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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, 2008 R2 Dilemma in Technical; We have acquired a new 64 bit server with 2008 R2 which originally was purchased for a specific role but ...
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    2008 R2 Dilemma

    We have acquired a new 64 bit server with 2008 R2 which originally was purchased for a specific role but as usual things change and is now spare. The school at present is a server 2003 with Win XP professinal setup. Now ideally we want to move to 2008 and Win 7 in the near future but my dilemma at present is how to best use the new hardware to prepare the school for the future. My first though was to replace the current 2003 DC with this new 2008 R2 server so that we can use new GP's to set up and control both the existing XP and the new Win 7 machines. My concern is if this is the best use of the hardware as its fairly well spec'ed. One other option was to migrate the current 2003 servers to 2008 as most of them are 32 bit servers and then use the 2008 R2 machine to venture into the VM world.

    My question is would it be easier to 1)just upgrade the current DC to 2008 and run the other servers in a mixed 2003/08 environment or 2)upgrade all servers to 2008 or 3) Replace the DC with a new 2008 R2 box and upgrade the old 2003 servers to 2008

    As you might gather I'm in a bit of an unsure state as to the best way forward so any advice would be welcome, especially concerning what additional benefits would there be to replacing the DC with a new server running 2008 R2.
    Last edited by mickeyh080; 16th July 2011 at 09:40 PM.

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    You cannot upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit. You could introduce the other as a 2008 R2 domain controller though and do it that way though eg do whatever prep you need and let it replicate move fsmo roles remove old dc. Wipe old dc install 2008 R2. This is a much simplified version but you get the idea. If you wanted to start fresh you would make the R2 machine in a new domain and migrate users and computers etc over with something like ADMT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    You cannot upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit. You could introduce the other as a 2008 R2 domain controller though and do it that way though eg do whatever prep you need and let it replicate move fsmo roles remove old dc. Wipe old dc install 2008 R2. This is a much simplified version but you get the idea. If you wanted to start fresh you would make the R2 machine in a new domain and migrate users and computers etc over with something like ADMT.
    Thanks Chris perhaps I didn't explain my thoughts well, I'm aware of the upgrade paths in terms of 32bit and 64 bit servers and what OS's can be installed. I just want to make the best use of the 2008 R2 machine and wondered if using it solely as a new DC is a waste. In your experience does the new functions of replacing the DC with new hardware running the 2008 R2 OS bring much more than just a 2008 upgrade on the current DC.

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    In that case I have changed the word upgrade to migrate in your post ;-) You need to give some more details, you don't give the spec of any of the servers or how many clients you have etc etc.

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    I think your probably thinking about this in a more complex than it needs to be kind of way. If you are looking at using windows 7 then yes, you probably do need to have an R2 domain controller there somewhere. You've not given a lot of detail so I can't answer the question for you but ask yourself these questions

    1. how many dc's do you have?, how many do you need?
    2. What services do you run at the moment, what would you like to run?
    3. Are there any services you would like to migrate from your current server or would like to duplicate? (dfs, dc's, dns, dhcp, Printing, etc etc)
    4. Is now the right time to virtualise?
    5. Are there any features in R2 that you would like to use or any features that only work in 2003?

    To my mind the 32 bit machines will never be able to run server 2008 R2 so you should aim to migrate services from them as they wont be much use moving forwards so prehaps look to move small time services to them such as web servers , intranet servers that sort of thing.

  6. Thanks to strawberry from:

    mickeyh080 (16th July 2011)

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    Its quite simple on what you have to do. Add your 2008 R2 as a member server, leaving your 2003 as a DC for the time being.
    Once added, you need to extend your schema on the 2003 DC running the adprep utility. (You need to copy the adprep folder to your local 2003 DC and run forestprep, domainprep).
    You will now need to promote the 2008 R2 box as a domain controller and then transfer your FSMO roles to your 2008 R2.
    server.
    Finally you can demote your 2003 box as everything will be running on the 2008 server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Ahmed View Post
    Its quite simple on what you have to do. Add your 2008 R2 as a member server, leaving your 2003 as a DC for the time being.
    Once added, you need to extend your schema on the 2003 DC running the adprep utility. (You need to copy the adprep folder to your local 2003 DC and run forestprep, domainprep).
    You will now need to promote the 2008 R2 box as a domain controller and then transfer your FSMO roles to your 2008 R2.
    server.
    Finally you can demote your 2003 box as everything will be running on the 2008 server.
    I like this solution but a question comes to mind concerning the naming convention. At present the DC is srv-001 where as the new 2008 R2 box would be somthing different, how would I go about renaming the new DC once it has taken control. I believe from previous posts there is more to it than just renaming a DC.

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    You can't rename the computer when it's a DC. Maybe change your naming convention slightly to something similar. srv-1 or something.

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    It doesn't make a difference what you name your server to as all stations are connecting to the same domain.
    The only thing you need to consider is changing the IP address if you have any special routing on the network.

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    I would give it a new name with a different address to start off with. When u do a dcpromo make sure you select the new server as a dns and global cat server. The rest can be incorporated later ie dhcp etc.
    Build your new ou's with policies and then move accounts once you are happy with the testing.
    I've just done this process last week. Give me a shout if you need any help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    You can't rename the computer when it's a DC.
    You can if the server is running 2008 or 2008 R2.

  13. Thanks to Arthur from:

    ChrisH (17th July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    You can if the server is running 2008 or 2008 R2.
    Well you learn something new every day

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    You can rename a Win Server 2003 PDC as well, I did it with our admin server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyh080 View Post
    venture into the VM world.
    Do that^, if it's decent hardware then there's no point wasting it on a single DC that's going to be doing nothing most of the time, DCs need sod all processing power, 1GB ram + 1 core on a cpu is enough for a 2008R2 DC doing DHCP/DNS/DFS Shares + Normal roles, make the most of your hardware

    If you can afford it get into VMware, it's far superior to hyperv or xen.

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    to be honest this thread seems to have gone all over the place, be wary of just doing something for the sake of it. if it were me and again I cant give a more specific answer as I know nothing about your specs or your network demands but i'd look at having 2 dcs, its better for disaster recovery and means you dont have to worry about the migration or in place upgrades that seem to be suggested here. The 64 bit server might well be capable of running hyper v which would help sort your concerns about it being over specced for a dc.

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