there any way to transfer the AD into VM and change the domain name ?

Hello All,

Current Environment,

physical server 1: AD and file server on one physical server(2012R2)-Domain -ABC.local

Physical server 2: running 2003 as BDC
Physical server 3:  running as Terminal (2008R2)

New environment:

Physical server 1 -install a bare-metal hypervisor (Exsi/Hyper-v) and create 4 vm.Planning to install 2012R2 on all vms.
Need to transfer AD to one VM with new domain name abc.local to
Need to transfer BD to second VM.
Need to transfer AD file server to third VM.
Need to transfer terminal server to fourth VM.

decommission the following servers.
Physical server 2: running 2003 as BDC
Physical server 3:  running as Terminal (2008R2)

Just wanted to find out is there any way to transfer the AD into VM and change the domain name ?
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Shimshey RosenbergSysAdminCommented:
I would divide it in two different tasks.
1. Migrating AD -
2. Changing domain name

Also, you should raise the forest functional level
As a side note, why 2012?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
So this is really two parts, and I'll separate them as the answer is different.

"Moving" AD is easy.  This is a fairly typical migration, and that these are VMs isn't really relevant.  You introduce new DCs and decommission old DCs using standard AD processes. I would not do any P2V or anything like that since you are talking about OS changes and such anyways.  Just introduce new DCs as if they were physical.  No big deal.  

Aside: There is no such thing as BDCs anymore.  Those went away with NT4.  Lose that terminology.  It only complicates easy google searches and can cause confusion (or hurt your reputation in a job interview situation.)

For the second, domain renames are not always straightforward.  Some apps are fine with it.  Others are not.   In general I don't recommend renaming unless there is an actual conflict, such as using a .com domain name for AD that you don't own.  If this is purely an aesthetic play then I'd leave well enough alone.  Use CNAMES, alternate UPNs, etc.  The only person who'd know the AD name is the sysadmins, and that's a non-issue.


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Need to transfer AD to one VM with new domain name abc.local to

Good answers have already been given, but I want to add one more thing: please don't give your AD domain the same name as your registered Internet domain, if that's what you're planning on doing. It will inevitably cause headaches. There's nothing wrong with keeping a .local domain name internally, but if you need your AD domain to somehow relate to your public domain, give your AD domain a three-label name like or something of that sort. This will make things a lot simpler down the road, I promise.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I agree with Cliff - domain renames, while technically possible, are not a good idea and could result in problems now or in the future.  In my opinion, you're asking for trouble if you proceed with this.

In my opinion, you would be better off migrating to a new AD domain instead of attempting to rename.

I also agree that you should be using a domain like (as opposed to  Use a domain you own, but make the AD a sub domain that is never publicly published.
YohaAuthor Commented:
@Cliff Thanks for your information. As you mentioned, could we call it a secondary Domain controller?

@Shimshey Rosenberg Currently, I  have the 2012R2 licenses
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
In active directory, all domain controllers are just that - domain controllers.  Why must one be considered secondary or primary?  You have two domain controllers.  Period.

There are 5 FSMO roles, but they COULD be split up (in small domains, they shouldn't be, but still could be).  They would be the closest thing to a PDC (especially since one of the roles is the PDC Emulator).  But strictly speaking, they are "governors" that control allocation of resources and set a preference for controlling in some respects.  

Just refer to your DCs as DCs.  And reference the one (or ones) with the FSMO roles as the FSMO role holder.
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