Moving from SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2016 and Azure

I have 12 licenses for Office 365 Business Premium that I can manage in Azure. I have a SBS 2003 on premise with active directory.  I will remove the SBS 2003 and install a new Win Server 2016 Essentials for Active Directory (no migration, with so few users, I'll start fresh). I would like to use the user info in Azure for my domain active directory and then sync with Azure AD Connect.

How do I setup the Active Directory in the new Windows Server 2016? Just enter the users individually? Using the same names that are used in Office 365? And then match them in the Azure AD Connect?
Bobby CullenExecutive PastorAsked:
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Jesse BruffettM&F-ing SorcererCommented:

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
That depends on if you plan on using the essentials integration or going with AADConnect. The steps will vary quite a bit.

Note that AADConnect doesn't work on the essentials SKU. It does work on a standard server with the essentials role installed.
Jesse BruffettM&F-ing SorcererCommented:
Valid point, he said essentials and with a limited number of users I assumed he really meant "Essentials".
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
I got the same impression. But then  the OP also said "I would like to use the user info in Azure for my domain active directory and then sync with Azure AD Connect."

Since they mentioned AADConnect by name, I saw a potential contradiction that needed to be pointed out.
Jesse BruffettM&F-ing SorcererCommented:
The honest truth of it is, if he and his people are using O365 properly, he shouldn't need an Essentials server or an on-prim server at all, with that few of people. If it were me, I'd use team sites and SharePoint for company file sharing, OneDrive for Business for user docs instead of a server share, Azure AD for user control and authentication and just a decent firewall appliance for network services such as DHCP and DNS. But again that's just how I would do it.
Bobby CullenExecutive PastorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the information. I'm trying to schedule the install.
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