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Our current domain is at a functional level 2008 R2 and all the current domain controllers are built on Windows Server 2008 R2 OS. One of our remote site domain controllers is up for replacement and we are looking at deploying a domain controller with Windows Server 2012 R2 OS.

Are there any "gotcha's" or things to be aware of? I understand it will likely bring the domain level up to a mixed mode but is there anything that absolutely will not work with this set up? It seems pretty straightforward with just installing the role and then running dcpromo through Server Manager. I remember how difficult the jump from 2003 functional level to 2008 R2 functional level was and just want to be sure running in this mixed mode won't cause an even bigger headache.

I have looked at Technet and not seen anything that seems too difficult or dangerous.

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    I remember how difficult the jump from 2003 functional level to 2008 R2 functional level was - What? What difficulty? just want to be sure running in this mixed mode won't cause an even bigger headache - There is no mixed mode other than Windows 2000 mixed mode. What headache are you envisioning? I think your anticipated headache is due to your lack of knowledge in this area. It would be better if you did a little reading up on Domain and Forest functional levels. – joeqwerty Oct 20 '15 at 16:14
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Introducing a 2012 R2 DC to your environment won't automatically update your domain or forest function levels. It will extend your AD Schema but hat change should not cause issues. The ADprep (which extends the schema) does not need to be run from the FSMO role holders like in older versions, so you should be able to just proceed with the role install, then the DCpromo process.

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There should not be as long as you do not change functional level until you upgrade all the DC to 2012.

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    Pretty sure you can't raise DFL to 2012 R2 with existing 2008 R2 domain controllers. – Greg Askew Oct 20 '15 at 17:52

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