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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Create new DC as a VM, then convert to physical in Technical; Morning! I've been thinking about the best way to introduce Server 2008 R2 onto our primary DC for a while ...
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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Create new DC as a VM, then convert to physical

    Morning!

    I've been thinking about the best way to introduce Server 2008 R2 onto our primary DC for a while now. The server currently runs Server 2003 non R2, and is well up to the task. I have an old server acting as a backup DC across the domain, and this is replicating fine etc.

    The method I've been considering is to create a new Server 2008 R2 VM on our VMWare server, add it as a DC, then transfer roles to it so it becomes the PDC. Would it be fairly straightforward to then sysprep this image, transfer it over to the physical server (a DL360 G4, 4GB RAM, 2x3.0GHz Xeon, 72GB 15k SCSI) then turn off the VM? That way I could perform plenty of testing on R2 without relying on my old backup as the primary DC for any amount of time.

    Any thoughts?

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    My first thought is why move back to a physical machine at the end?
    IMO leave it as a VM and take advantage of the benefits of running VMs

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Our VM host is pretty well subscribed currently, and it'd be a shame to leave our still very decent DC hardware as is. I could set that machine up as a virtual host too I suppose, but I wouldn't be putting any more than the one VM on it - would it still make sense to do that?

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I REALLY REALLY REALLY wouldnt sysprep a DC. I dont know for sure but I would imagine all hell breaking loose with that.
    If I were you I would VM your DC test and if you like it keep it in VM or install r2 on the hardware you want to use an transfer roles rather then sysprep.

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    3s-gtech (23rd March 2010)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Oh good point, I don't think you actually can sysprep a DC, taking out the SIDs during sysprep would make it useless anyway. You would have demote it to member server, sysprep then dcpromo after.
    Last edited by sparkeh; 23rd March 2010 at 12:00 PM.

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    3s-gtech (23rd March 2010)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    I think I'll go for that option as you say. I'll convert the current PDC onto my VMWare box (this will be during a good period like Easter), wipe the hardware, then perhaps stick VMWare onto that too and install a new PDC onto it. Always good to have some experienced advice!

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    If you're only looking to host one role on the DL360 I would not bother putting a VMware host on it. Gave a quick look through the HCL and did a best guess about the actual processor you have, and it "looks" like it's old enough to not have the virtualisation features newer processes have. Another thing to check is some of the older processors can host 64 bit but not pass 64 bit support through to a guest OS, which 2008 R2 needs.

    Hopefully this server can at least have Raid 1 if it is going to be your PDC, I would not put much trust in older hard disks.

    Have fun working out what works best for you.

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    3s-gtech (23rd March 2010)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Yup, good point on the hardware virtualisation. I don't think I need to go that route now, but yeah it's running an SL7PE pair Intel® Xeon® Processor 3 GHz - SL7PE which are pretty old now, and don't have support for it. I'll whack R2 straight onto that machine after grabbing the image. It has two discs in RAID 1 that haven't given me any cause for concern yet, but I'll be keeping a close eye!

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