FRS / DFS-R question during 1st Windows 2016 DC intro

There was this section below on final step on the First 2016 DC install in the forest.
The File Replication Service (FRS) is deprecated. To continue replicating the SYSVOL folder, you should migrate to DFS Replication by using the DFSRMIG command.  If you continue to use FRS for SYSVOL replication in this domain, you might not be able to add domain controllers running a future version of Windows Server.

Saw a few articles that said to run the following command (shown with output):
dfsrmig.exe /getglobalstate

Current DFSR global state: 'Start'

Looks like I am on FRS???

What is the process to migrate?
What is the impact of migrating over?
What check points should I be doing to test DFSR
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
A quick Google search will turn up Microsoft'official migration guide. Use it. It is completely sufficient for this task. Make a backup regularly.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
How many dc's do you have and what FFL and DFL
If you are at 2008 you can start the migration.

If you are at a lower level and there are no more 2003 DC's or Exchange 2003 then raise the level to 2008 then you can migrate to DFS-R.
GGHCAuthor Commented:
Not that straight forward as you stated or the 2 liners that are found in the googling
There are prerequisites, and several gotcha.
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Minimum OS need for DSF-R functionality is windows 2003 R2. DFS-R functions without issues in a native 2003 domain level with windows 2003 R2 addprep having ran and the DFS related enhancements. which I believe when you ran the addprep and forestprep and schemaprep from the 2016.

Make sure to backup the sysvol (systemstate backup) ntbackup on the older version or use wbadmin for the same...
Cliff GaliherCommented:
I didn't say there aren't prerequisites. I said follow the Microsoft guide. It has the prerequisites. There aren't any gotchas. I've done literally hundreds. I've these migrations now and have never had a problem with just the MS guidance in a healthy environment.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:

This is from the link I posted in my previous comment

Domain controllers use a special shared folder named SYSVOL to replicate logon scripts and Group Policy object files to other domain controllers. Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 use File Replication Service (FRS) to replicate SYSVOL, whereas Windows Server 2008 uses the newer DFS Replication service when in domains that use the Windows Server 2008 domain functional level, and FRS for domains that run older domain functional levels.

To use DFS Replication to replicate the SYSVOL folder, you can either create a new domain that uses the Windows Server 2008 domain functional level, or you can use the procedure that is discussed in this document to upgrade an existing domain and migrate replication to DFS Replication.
In addition here is another link that backs my comment about DFL. I will say that I do not see anything about FFL so that most likely cab stay as 2003.
 I understand, 2003 R2 includes DFS-r and can have sysvol migrated from FRS to DFS-R. provided in the event the person has a 2003 r2 as a DC that will not be forced into an issue.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
The point here is that while 2003 R2 was the first version to introduce DFS-R for file servers, Microsoft didn't introduce it for DC replication until 2008 and all their documentation says 2008. I'd consider attempting it with 2003 R2 to be an unsupported scenario and anomalies could occur.

Of course, with that said, 2003 R2 is itself LONG out of support. Some organizations can... debatably... justify needing to keep an isolated old OS around for an oddball LOB app, that doesn't ever justify keeping an unsupported domain controller.

So in my mind, this is all a non-issue. Retire the 2003 era DCs purely for supportability reasons. Then migrate from FRS to DFS-R.  It's safer that way.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Thanks for the support Cliff.  

The asker did not specify how many DC's and what FFL and DFL.
That is why I stated what I stated in my first comment.  Just adding some more detail to Cliff's comment.
The warning simply saying that FRS will not be supported in future server versions, I suggest do not start DC up gradation and sysvol migration at a time, it will difficult to troubleshoot if you ran into issues
For time being you can complete 2016 DC deployment, decommission previous version DCs, ensure that your sysvol is healthy (FRS) and  AD is running on at least 2008 DFL and FFL and then migrate from FRS to DFSR
2008 DFL is the only and major prerequisite for FRS to DFSR migration
As Cliff said, process is pretty straight forward if your current sysvol model (FRS) is in healthy state
The process seamlessly migrate FRS to DFSR - normally 3 step process

What is the process to migrate?

For me the most to the point instructions are by the MS storage guys in this blog. It is very much to the point on what to do.

What is the impact of migrating over?

Your life will be better, seriously. Again Microsoft have covered this a few times but they have a case for upgrading post here. The migration process is very basic as well so there is no reason not to do it.

What check points should I be doing to test DFSR

Through the migration process, until you reach the very last step you can roll back to FRS if you need to. The process is very stream lined.

What check points should I be doing to test DFSR

Patch, be fully patched. Especially for Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 R2 DC's. I believe Server 2012 R2 in particular has a bug that stuffs up the migration process. But it is fixed in one of the rollups over the years.

Depending on the size of your environment it can take a while, it all comes back to AD replication time.

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GGHCAuthor Commented:
Thank you all.
All he checked looked fine before started so I moved forward to the 'Replicated' stage of the migration. All post checks looks good.

I created a Group Policy  and see it in the old SysVol but not in the new the Policies.

In screenshot:
Is the 'Policies_NTFRS_00e70461' the old one?
If I revert back (for some off reason) would I have to manually copy the difference?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
There are four stable states. The guide includes how to check each stage. You seem to be inventing your own steps and using non-standard terminology. You say you moved to the replicated stage. But the stages are prepared, redirected, or eliminated.

And if healthy you can revert from any but eliminated and don't need to manually copy anything.
Is the 'Policies_NTFRS_00e70461' the old one?

No, not at all. These are FRS morphed folders, which is what happens when FRS has a conflict it does not know how to resolve. You should make sure that your SYSVOL directory is healthy and that FRS is healthy before beginning the migration process.
GGHCAuthor Commented:
@Cliff :) Nice catch.. I meant current DFSR global state: 'Redirected'

Been running it for few days, all seems fine so far.

Tested using the following:
New Group Policy- Worked
AD Replication Status Tool- No Errors
Dcdiag /e /test:sysvolcheck /test:advertising - All test passed
repadmin /ReplSum- No Errors

I assume all these test are running against the new DFSR, Is that correct?
All looks safe to go to the the Eliminated state (aka. point of no return) unless I am missing something...  

Should this be done after hours or can be done at any time since it's 'redirected' already?

Thanks for putting the Overly Cautious side of me at ease :)
GGHCAuthor Commented:
Thank you all
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Distributed File System Replication (DFSR)

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