Upgrading AD from 2012 R2 to 2016

Im upgrading from Windows 2012R2 AD to 2016. Currently, I have many Windows xp and 2003 clients running legacy applications. The Windows XP machines mainly use Office 2010, Windows 7 and 10 machines use between Office 2013/2016.

We have several Win2003 Servers in use and upgrading them doesn't seem to be an option.

My questions are:
- How much could it be affected by upgrading AD to 2016 with this scenario?
-  If we decided to upgrade to 2016, will my 2003 server and its legacy applications be impacted?
- Is there any compatibility list (I didn't find any) available for Windows 2016?
- Finally, is there any issues that will be encountered with SMB on server 2016?

I appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks
PiedraCellDepot EngineerAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
My questions are:
- How much could it be affected by upgrading AD to 2016 with this scenario?
 
If you're already at 2012?  Little I would think.  It's very close, version wise.
-  If we decided to upgrade to 2016, will my 2003 server and its legacy applications be impacted?
Maybe.  Who knows.  YOU have to test them in a test environment.  And then understand that each month could put you out of business. You're using 15 year old software that's been out of support for 5 years.  MAYBE it will still work tomorrow.  But Microsoft isn't likely testing patches against something that old.  It could already be broken by a patch.  OR, it could break tomorrow.  These legacy apps needed to be moved off of 6 years ago BEFORE support ran out.  Each day you continue using old, outdated, unsupported software is another day you're at GREATER and GREATER risk of being hacked or having a compatibility issue.
- Is there any compatibility list (I didn't find any) available for Windows 2016?
Compatibility for what?  Programs?  Operating systems?  GENERALLY, anything under support should be compatible unless it explicitly states it's not.
- Finally, is there any issues that will be encountered with SMB on server 2016?
See my previous point.

Sorry, I'm sure you wanted assurances or specifics that everything would be ok or what exactly wouldn't be.  You're using VERY outdated stuff and there's too much potential to give you a solid yes or no or whatever.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I can't see any immediate problems as long as you don't have any 2003 Domain Controllers or any domain controllers < 2016 if you want to upgrade Active Directory to 2016 levels.

As for running XP and Server 2003 it is a really bad practice. You should look at making the legacy software  compatible with newer operating systems. Use the application compatibility toolkit ACT and create shims or use the included shims to make these programs compatible.  Running these two operating systems is a major security hole and a wide open attack vector
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'd recommend rather than upgrading the DCs, you folks should be working on getting rid of the legacy stuff that's putting your business at risk.
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PiedraCellDepot EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello all,

Thank you so much for your valuable information. It has been a real help and will allow us to make the best decision for our business.
Have a great day!
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Windows Server 2016

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