I have a pretty simple network with a Windows 2016 domain controller. Can I use a server with Windows 2012 R2 as a secondary domain controller?

The Domain/Forest Functional Level of existing DC is Windows Server 2016.

If it is possible, will there be missing features, or replication or any other issues?

If it is not possible, what would be a good solution? Lowering the Domain Functional Level of existing DC? What should be considered if I want to do so? How this could affect the current domain?



You can lower the Forest and Domain functional levels to 2012 R2 and then promote the 2012 R2 DC.

The process outlined here is for lowering to 2008 R2, but you can substitute Windows2012R2Domain and Windows2012R2Domain in the commands listed.

Note that if you're using any of the 2016 features, like Time-Limited Group Membership, they'll cease to function.

A better option would be to just promote another 2016 server and leave the functional levels at 2016.

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