Upgrading from WS2003 to WS2016 (AD issues)

Adam Bell
Adam Bell used Ask the Experts™
Hi, I have inherited a network running around 80 Win7+ PC's, SQL2000 on WS2003, Filesharing on WS2008R2 + WS2012, and ASP.net/MySQL appn on WS2008R2.  AD is on WS2003 at that functional level.

I need to upgrade to WS2016 platform, keeping ASP.net/MySQL appn on WS2008R2 and SQL2000 on WS2003 as is for a few months until they can be retired (some users will require access to all servers).

I am unsure as to whether and how to simply replace (2008) or upgrade (2012) the other servers to WS2016 (leaving ADFL at 2003 for now) moving DC/DNS to new DC's, hoping the WS2003 boxes will continue to function in the new environment, and if so whether to leave the legacy boxes on the existing domain and create a new domain for the other servers etc.

Any related experience or advice gratefully received.
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Distinguished Expert 2018

I would put on new servers running 2016 on the domain and migrate DC/DNS to those, keeping existing functional level.

However, you should really be trying to get rid of the legacy servers. I cringe reading that SQL 2000 is still running.
Managing Consultant
You can have Server 2003 and Server 2016 in the same domain, no problem. If you want them both to be domain controllers, then the DFL/FFL has to stay at Server 2003.

It reads as if you may be contemplating one or more in-place upgrades. I definitely don't recommend this.


Thanks to all who answered, all relevant, Michael's was the best summed up of key points. Only thing I would add is decided to test in a VM environment first, this won't be quite the same as the aged system, but should highlight any hardcore issue arising on migration of key apps, after which we are relying on workarounds, rebuilds, or worst case rollbacks.

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