however the main stream support is coming to an end soon so I would suggest start your planning to decommission this DC and also transfer the folder. Having a 2003 DC left in your environment is kind of pointless as you are not able to take advantage of any of the 2012 new features that a DC offers. This is because you need to raise the forest/domain functional levels to get the new features and you cannot do this until you remove the 2003 domain controller.

Cliff GaliherCommented:
Not to nit-pick, but mainstream support long since ended.  *EXTENDED* support is soon coming to an end. That's actually a significantly different proposition. Running a server that isn't absolutely isolated (such as an embedded device with no network access) after extended support ends is an absolutely awful idea.
Jon johnsonAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys,

I've shared the points evenly as this was a query more than a problem. I could write a lot about your replies as some have misunderstood my point but its ok.  I will transfer the roles and decom at the weekend and get shut.

Thanks for your help and god bless
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Windows Server 2003

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