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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Upgrading Domain 2000 to 2003 & effect on existing servers in Technical; Hi all! I am working with a Windows 2000 Domain that is to be upgraded to 2003. Once domain is ...
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    Exclamation Upgrading Domain 2000 to 2003 & effect on existing servers

    Hi all!

    I am working with a Windows 2000 Domain that is to be upgraded to 2003. Once domain is on 2003 we want to put a 2012 member server running SQL 2012 and also keep the 2 demoted Windows 2000 Servers.


    Current environment:
    #1 Primary DC: has DHCP and DNS (Schema Master, Domain Naming Master, RID Master and PDC Emulator, Global Catalog)
    #2 DC: has Printers and Files on it, not worried about these (Infrastructure Master)
    #3 Windows server 2000 SP4 running Exchange 2003.


    #4 Windows server 2003 Standard SP2 64bit which runs Sharepoint Services.
    #5 Windows server 2003 Standard R2 32bit runs SQL 2005


    Could either of the existing 2003 servers be used as the new DC, or would it be best to obtain a fresh server as the DC, and possibly setup as a virtual server?


    Would upgrading the domain have an impact on the 2000 server running Exchange 2003?

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    ALR
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    Hi jfrey,

    Quite a complex question you have there. Can I ask a few questions first so I can best understand your set up and requirements?

    1. Are your current DCs Windows Server 2000?
    2. When you say can the existing 2003 servers be used as a DC do you mean leaving them installed as is and doing a DCPromo on it?
    3. What age are your physical servers?
    4. When you say to keep the demoted Server 2000 servers, do you mean not re-installing them?
    5. Do you have licencing restrictions, or is there money in the pot?

    I'm happy to give you my advice with regards to your questions, but it is only advice based on my past experiences and knowledge and not an experts advice!

    Cheers,
    Al

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    Al, thank you for your response and for taking the time to better understand the scenario I'm dealing with. The long range plan is to get onto a 2012 server platform, but we're not in a position yet to do a blanket replacement of all the equipment, and since the domain is still 2000 we're looking to do a staged upgrade to get to 2012.

    1. Are your current DCs Windows Server 2000? - Yes

    2. When you say can the existing 2003 servers be used as a DC do you mean leaving them installed as is and doing a DCPromo on it? - Correct. The lingering questions are if we make one of the 2003's a DC or both with one as a backup, will that hose the apps on them now (SQL Server/Sharepoint)?
    3. What age are your physical servers? - About 10 years (Yes, they're old)
    4. When you say to keep the demoted Server 2000 servers, do you mean not re-installing them? - Correct they would remain on the network running their current apps until we fully migrate them to eventual new servers
    5. Do you have licencing restrictions, or is there money in the pot? - We would be dealing with some restrictions on licensing and are looking to take an economical approach to upgrading, if possible.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend upgrading existing servers with their roles to DCs. I believe this can cause issues if any form of local account is used for the services they're running. MS best practice is also to separate DCs and SQL servers.

    With the age of your servers, I'd look to obtain a nice fresh unit to use as a DC. This doesn't have to cost the earth - for small environments you can use something like an HP Microserver N45L and even use it as a VM host. Personally I like to have at least one bare metal DC.

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    I'm working on convincing the "powers that be" to order a new server to use as a VM host to run a virtual 2003 to do the domain upgrade. Is the free version of HyperV ok for this? The other option that was tossed around was moving Sharepoint to the SQL Server and then using the former Sharepoint box as the new 2003 DC.

    Can I expect any impact on the Exchange server in upgrading the domain?

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    ALR
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    Alright, firstly it is always best to have your Primary DC doing nothing but being a Domain Controller. That way if you have any Domain issues, you know there is going to be no other application/service interfering with your DC. Also, us IT guys in Schools have to support hundreds of log-ons everyday as students change lessons etc, so our DCs always have a lot of work to do!

    Second, you cannot raise the functional level of the domain whilst you have Server 2000 DCs still running. Demoting Server 2000 DCs can be a right pain the ass too! You really are going to have to purchase a new server to be your Primary DC.

    With regards to Exchange, I'll need to do some further digging, but Exchange is heavily integrated into AD. If you raise your domain level with Server 2000 DCs still online, then I would expect Exchange to throw a fit. I also recommend you do not run Sharepoint and SQL Services on the same server unless it has a lot of RAM/Processor power.

    One way of getting your level raised:

    Buy a new server, install with Server 2003 and DC Promo it. Transfer all FSMOs to it.
    Move File/Printer services from back-up DC to Sharepoint server, re-install old backup-DC with server 2003, DCPromo it.
    Make sure all FSMOs/DNS/DHCP etc is off old Primary DC. Turn off old Primary DC and check all runs.
    Re-install old Primary DC with Server 2003 and transfer Exchange 2003 to it. (to eradicate Server 2000)
    Raise domain level to server 2003.
    Re-install old Server 2000 box which ran Exchange with Server 2003, then transfer Sharepoint or File/Print services to it.

    That is one hell of a lot of messing around (and assuming you have the licenses), and I would rather do it with smaller steps than that, but that is one way of raising your Domain level...

    Cheers,
    Al
    Last edited by ALR; 14th March 2013 at 02:50 PM.

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    ALR
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    With the age of your servers, I'd look to obtain a nice fresh unit to use as a DC. This doesn't have to cost the earth - for small environments you can use something like an HP Microserver N45L and even use it as a VM host. Personally I like to have at least one bare metal DC.
    Only thing to note about with having one server as a VM host is that if that server fails, you lose all the VMs on it. Everything is moving Virtual nowadays (my domain is now fully VMWare) so it is a sound way of moving forward...

    Cheers,
    Al

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    There wont be a impact to Exchang if upgrading the domain to W2K3. However, you will still need a 2003 GC around for Exch 2003.

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    ALR and Sukh, thank you both for the input.

    In your first post ALR, you mention that we can't raise the domain functional level with 2000 DCs still around. When the 2003 DCs come online, I do plan on demoting the 2000DCs to just plain servers so they can still run their apps while we reorganize our other 2003 server to play host for these apps. Late in the future I'd be moving the Exchange 2003 off the 2000 server and onto a 2003 or newer. One of the new 2003 DCs will carry the heavy roles of DNS/DHCP/FSMO roles, while the other will handle the logins.

    Do we want to run Exchange on a DC instead of keeping it isolated on its own box/VM?

    Sukh: When we create the 2003 DC, won't that also give us a 2003 GC?

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    You want to run exch on a dedicated server & when you install your dc if yiu select the gc option then it will be a gc too.

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    ALR
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrey View Post
    ALR and Sukh, thank you both for the input.

    In your first post ALR, you mention that we can't raise the domain functional level with 2000 DCs still around. When the 2003 DCs come online, I do plan on demoting the 2000DCs to just plain servers so they can still run their apps while we reorganize our other 2003 server to play host for these apps. Late in the future I'd be moving the Exchange 2003 off the 2000 server and onto a 2003 or newer. One of the new 2003 DCs will carry the heavy roles of DNS/DHCP/FSMO roles, while the other will handle the logins.

    Do we want to run Exchange on a DC instead of keeping it isolated on its own box/VM?

    Sukh: When we create the 2003 DC, won't that also give us a 2003 GC?
    I would strongly recommend that you DON'T install Exchange on a DC as you could have limitless complications. I once looked after a school with this set up (Exchange 2003 running on a Server 2003 DC) and the issues we faced included 20+ minute log on times at random moments through the day. This was due to the Exchange Mailbox Store service taking over 80% of system resources and dragging everything else on the server down to a crawl.

    If you can, keep your Primary DC being just a primary DC and your Exchange box being nothing but an Exchange box. You'll definitely have less headaches

    Cheers,
    Al

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