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I´m really confused about DC and Active Directory. In a small network with a single Windows Server (2008 Foundation), it is required to have a DC?

I reviewed this question Is there any difference between Domain controller and Active directory? and moreless I understood the difference. However some other sites claim that DC is no longer necessary and AD is the preferred option.

A customer has and old W2008 Foundation that is to be upgraded to at least R2. Almost the same situation described here https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/4d251f26-0f1f-4125-a867-0ad8ef513af1/actualizar-un-windows-server-2008-r2-foundation-a-standard?forum=wssmes. Such page (in spanish) claims that the only way to do that is to demote the DC, migrate and repromote.

This server has a longtime fine tuned configuration that we would not like to start from scratch. It has a user for making ldap requests, and I´m afraid that if we demote the server, it will not longer honor such requests.

We tried to upgrade it to Windows 2012 R2 but the installation claimed it cannot be done.

Stating the question in another way. Is AD enough to serve LDAP request if the server is not a DC?

  • Should work if you upgrade it to Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard first. – Greg Askew Aug 11 at 12:48
  • Upgrading to 2008R2 seemed like a nightmare, but we downloaded the last evaluation version of it from MS site an upgraded like a charm. We just won a battle, not the war. I´ll keep posting as we make more progress. I didn´t mention that we also want to migrate the server itself to a new one – alvaroc Aug 13 at 15:27
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You can't have Active Directory Domain Services without a Domain Controller, so yes, to have AD DS you must have a DC.

  • i would install a second dc Transfer the roles devote the old and install/upgrade it. remind that foundation may need to be upgrade first to a default, Standard or r2 2008 to get higher as i teste in the past – djdomi Aug 11 at 10:42

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