Can I upgrade\migrate Active Directory from 2008 R2 functional level to 2016

We currently run an Active Directory Forest\Domain environment with 2008 R2 domain controllers with a Forest and Domain functional level at Windows Server 2008 R2.  

We want to skip the 2012 upgrade and migrate directly to 2016 Domain Controllers.  Basically we would run the 2016 Adprep utilities, promote new 2016 servers into the domains (still at 2008 R2 functional level), slowly demote the old 2008 domain controllers and eventually raise the functional level to 2016.  I thought going directly from 2008 to 2016 would work fine, but others are telling me that you can only migrate to Active Directory 2016 from 2012.  Is that true?  Are there any issues if I skip 2012?

Who is Participating?
Jeff GloverSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
Yes, you can. However, once the first 2016 DC is up and running, you will probably want to transfer the FSMO roles there, That you will have to to with Powershell or using the AD tools from the 2016 server. There are no issues I am aware of going from 2008R2 to 2016 as long as your functional levels are at 2008.
Use the approach outlined here. Read this as well.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There's no need or requirement to transfer the FSMO roles.  You can.  But no need or requirement.

Further, there's no need to run ADPREP tools - this is handled by 2016 now when you promote.
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
...but others are telling me that you can only migrate to Active Directory 2016 from 2012.

1) for AD, as long as the domain controllers are at least 2008 and the functional levels are at least 2008, you are fine to add 2016 domain controllers since 2008 is the minimum required

2) going from 2012 to 2016 only would apply if you were doing an in-place upgrade of windows

moving from 2008 R2 to 2016 is perfectly fine

also, are you running exchange?  as long as it is at least 2013 SP1, you are fine with 2016 domain controllers
however, if you are running exchange 2010, it does not support 2016 domain controllers so should plan to upgrade exchange first
Life1430Sr EngineerCommented:

You can migrate from 2008 to 2016 there are no compatibility issues in this process, once you have demoted the old server then you can raise FFL and DFL however, before doing the demotion of old server I would suggest to turn them off for 2-3 business days to understand the impact.
sagdocAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments.  They are all good.  I was going to run the Adprep commands separately because I have quite a few child domains and I am concerned using the promote method at the forest may take a long time.
Jeff GloverSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
That is your choice but as long as you are in the proper groups, it will do the schema and domain steps automatically with the first DC. Make sure it is in the root domain of course.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

-- Jeff Glover (https:#a42445267)
-- Lee W MVP (https:#a42445284)
-- Ronin (https:#a42445273)
-- Seth Simmons (https:#a42445338)
-- Sarang Tinguria (https:#a42445424)
-- Jeff Glover (https:#a42446398)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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