When considering a migration from Server 2003 to Server 2012 R2, organizations should determine whether or not they still need on-premises domain controllers.
In the past small organizations needed a DC to authenticate their logons so they’d be able to access file servers, SharePoint, and Exchange mailboxes. Today with resources such as Office 365 available in the cloud, many small organizations simply don’t require an on-premises solution as mailboxes, SharePoint Sites, and Exchange Mailboxes are no longer hosted on-premises.
Many organizations, when considering a migration from a Server 2003 infrastructure, have decided to migrate entirely to the cloud. This is especially the case with organizations that had a version of Small Business Server deployed. As there is no “new” version of Small Business Server, many organizations decided to transition to Office 365 and use the online versions of SharePoint and Exchange.
The shift towards online services rather than on-prem services makes sense when you consider that smaller organizations are more likely to have provisioned their staff with mobile computers than traditional desktop computers. If the computers people use are often used outside the perimeter network, the domain sign on model, which comes from a time when most computers in the organizations were workstations on desks, doesn’t fit nearly as well.
In the next few posts we’ll explore further questions around whether the humble domain controller is still a good fit for small organizations.