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Raising Domain and Forest Functional Level

    Question

  • I have a forest with a single domain with 6 domain controllers all running Windows 2003 Server Standard w/SP2.  The current forrest functional level is Windows 2000, the current domain functional level is Windows 2000 mixed.  I want to replace all 6 of these domain controllers with new servers running Windows 2003 Server Enterprise w/Sp2.  Is there any reason that I would need to raise the functional levels of the forest and/or domain to do this?  If so, to what levels?

    At a later date (within the year), I plan on upgrading these six new servers to Windows 2008 Server Enterprise.  At this time will I need to update these functional levels?  If so, to what levels?

    Any good articles about updating these functional levels along with what to do to prepare for the upgrade?

    -steve

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:10 PM

Answers

  • >>Is there any reason that I would need to raise the functional levels of the forest and/or domain to do this?  If so, to what levels?Is there >>any reason that I would need to raise the functional levels of the forest and/or domain to do this?  If so, to what levels?

    No, there is no difference between 2003 Standard and Enterprise, and the Domain and Forest Functionaly levels are not affected by replacing Standard with Enterprise.

    However, to upgrade to 2003 R2, 2008, or 2008 R2 all require a Schema updates and may have Functional level requirements. 

    To upgrade to 2003 R2 does not require any changes in the Domain or Forest Functional Levels.

    To upgrade to 2008 and 2008 R2 requires Domain Native mode, however because installation of an RODC requires Windows 2003 Forest Functional level, its best to be at this level to fully utilize all 2008 features.

    Excepts from:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=fa629de2-f4dd-47ac-8d80-3db46b2877a2

    Functional level features and requirements

    Features that are enabled for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain and forest functional levels are documented in Understanding Domain and Forest Functionality (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=164555). Domain and forest functional level requirements for the deployment of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers are as follows:

    ·      Adprep /forestprep does not have any domain or forest functional level requirements.

    ·      Adprep /domainprep requires a Windows 2000 native or higher domain functional level in each target domain.

    ·      Adprep /rodcprep does not have any functional-level requirements.

    ·      You can install Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers in the same domain or forest without any functional-level requirement.

    ·      For installation of a read-only domain controller (RODC), the forest functional level must be Windows Server 2003 or higher.

     

     

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:46 PM
  • Here are some good articles on Forest and Domain Functional levels:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757019(WS.10).aspx

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/322692?p=1

    The Windows 2000 Server mixed (default) supports Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Server , Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 DCs .  So you dont need to raise the funcitonal level. 

     

     


    Santhosh Sivarajan | MCTS, MCSE (W2K3/W2K/NT4), MCSA (W2K3/W2K/MSG), CCNA, Network+ Houston, TX http://blogs.sivarajan.com/ http://publications.sivarajan.com/ This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:03 PM
  • Hello Steve,

    No, You donot need to raise your current DFL and the FFL to upgrade from w2k3 standard to w2k3 enterprise.

    If at a later time you decide to upgrade all 6 DCs to w2k8 enterprise, you may raise the FFL and DFL to Windows Server 2008 to be able to take advantage and use the new features that 2008 will provide.

    Here os a detailed aarticle on upgrading

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2008/04/08/upgrading-your-active-directory-to-windows-server-2008.aspx


    Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:39 PM
  • Hello,

    as already mentioned from the others, replacing DCs doesn't require the raise of  functional levels. But if you like to use some of the new features coming with them, you have to make sure all DCs fullfill the requirements of the OS for the choosen functional level. See the already posted links about.


    Best regards Meinolf Weber Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:58 PM

All replies

  • Here are some good articles on Forest and Domain Functional levels:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757019(WS.10).aspx

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/322692?p=1

    The Windows 2000 Server mixed (default) supports Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Server , Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 DCs .  So you dont need to raise the funcitonal level. 

     

     


    Santhosh Sivarajan | MCTS, MCSE (W2K3/W2K/NT4), MCSA (W2K3/W2K/MSG), CCNA, Network+ Houston, TX http://blogs.sivarajan.com/ http://publications.sivarajan.com/ This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:03 PM
  • Hello Steve,

    No, You donot need to raise your current DFL and the FFL to upgrade from w2k3 standard to w2k3 enterprise.

    If at a later time you decide to upgrade all 6 DCs to w2k8 enterprise, you may raise the FFL and DFL to Windows Server 2008 to be able to take advantage and use the new features that 2008 will provide.

    Here os a detailed aarticle on upgrading

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2008/04/08/upgrading-your-active-directory-to-windows-server-2008.aspx


    Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:39 PM
  • >>Is there any reason that I would need to raise the functional levels of the forest and/or domain to do this?  If so, to what levels?Is there >>any reason that I would need to raise the functional levels of the forest and/or domain to do this?  If so, to what levels?

    No, there is no difference between 2003 Standard and Enterprise, and the Domain and Forest Functionaly levels are not affected by replacing Standard with Enterprise.

    However, to upgrade to 2003 R2, 2008, or 2008 R2 all require a Schema updates and may have Functional level requirements. 

    To upgrade to 2003 R2 does not require any changes in the Domain or Forest Functional Levels.

    To upgrade to 2008 and 2008 R2 requires Domain Native mode, however because installation of an RODC requires Windows 2003 Forest Functional level, its best to be at this level to fully utilize all 2008 features.

    Excepts from:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=fa629de2-f4dd-47ac-8d80-3db46b2877a2

    Functional level features and requirements

    Features that are enabled for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain and forest functional levels are documented in Understanding Domain and Forest Functionality (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=164555). Domain and forest functional level requirements for the deployment of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers are as follows:

    ·      Adprep /forestprep does not have any domain or forest functional level requirements.

    ·      Adprep /domainprep requires a Windows 2000 native or higher domain functional level in each target domain.

    ·      Adprep /rodcprep does not have any functional-level requirements.

    ·      You can install Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers in the same domain or forest without any functional-level requirement.

    ·      For installation of a read-only domain controller (RODC), the forest functional level must be Windows Server 2003 or higher.

     

     

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:46 PM
  • Hello,

    as already mentioned from the others, replacing DCs doesn't require the raise of  functional levels. But if you like to use some of the new features coming with them, you have to make sure all DCs fullfill the requirements of the OS for the choosen functional level. See the already posted links about.


    Best regards Meinolf Weber Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:58 PM