Windows Server 2012 R2 DC Questions

Greetings. I'll be introducing our first Windows Server 2012 R2 into our domain soon.  I've already asked a question about transferring all FSMO roles to this server, but I wanted to follow up with some additional questions.

1. I know that all DCs run DNS, so other than changing the settings in the DHCP scope and manually updating hardcoded DNS settings on servers, is there anything different with DNS on a 2012 R2 vs. 2008 R2 server ? Can the two coexist as multiple DNS servers ?

2. In the unlikely event that the 2012 server crashes completely (or mostly), can the FSMO roles be transferred back and forth between 2012 R2 and 2008 R2 servers (or be seized by a 2008 server) as easily as they can between like-OS servers ?

3. Any other "gotchas" with introducing the first 2012 R2 server as a DC in a Windows 2008 R2 environment would be much appreciated.

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Matthew ParsonsDirectorCommented:
Hi Stephen,

In regards to your queries:

1. Multiple DNS servers shouldn't be a problem, i've certainly never experienced issues with them, as long as it's configured correctly 2008 and 2012 will run fine together.
2. I have personally never had this situation, I would expect as long as you don't update the domain functional love; i would presume that transferring the FSMO roles again wouldn't be a problem, however I would highly recommend that you have 2 DCs running the same operating system to avoid any potential problems and allow for redundancy.
3. The process of upgrading from one server to the other is pretty easy, just ensure you leave enough time for replication, also take into account any additional services that use Active Directory such as Exchange, NAS, Firewalls etc.

Best of luck,


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lapavoniAuthor Commented:
Thank you. Quick follow-up. One of our 3 DCs is running inside a 2008 R2 Hyperv VM.  Any problem installing 2012 in a VM hosted by 2008 R2 ?  I know there are mixed feelings about running a DC inside a VM, but it hasn't posed any issues for us.
Matthew ParsonsDirectorCommented:
Hi Stephen,

I believe there were some issues and a fix was released. However the fix has been pulled by Microsoft as it is not a supported configuration to have Server 2012 installed on Server 2008 Hyper-V.

A pain i know, i suppose it depends how you are licensing you servers etc and if you can afford the additional expense.

Here's the link about Server 2012 on Server 2008 with Hyper-V:

Hope this helps.

lapavoniAuthor Commented:
OK, it looks like I'll be setting up a second W2K12 server.  Thanks for the advice and link.  Much appreciated, Matt.
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