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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, A few basic questions about replacing 2003 DC with 2008R2 DC in Technical; Hi all, My primary school currently have a single 2003 server and I am going to replace this next week ...
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    A few basic questions about replacing 2003 DC with 2008R2 DC

    Hi all,

    My primary school currently have a single 2003 server and I am going to replace this next week with a new server and 2008R2.

    I am planning on using the old server as a DC backup server.

    Q1. is this the best use for my old 2003 server? or should I just leave the school as a single server setup which seems common in primary schools.

    Q2. Does the old server need 200R2 installed to be a backup server? or can I leave 2003 on?

    Cheers.

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    Hi

    1. If you have a spare server and there's no other use for it. I would use this a a backup DC, provide HA/FT.

    2. You can leave the server as Windows 2003 but I would recommend you rebuild to W2K8R2. As windows 2003 will be retired soon and to use new features of W2k8R2, you need to get rid of Windows 2003 DC and raise Fores/Domain func.

    Sukh
    Last edited by sukh; 26th April 2011 at 09:25 AM.

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    Thanks sukh. Good to know I am on the right track. What is HA/FT?

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    High Availability/Fault Tolerence.

    Sukh

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Did this at two schools (well the engineer did), the old 2003 server became the nackup domain server and ran the printers and the new server 2008 took over everything else (except wsus as I didnt want to shift that as its working fine, as usual dont fix what aint broke!).

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    I would probably install a single 2008 R2 Server and have the 2003 Server as a member server. This can be used for less critical applications such as WSUS or your AV software. All roles would then be transferred to your new 2008 R2 Server. The only thing you need to bear in mind is 2008 R2 is 64Bit only, so if you have any server specific applications they may or may not run.

    2003 and 2003 R2 are supported until 2015, but they're now in Extended Support. In English this means Microsoft will only create security updates and no new features.

    To be honest I think for most servers I support, I'll make the jump directly to Windows Server 2012

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I would probably install a single 2008 R2 Server and have the 2003 Server as a member server. This can be used for less critical applications such as WSUS or your AV software. All roles would then be transferred to your new 2008 R2 Server. The only thing you need to bear in mind is 2008 R2 is 64Bit only, so if you have any server specific applications they may or may not run.
    This is exactly what we did. We had a single Server 2003 R2 server and now have have a server at 2008 R2 with the old server as a member running WSUS, anti-virus, and print manager plus.

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    @Michael - I suppose the disadvantage would be that if the main DC goes down, then all your users (staff, admin and students) will be impacted serverly and wont be able to work. Moving all the roles to a single server is a single point of failure. Depending on what the server does in addition to being a DC (DNS/DHCP/WINS) I do see this as an oppportunity to make services highly available and minimise downtime.

    Most applications will still work on a 64bit server it still has a 32bit hive. More issues are around drivers/hardware.

    Sukh

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    So basically the debate is between installing 2008R2 on the old server and using as a backup DC or leaving 2003 on and using as a member server.

    Currently leaning towards backup dc but old hp printers might be a problem. hmmmm I'll have a think. Thanks for all your advice so far.

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    No reason why you can have WSUS or your AV on your DC as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sukh View Post
    @Michael - I suppose the disadvantage would be that if the main DC goes down, then all your users (staff, admin and students) will be impacted serverly and wont be able to work. Moving all the roles to a single server is a single point of failure. Depending on what the server does in addition to being a DC (DNS/DHCP/WINS) I do see this as an oppportunity to make services highly available and minimise downtime.

    Most applications will still work on a 64bit server it still has a 32bit hive. More issues are around drivers/hardware.

    Sukh
    If you have just one DC and all user files, shares and profiles are also stored on this server, it'll make no difference at all having a second DC. It'll just mean users can logon and access nothing.
    Every server I setup has RAID1 on the system drive, so the probability of everything going down is minimised. The only downtime is swapping the faulty drive, then either the RAID re-builds itself or you can restore a backup from File which is fairly quick generally speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    If you have just one DC and all user files, shares and profiles are also stored on this server, it'll make no difference at all having a second DC. It'll just mean users can logon and access nothing.
    Every server I setup has RAID1 on the system drive, so the probability of everything going down is minimised. The only downtime is swapping the faulty drive, then either the RAID re-builds itself or you can restore a backup from File which is fairly quick generally speaking.
    IF there is only one server as stated in the post which peforms the role of a DC in addition to holding the files, then users wont be able to access files. Edutechforschools will only know. can However they can at least access the internet/intranet. Even so, why not have the files/shares replicate to the second DC and provide more availabilty instead of seperating the DC/shares on each server.


    Even if your have RAID setup, this only protects you from hardware failure. This doesn't cover protection at the application layer. Where as having multiple server DC's (and other roles such as DNS/WINS/DHCP) offer this. This way you're covered at the hardware level and application level. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have RAID.

    Also, if it is a single server then need to ensure that it FT all around, i.e network cards, teamming, CPU's, RAM etc..

    This is why I recommend having two DC's, this way your core infrastructure is HA.

    Sukh

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    If you have just one DC and all user files, shares and profiles are also stored on this server, it'll make no difference at all having a second DC. It'll just mean users can logon and access nothing.
    I think I am more worried about AD corruption and that side of things as rebuilding a corrupted DC is a a pain, but I can always get at user files as once a week I do a file backup to USB (we do have offsite backup but if the server is down its no help)

    As for running 2003 type of software I could install 2003 as a hyper-v system although cant think of anything that might need it.

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    Personally I would make both old and new windows 2008 R2 DC's

    Put your schema and domain naming on the same box, the other 3 roles on the 2nd box...make both GC's
    Setup DFS, and replicate the file shares between the 2 servers. If entirely possibly I would also team network cards on both servers across 2 switches.

    You can find any machine to carry out your WSUS role, I personally wouldn't have this on my DC.

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    If I split the GC across both units how does this help me? and if one server goes down how would I (a) get the working server to have all the rolls and (b) move them back once the server has been fixed?

    Also what happens to the users if one server goes down?

    Sorry but I am new to multi server setups.

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