Server configuration question

TomG 41 Reputation points
2020-10-01T14:22:37.053+00:00

I am replacing an older Server 2016 system that was upgraded last year from Server 2008r2. The hardware is reaching end of life and that is the reason I am replacing the system. The current (server being replaced) server is located in a remote office and serves 6 users. Our offices are connected to each other via a dedicated VPN and all servers are in the same domain. Users in other offices occassionally access information on this server.

The current server is setup as a basic server running file and print services, Active Directory services, DNS, DHCP, etc for the office. The server is not running Hyper-V and is running everything on the bare server.

My question is should I set up the new server (2019) as a basic style server like the current setup or should I install Hyper-V and setup a VM as a domain controller and another VM for the file server?

There are pro's and con's to each case. I am leaning toward using the basic setup like the current server is using. Please provide your input on good reasons why I should go thru the complexity of setting up Hyper-V for the office in question. thanks

Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management updated to data storage.
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  1. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2020-10-01T14:27:01.58+00:00

    My question is should I set up the new server (2019) as a workgroup style server like the current setup or should I install Hyper-V and setup a VM as a domain controller and another VM for the file server?

    This would be my recommendation since separating file print and active directory domain services roles greatly simplifies the task when any issues do arise with either.

    Some general info about the migration.

    The two prerequisites to introducing the first 2019 domain controller are that domain functional level needs to be 2008 or higher and older sysvol FRS replication needs to have been migrated to DFSR
    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Storage-at-Microsoft/Streamlined-Migration-of-FRS-to-DFSR-SYSVOL/ba-p/425405

    I'd use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting any operations. Then stand up the new 2019, patch it fully, license it, join existing domain, add active directory domain services, promote it also making it a GC (recommended), transfer FSMO roles over (optional), transfer pdc emulator role (optional), use dcdiag / repadmin tools to again verify health, when all is good you can decommission / demote old one.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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  1. TomG 41 Reputation points
    2020-10-01T14:53:52.523+00:00

    Thanks for the reply.
    If I am reading your reply correctly the optimal setup would be to install Hyper-V and use it to create/manage VM's for these services.
    However, you supply some good basic information if I decide to setup the server as a "basic" server running all services on the bare machine.
    Is this correct?

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  2. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2020-10-01T14:56:29.837+00:00

    Yes, the creating VM's for each role would be recommended. The steps for active directory I posted would apply to either scenario.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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  3. TomG 41 Reputation points
    2020-10-01T14:57:55.33+00:00

    My domain functional level is set to 2008r2 but the "available level" to select is up to 2016.
    I assume I should go ahead and raise the functional level regardless of which way I go on the 2019 server configuration.
    Is there any good reason why I should NOT raise the functional level?

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  4. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2020-10-01T15:01:28.23+00:00

    The setup sounds pretty basic using all microsoft technologies. If there were other third party applications then you may want to confirm with them if domain functional level affects their product. From what you described raising DFL should be fine to do.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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