Strategy, How To: add 2k server to NT4 domain, upgrade domain later.
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Thread: Strategy, How To: add 2k server to NT4 domain, upgrade domain later.

  1. #1
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    Strategy, How To: add 2k server to NT4 domain, upgrade domain later.

    I have several concerns about adding a 2k server to an existing NT4 domain. I want to devise a strategy to move to 2k permanently, but with zero down time, and a seamless migration. I am struggling with a limited budget, so I canít go full steam, and we need a more powerful fileserver now. I donít want to waist time installing NT4 on the new server, then upgrading to 2k later, this presents the possibility of too much down time.

    The NT4 PDC will not support win2k therefore an upgrade is impossible. A BDC is, but would need to be promoted first. The problem is, before the first upgrade into Active Directory, I would need to add the new 2k server as a member server to the existing NT4 domain for basic file shares. Future intentions would be to maintain the same shares on this new server, and run Dcpromo following the upgrade of the promoted BDC to 2kÖ

    The domain will not change names unless I have to. In this case I could install a second domain and migrate things over; but I want to avoid that for several reasons, problems primarily focused on the budget.

    CALís for the 2000 server: I am setup for per seat in the NT4 domain, with plenty of licenses for my current users. However if I add a 2k server, will it fall under the same licenses, or do I need to purchase an equal amount of 2k CALís? I would presume that the 2k CALís are not required until the Domain is upgraded (or added), but I canít find any documentation to conclude that. When it comes time to upgrade the domain, I wish to purchase an additional server license for the promoted BDC, and the appropriate number of CALís, however it may be several months from when I get a new server, to when I upgrade the domain. I need to protect myself without spending any additional money up front. This is a deal breaker, because if I have to go overboard on licensing, I lose the budget for the server. My intentions are to get this beast in the building immediately, then over the next few months work out the budget with management for the additional software purchases, and perform the migration.

  2. #2
    Registered User drewmaztech's Avatar
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    We're in a similar sitaution where I work. I'm not able to help you with the licencing questions though, that's not in my department, sorry.
    We use a handy-dandy imaging software from PowerQuest. It allows us to create backup images of servers before upgrading so we have something to fall back on.
    We use it to make an image of the server and blow it to another box and slip that into action with downtime being minimal.

    We do have a couple 2000 Server boxes connected to our NT domain. They join the domain as member servers and share out some files - no big deal. When we migrate to a 2000 domain, we'll just run dcpromo to bring them up and into AD.

    I've found that as long as you keep your 2000 domain in mixed mode, it'll support your "old" domain. Our NT domain is "ABC" and our new domain will be "ABC.local" - it looks like it still emulates the "ABC" for all the other NT boxes we have. They don't even notice the change.

    This is all found from my own research here. I'm hope someone else can help you further. Our workstations are all now on 2000 - servers going to 2000 in a few weeks.
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    Registered User silencio's Avatar
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    If you need a server that you plan to later upgrade to a DC I would make the server an NT4 BDC and use it like that until you're ready to upgrade. When the time comes, promote it to a PDC and upgrade to 2K. There's really no advantage to having 2K over NT4 for file sharing. If you do this, you also won't have to worry about CALs until the time comes for AD.

    The problem is that you can't upgrade an existing domain without installing on the PDC.
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    Originally posted by silencio
    If you need a server that you plan to later upgrade to a DC I would make the server an NT4 BDC and use it like that until you're ready to upgrade. When the time comes, promote it to a PDC and upgrade to 2K. There's really no advantage to having 2K over NT4 for file sharing. If you do this, you also won't have to worry about CALs until the time comes for AD.

    The problem is that you can't upgrade an existing domain without installing on the PDC.
    I feel the advantage would be less install time required during the upgrade/migration. I would save the 2+hours of a successful upgrade from NT4 to 2k, and be able to jump right into DCPROMO. The IT department, (me alone ) would need all of the time in a long weekend to perform the backbone upgrade and migration portion of this, to ensure that I can get through the task correctly, while still offering 100% uptime the following week. Plus, I can get the server preloaded with 2k, and supported under warranty; if I should instead install NT4 then upgrade, I may lose some aspect of the warranty, should I need future support.

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    Ok, it looks like the CAL's are required. I had to call MS to confirm this, but I am being told that even if I am adding to an existing NT4 domain, 2k CAL's are required. So that really sucks.

    Anyway, moving on, I still want to do this my way, we are just going to have to pay more up front. Any advice?

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    Registered User Icharus's Avatar
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    We will be going thru the same process sometime early (I hope) next year.

    If I'm understading you correctly, your favorite solution would be to purchase a new server with W2K preinstalled, rather than upgrade an existing machine (or a new machine) from NT to 2K.

    I personally like the idea of forgoing an upgrade altogther and just starting fresh from scratch with W2K and AD. In this way you can take your time and make sure the server works the way you want it to. It also gives you the opportunity to fix any problems with your current domain given your hard won experience with it.

    If your systems are well documented, the clean install should not be too much trouble. I would also setup test clients to check the server configuration with all your office apps. If your clients are fairly similar in hardware/software configuration, use an imaging application and sysprep to roll out your clients with your tested configuration preinstalled. I also think it will be easier to demote a PDC to a member server in an AD domain than the other way around (or just reinstall NT on the old server and retask it for other duties after the AD DC is installed).

    I think this option works well when you are trying to minimize network down time (although maybe not your own time, but that's why we get the big bucks, right), because all new configuration can be done off the main network in a test environment.

    Of course, all this really depends on the size of your network. It sounds like it is fairly small, with just one or two servers, like mine is. With a much larger netwok, this might not be practical.

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    Registered User Archangel42069's Avatar
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    I remember about a year and a half ago the domain at 29 Palms Marine A/GTF Training Command was migrated to 2k with zero downtime...I will call around down there and see if I can get ahold of anyone...
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Archangel42069
    I remember about a year and a half ago the domain at 29 Palms Marine A/GTF Training Command was migrated to 2k with zero downtime...I will call around down there and see if I can get ahold of anyone...
    I was only at the Stumps twice, once on my way to Tustin/El Toro (when the bases were still open) I dropped off a friend stationed there; the other was a field exercise for a week. We didn't keep in touch the three years that I was in SoCal, but my friend did visit once to go to the beach. He couldn't believe what a treat I had in the Airwing at Tustin. I got all of my promotion early and meritoriously because there was little competition; and it helped that my OIC was a former grunt and DI. He kept me in shape. The only place worse than the Stumps is Yuma. The only thing to do there is dun-buggy.

    Thanks for looking into that for me.

    Semper FI

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    Registered User silencio's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ya_know
    I feel the advantage would be less install time required during the upgrade/migration. I would save the 2+hours of a successful upgrade from NT4 to 2k, and be able to jump right into DCPROMO. The IT department, (me alone ) would need all of the time in a long weekend to perform the backbone upgrade and migration portion of this, to ensure that I can get through the task correctly, while still offering 100% uptime the following week. Plus, I can get the server preloaded with 2k, and supported under warranty; if I should instead install NT4 then upgrade, I may lose some aspect of the warranty, should I need future support.
    The problem is that your first 2000 domain controller has to be installed on an NT4 PDC. The only way around this is migration to a new domain. Also, you can get almost zero downtime if you take a BDC offline, promote it, install 2000 (dcpromo is automatically launched on a PDC install), then bring the NT4 PDC offline (demote) while you bring the new 2000 DC online. If it's planned correctly (dns, wins, etc issues) the only downtime you'll have is the amount of time it takes to plug in your network cable.
    Last edited by silencio; December 18th, 2002 at 02:58 AM.
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    Geezer confus-ed's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ya_know
    Ok, it looks like the CAL's are required. I had to call MS to confirm this, but I am being told that even if I am adding to an existing NT4 domain, 2k CAL's are required. So that really sucks.
    Without getting into what you promote, how when etc, you seem to have that sussed .... .... WTF? That statement says that if you have just one W2k server in a domain you need all W2k licences .... WTF !? please tell me I'm being confus-ed that just strikes me as mad ....

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    Originally posted by confus-ed
    Without getting into what you promote, how when etc, you seem to have that sussed .... .... WTF? That statement says that if you have just one W2k server in a domain you need all W2k licences .... WTF !? please tell me I'm being confus-ed that just strikes me as mad ....
    Read it and weep. I_know that I did...

    Windows 2000 Client Access Licensing Overview

    The direct quote is this:

    "and a Windows 2000 Server Client Access License (CAL) for each client computer that is used by an authenticated user or that uses Windows 2000 Server Services.

    The majority of customer scenarios will require the same number of Windows 2000 CALs as they would with Windows NTģ Server 4.0."

    Although it seems a grey area in the wording, I am also going on what the MS sales rep. told me over the phone. In essence, if anyone accesses the 2k server, even though it is a member of an existing NT4 domain, you must have CAL's under 2K for them. I asked ďeven in a per seat environment?Ē and he again stated the above.

    If anyone can confirm otherwise, please post your findings. This seems like crap...but I canít get passed it.

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    Registered User Icharus's Avatar
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    The licensing mumbo-jumbo from the MS site says that for per-seat mode, each client that accesses a server PRODUCT on a network requires a CAL. Windows 2000 is a different server product from Windows NT 4. You need a CAL for each client that will access W2K and CAL's for each client that will access NT.

    From what I understand, if you added 15 new Windows 2000 servers, you would only need 1 W2K CAL for each client that will access ANY of the W2K servers. If you later add a Windows 2003 server, you will need new CAL's for each of your clients that will access that server.

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    Registered User silencio's Avatar
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    Doesn't windows 2000 pro come with a CAL? (you may not be running 2Kpro on desktops yet but, when the time comes...)
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Icharus
    each client that accesses a server PRODUCT on a network requires a CAL. Windows 2000 is a different server product from Windows NT 4.
    It is so clear when you say it that way! Thanks for expounding it.

    Ok, so I have to buy the CAL's; would it just be better for me to create a new domain with the 2k server, then slowly migrate/create everything over? In the interim, I would just need to provide the 2 way trust, then add the shares on the new server to the login scripts for the NT4 domain. Then, in order for me to get the NT servers (yes all 4 are PDC/BDC, can you believe it...) over to the new domain, I would need to reinstall NT, or upgrade to 2k, but couldnít I add it to the other domain, or best bet is to reinstall...

    Or, as this article says, I could use svrmgr from the 2k-server console, and add the account for the NT BDC, then
    ...well you can read the article. Anyone with some input?

    Cannot Add Windows NT 4.0 BDC to a Windows 2000 Domain

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by silencio
    Doesn't windows 2000 pro come with a CAL? (you may not be running 2Kpro on desktops yet but, when the time comes...)
    I don't think that is the same thing...Where did you see that though?

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