Upgrade DC's using same name and IP

Hello all,

I'm after a bit of advice please.

I need to rebuild two DC's from 2012 R2 to 2016. I would like to use the same name and IP. (I have used the same IP addresses for DC upgrades before but never the same name). This has always seemed to work well. I know some people are not into using same name and IP's for DC's but if it's gracefully demoted and then repromoted, it should be OK, no?

Can anybody see an issue if I:

Demote DC01, remove it from the domain, shut it down
Wait for replication (Maybe an hour or two)
Build new 2016 server with same name and IP as previous
Promote as DC
Wait for replication

Do the above for DC02.

Any advice would be brilliant.

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There is nothing wrong if you wish to retain old DC hostname and IP.....
Many companies have apps hardcoded with DC hostname  / IP and must retain it post upgrades

There are multiple options

U can directly in place upgrade if your server hardware is compatible with 2016 OS - This is simplest option with very less efforts

Else whatever option you selected , that is also good

One more option could be, if you have additional hardware, you can promote new member server on 2016 OS, promote it to domain controller with different hostname (as previous ones are still alive) and then demote old one gracefully, make sure that changes are replicated correctly and rename new DC with old hostname and change IP (IP change can be done any time)

In any case you should have good AD system state backup ready in hand to tackle situation if anything goes wrong


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MFAFCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for getting back to me, Mahesh.

When you say in place upgrade, do you mean OS upgrade on the fly? We run vmware so it should be fine with 2016. I read on a technet article that a fresh build is preferable to an OS upgrade. Makes sense I suppose.

On your last point, to rename a live DC after the old one one has gone - is that via netdom? I want to make this as seamless as possible so don't really want to be having to change names of live DC's if I can help it.

Thanks again for the speedy reply.
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept HeadCommented:
Agree with Mahesh,
If you can arrange one more server to install an ADC will save your time in future.
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Yes, fresh OS build and then DC promotion is recommended as precautionary measure

But with 2012 to 2012 r2 or even 2016 is pretty straight forward and as of now I have done 3 to 4 and did not failed, so I suggested that as effortless method

But if you are concerned about above method, you can always go with other path I suggested, that is standard way most of the companies follows

Also there is nothing wrong about DC rename with netdom, that is authorized method provided by Microsoft and article is available

The path which you wanted to take up, it leave you with single DC online as you will 1st demote existing DC and from precautionary measures that is not viable option unless you cannot depute another hardware  to promote additional DC
MFAFCAuthor Commented:
Thanks, MAS. I already have 2 DC's running though. Forgive my ignorance but what would be the benefit of making a third DC with a new name, just to rename it after? The fact I have 2 DC's at present means there will always be 1 running whilst I commission the new one.

MFAFCAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mahesh. That should be enough info I think.

I will mark this answered.
3rd DC is to make sure that everything is working fine, and if 3rd DC promotion fails, you still have original DCs intact and you don't have to address any dependencies
Note that organizations normally never demote existing DCs before addition of new DCs to avoid addressing dependencies post demotion

if u choose to in place upgrade, you still left with single DC for time being until upgrade finishes - this method is useful when your AD health is fine and save further configurations - I would prefer this method for *2012 / 2012 R2 to 2016* upgrades because the architecture is almost same for both OS and failure chances are very rare
MFAFCAuthor Commented:
Thank you, Mahesh. You've been really helpful
One last thing

Do not attempt in place upgrade of DC if certificate authority is also installed on DC, results can be unpredictable

then you need to add ADC on new server
backup CA role
uninstall CA role
demote DC
restore CA on new server or on new ADC server
MFAFCAuthor Commented:
Yes - the CA role is something that I am aware of and am planning for. I'm going to move it across to a new server, this time not a DC. I might post a question about that on a different topic.
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