AD 2012/2016 co-habit upgrade

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi All,

We are planning to upgrade our domain controllers from 2008. We currently have two sites and the plan is to have a domain controller at each site for failover / disaster purposes. Unfortunately at the second site we are only running VMware 5.5. This will be getting upgraded soon, but not in time for the Domain upgrade. As far as I'm aware 5.5 will only support guest operating systems up to 2012. Can I / is it advisable to upgrade the first DC straight to 2016 and then introduce the 2nd DC at the second site as 2012. Or to upgrade the Domain / DC to 2012 at the second site and then introduce the 2016 DC at the primary site. Will the two live happily together until the VCenter upgrade?

Cheers,
Paul
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MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Commented:
Migrate FRS to DFSR before.
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/qzaidi/2012/01/16/quickly-explained-migrate-your-sysvol-replication-from-frs-to-dfsr/
Then install 2012 promote to DC move FSMO roles.
https://www.computertechblog.com/migrating-windows-server-2012-r2-fsmo-roles-to-another-dc/
Check replication using the command below.
repadmin /showrepl

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Once you are error free install 2016 and promote the DC and move the roles to 2016.

Finally demote the 2008 servers.
Architect
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
in place upgrade is not supported

U need to transition from 2008 to 2016 by adding new windows server 2016 member server at primary site and promoting it as ADC

Then at other site, you may add 2012 / 2012 R2 or even 2016 if your hypervisor supports its

The benefit of adding 2016 at 1st place is that it will avoid two stage schema modifications from 2008 to 2012 and then to 2016
while allow you to add 2012 DCs and later on you may add / upgrade 2016 DC servers

Check AD health in advance before you start transition to avoid potential issues later on.
From PDC run dcdiag /v from elevated cmd and check for potential issues and resolve it before hand
As stated above, FRS to DFSR would be recommended earlier but not mandatory, you can upgrade it post you add 2012 / 2016 DC servers
Scott SilvaNetwork Administrator

Commented:
Also, VMware 5.5U3 supports 2016 per their matrix
Paul WalshSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
Hi,

I have completed the FRS - DFSR migration. Just to clarify I am ok to build a 2016 server. promote it to DC and move the FSMO roles onto this at the primary site. I can then install a 21012 server, promote to DC at the secondary site and it will live happily in a 2016 domain.

Our 5.5 site I am assuming isn't on u3 as it will only allow me to select server 2012 as the highest os build. Are updates for 5.5 still available as it is out of support?

Cheers
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Commented:
Run repadmin /syncall
Then run repadmin /showrepl
if  sync is successful please go ahead and install 2016 and promote it.
-->Our 5.5 site I am assuming isn't on u3 as it will only allow me to select server 2012 as the highest os build. Are updates for 5.5 still available as it is out of support?
Windows 2016 is supported in 5.5 and above versions. Please check this kb from VMWare.
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2132789

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