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MIS Systems Thread, Demote Sims server DC in Technical; Hi Guys, Our current Sims server is a DC. If I demote it will I have issues with sims? Since ...
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    Demote Sims server DC

    Hi Guys,

    Our current Sims server is a DC. If I demote it will I have issues with sims?

    Since the hardware is out of warranty we're looking to do a P2V conversion and add it to our ESX Cluster. Obviousely I can see big issues if we have leave the server as a DC and then have to roll back to the original server, so I want to demote it first.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what problems might occur but i can't see it being an issue, a name change would have more potential issues.
    i remember recently being told that sims/sql shouldn't really be used as a DC, so its a good move demoting it.
    have you checked in with Capita or local support? always worth letting them know your plans.

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    broc's Avatar
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    I cannot see why your plan should not work, but I haven't tried it myself.

    When our old SIMS server (which was a DC on an admin domain) bit the dust, we took the opportunity to merge domains and reinstalled SIMS.net on a new member (non-DC) server in the new domain & have run like that ever since.

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Can't really see an issue with that to be honest.
    Our SIMS server is a member and can't see what demoting is going to change in regards to SIMS.

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    networkmanager's Avatar
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    The server *should* be fine after the demotion but would like to re-echo Vikpaw's advice - speak to Capita or Local Support before the move, that way you've got your back covered should it have unexpected results.

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    itgeek2008's Avatar
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    I demoted a Sims Server from DC to member server, no problems all worked fine for me

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by itgeek2008 View Post
    I demoted a Sims Server from DC to member server, no problems all worked fine for me
    Brilliant, I wanted to hear from someone who'd done it.

    I was sure it should be fine in theory, but sims does have a habit of doing the unexpected.

    I am also talking to local support. The first thing they did was tell me to check on Edugeek.

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    itgeek2008's Avatar
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    I was really worried about doing it as well. But I just went for it and all worked out fine.

    Just make sure you have a full backup of sims before you do anything.

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    K.C.Leblanc (5th October 2009)

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    I've just had an email from the LEA. They're saying there's an issue with doing a DCPROMO on servers running SQL Express. I've just emailed back for clarification since we're using full MS SQL.

    2.10 Installing SQL Server Express on a Windows Domain Controller


    Security Note We recommend against running SQL Server Express on a domain controller.
    It is possible to install SQL Server Express on a Windows domain controller; however, it cannot run on a Windows Server 2003 domain controller as Local Service or Network Service. SQL Server service accounts should run as Windows domain user accounts. It is also possible to install SQL Server service accounts to run as Local System, but this option is not recommended.

    Do not change the role of the server after you install SQL Server Express. For example, if you install SQL Server Express on a member server, do not use the Dcpromo tool to promote the server to a domain controller. Or, if you install SQL Server Express on a domain controller, do not use Dcpromo to demote the server to a member server. Changing the role of a server after you install SQL Server Express can result in loss of functionality and is not supported.
    SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Readme

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    ...
    I am also talking to local support. The first thing they did was tell me to check on Edugeek.
    Hoorah!!! Finally they concede

    I remember reading in the sharepoint installation guide that you have to be careful and the setup is different if you are running it on a DC, something to do with service accounts etc.

    Don't worry though, worst case, so long as you have sufficient backups you can reinstall SQL on the newly demoted server and then attach the database and it should fine. I frequently create virtual sims servers and have reinstalled SQL and am always attaching new databases and it all works out fine. I've never demoted a server though.

    It wouldn't be a smooth transition if you had to reinstall SQL and there may be problems, it is v.scary if something goes wrong on a live server, but there are solutions.

    If you're worried, why not set up a virtual server, i use VMWare Server, it's free and runs on a PC, it's not great but ok for testing. You can make sure you can setup another failover server in a hurry if you need to. At least it will put your mind at ease.

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    The only difference between the member server and the DC version is that there are less services and no local security context.
    If you run Apps on a DC then they have to run using a Domain Admin level account or a specific service account with rights to "run as a service" on the DC as there are no Local accounts on a DC.

    Demoting a DC is not the issue here, it is if the App looses it's ability to run a dependency or service as a result of the security change.
    This can go deep inside WMI and other such COM based applications. Sophos is one such program and Backup Exec is another, there are probably dozens of others.

    This is why I always try to run at least one clean DC (it does nothing else but be a DC with DNS and DHCP at the most). Run it on a pair of mirrored drives and back it up using BESR so it can be virtualised or restored to bare metal in a flash.

    Most Apps including sims and other sql based products can be reconfigured after a DCPromo event if you anticipate it but the best strategy is to never put yourself in that situation in the first place.

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