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Active Directory 2003


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Domain functional levels

Domain functional levels provide a way to enable domain-wide Active Directory features within the network environment. Windows Server 2003 has a lot of new features, some of which are not compatible with Windows 2000 and Windows NT networks. You must activate the appropriate domain functional level to benefit from the features available in Active Directory.
There are four domain functional levels:



Windows 2000 Mixed (Default)

When you first install or upgrade a domain controller to a Windows Server 2003 operating system, the domain controller is set to run in Windows 2000 mixed functionality. The Windows 2000 mixed functional level allows a Windows Server 2003 domain controller to interact with domain controllers in the domain running Microsoft Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003.



Windows 2000 Native

The Windows 2000 native functional level allows a domain controller running the Windows Server 2003 operating system to interact with domain controllers in the domain running Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003. You can raise the functional level of a domain to Windows 2000 native if the domain controllers in the domain are all running Windows 2000 Server or later.



Windows Server 2003 Interim:

The Windows Server 2003 interim functional level allows a domain controller running the Windows Server 2003 operating system to interact with domain controllers in the domain running Windows NT 4 or Windows Server 2003. The Windows Server 2003 interim functional level is an option only when upgrading the first Windows NT domain to a new forest and can be manually configured after the upgrade. This functional level does not support domain controllers running Windows 2000.



Windows Server 2003:

The Windows Server 2003 functional level allows a domain controller running the Windows Server 2003 operating system to interact only with domain controllers in the domain running Windows Server 2003. You can raise the functional level of a domain to Windows Server 2003 only if all domain controllers in the domain are running Windows Server 2003.




Forest functional levels

Forest functional levels provide a way to enable forest-wide Active Directory features within the network environment. The forest functional levels control the type of interaction between domain controllers in a forest.
There are three forest functional levels:



Windows 2000

When you first install or upgrade a domain controller to a Windows Server 2003 operating system, the forest is set to run in the Windows 2000 functional level. The Windows 2000 functional level allows a Windows Server 2003 domain controller to interact with domain controllers in the forest running Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003.



Windows Server 2003 Interim

The Windows Server 2003 interim functional level allows a domain controller running the Windows Server 2003 operating system to interact with domain controllers in the domain running Windows NT 4 or Windows Server 2003. The Windows Server 2003 interim functional level is an option only when upgrading the first Windows NT domain to a new forest and can be manually configured after the upgrade. This functional level does not support domain controllers running Windows 2000.



Windows Server 2003

The Windows Server 2003 functional level allows a domain controller running the Windows Server 2003 operating system to interact only with domain controllers in the domain running Windows Server 2003.


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