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Domain controller Win2000 vs Win2003

By puterfx ·
I have stepped into a situation where I am taking over a small network consisting of 2 servers and about 40 desktops. One server is running Win2000 server and the other is Win2003. We have 2 workgroups split between the 2 servers with about 10 systems on the 2003 and 30 on the 2000 server. Most of the 2003 desktops are running XP Pro but a couple are Win2k. The split on the 2000 server is about 50/50 on Win2k Pro and XP Pro. Both servers are under one domain. Management wants to put the 2000 server under a different domain with a domain controller installed. What kind of headaches am I asking for? What are the advantages/disadvantages between Win2k and 2003? Would it be better to put all under one server and use the other as a backup? Any thought would be appreciated.

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by CG IT In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

There are no real disadvantages between Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Active Directory services. Windows 2003 Active Directory Services is based upon W2K Active Directory services and has more administrative tools and functionality than W2K [because a lot of IT admins sent ideas into Microsoft on how to improve W2K which they incorporated into W2003].


The only major differences between W2K is that #1. W2K is nearing the end of it's lifecycle and hense support by Microsoft. #2. Windows 2003 Active Directory Services schema is different. Therefore addprep/forestprep and addprep/domain prep is required on all W2K Active Directory services before the introduction of W2003 server DCs.#3. Windows Server 2003 is not 3 years old and the next generation will be out in another 1 to 3 years.

note: you mention workgroups and then mention both servers are under 1 domain. Which is it? you can have workgroups and server members of those workgroups or you can have an Active Directory Services based domain that the servers belong to but you can't have the servers belonging to both at the same time.

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by Greybeard770 In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

Management wants to put the 2000 server under a different domain with a domain controller installed. My question is "Why?" Ideally you would want at least two domain controllers (more money) in each domain. Administration of everything related to two domains is obviously more (more money) than a single domain. Couldn't you provide what they think they want with directory rights and security groups and the infrastructure that Active Directory provides? Management needs to tell you what they to accomplish and let you as their consultant offer a solution. They need to let you do what you are being paid to do rather than paying you to do something that everybody will regret and wonder about later.
Win2000 and 2003 are a lot closer than NT and 2000 so from that perspective either one has about the same abilities.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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by puterfx In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

I appreciate both your responses. What we have decided to do (theoretically) is leave the FTP site on the 2003 server and do the active directory on the 2000 server ... less reorganizing and moving around. This is dependant of course if the CALs on the 2003 are backward compatible. We have 55 on the 2003 and 25 on the 2000 with about 40-50 users. Will the CALs from 2003 cover the excess users on 2000? or do I have to switch everyone over to 2003? I tried calling MS but after about 1/2 hr of ignore, I gave up. Thanks again for your response.

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by jon In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

Firstly, are either of them promoted to domain controllers with AD?

If it were my setup, I would create the domain on the 2003 box and eliminate the 2000 box completely....then I would convince management that it would be in their best interest long term to install another copy of 2003 Standard on the second system and make it a backup to the primary.

If you're short on budget, I would also use that second box as the web server and/or exchange server.

Personally, I find 2003 server easier to manage than 2000.

So, in my opinion, yes, it would be easier to "put all under one server and use the other as a backup."

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by Jim S. In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

My suggestion for the server side would be to chuck it all,except the W2k3 server have it become the BDC, purchase a new SBS 2003 server and have it be the PDC, have it all under one domain, and enlist the help of a vendor for your licsening questions.

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by puterfx In reply to Domain controller Win2000 ...

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