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Michael Gibbs

Keep a 2012 essentials server as the DC during transition

Forgive me if this is already explained in the migration documentation, I just wanted to be sure before I start the project that I am ok with the workflow. 

I have a physical 2012 Essentials Server that is currently running as the DC for a small network of 10 users. It runs two LOB applications as well as the Essentials role which is used for Office 365 integration and Remote Access through the RDP Gateway (or RWW).

I am replacing this physical server with a new machine running Server 2019 STD with the Hyper-V role that will host two VMs. One for the new DC using 2019 Standard (NOT Essentials) and this VM will also be the file/print server. The second virtual member server will be used for the LOB applications and also run AD Connect and later run RD Gateway.

If I create the two new VMs and domain join them to the Essentials AD, as the new DC is Standard and not Essentials when it takes over as the new primary DC will the previous 2012 Essentials server continue to run as a member server without needing to remove it from AD in 21 days?

The priority for the initial phase is to domain join the two new virtual servers and make the new 2nd member server take over the new LOB software. 

When the LOB applications are operating on the new member server the primary DC role (and FSMO) can be moved to the other VM running 2019 std server, The old LOB application can continue to run on the 2012 server as a member server for reference purposes until it is deemed appropriate to retire and decommission in the meantime print services and data can be moved over.

  • FSMO
  • Essentials Experience Role
  • Hyper-V
  • Migration
asked12/17/2020 13:05
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Last Activity 01/06/2021 12:03

1 Answer(s)

  • Mariette Knap
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    Michael Gibbs

    So for the purposes of moving the LOB application to the new member server it would be acceptable to leave the existing Windows 2012 Essentials server running the DC and FSMO roles?

    First install Windows 2019 std with the Hyper-V role on the new physical server.

    Then install the new virtual member server and join it to the existing AD. Install the new LOB app on this server. This can then be run in conjunction with the old LOB app running on the existing 2012 Essentials server to transition the app.

    The migration to the Windows 2019 DC and move of FSMO roles and everything else like file/print, GP changes etc and all that your guide covers can be completed as a separate project later? 

    That will give time to test the new "member" server without the 26 days timer as long as having a 2019 member server won't disrupt this migration? 

    Mariette Knap


    Yes, if you leave the old Windows Server 2012 Essentials intact what you want to do is possible. This is what I sometimes do when I depend on some other party doing the LOB stuff.

    Let me know if you need a bit extra time for your migration and I will extend access for you.

    replied 01/02/2021 20:35
    Michael Gibbs

    Thank you Mariette

    This is exactly as you describe, the third party are now conducting their migration.

    Your offer to extend is very generous, thank you, I don't know how long I have with the current arrangement but I will check and get to you extend if needed. 


    replied 01/06/2021 12:03

    replied 01/02/2021 19:52
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