I have a Windows Server 2012 R2 which is a domain controller that provides AD, DNS services. Now I need to migrate everything in the system (services and data) to a newly installed Windows Server 2016 seamlessly without interruption.

So, I've googled some information and searched answers on serverfault and I'm curious about which is the appropriate way to do this?

  1. According to this old answer, is this way still available? Adding another domain controller can solve my demand easily? Will the new domain controller conflict with my old one?

  2. Can the storage migration service (described here) solve my demand much easier? I thought it can only be used in Windows Server 2019?

Thanks in advance!

  • You basically answered your own question. 1.: yes, still a way to go. 2.: yes, usable (in Server 2016, too), depends on your services/ data/ etc.. Usually you need to choose what to migrate and how. If it's only file services with some network shares, just robocopy them over and switch the share destination to the new server (or use DFS, or or or). 100% "seamless" is probably impossible, but you should be able to reduce the downtime to a minimum (depending on your services). – Lenniey Oct 22 '19 at 7:38
  • can the "storage migration service" migrate everything on win server 2012 to win server 2016? I thought it can only migrate files? – user53815 Oct 28 '19 at 10:35

Add the new server as an additional AD domain controller with DNS services. They will synchronise automatically in the background. A few days later you can safely demote the old AD server, making it a normal server. Clients needing a domain controller will flawlesly fail over to the new AD DC.

For DNS you need to update the DNS server records on the clients first, removing the IP address of the old domain controller as a DNS server. This probably should be done in the DHCP server condiguration.

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