Raising the domain functional level makes me nervous

One of the projects I have been working on recently at work has been to replace all of our Windows 2003 domain controllers with Windows 2008 R2 domain controllers. So far, the project has gone rather well and I’m just a few steps away from being done.

There’s one step, however, that I have been avoiding for the past two days; and that would be raising the domain (and forest) functional level from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2:

Raise domain functional level

Yep, I have stared at that Raise button for two days and can’t bring myself to click it. Why? Because “it is possible that you may not be able to reverse it.”

The irreversible action of raising the domain or forest functional level isn’t a surprise to me — I knew of this limitation when I began the project. It’s just scary knowing that if something goes wrong, I may not be able to reverse it. I have experience recovering a primary domain controller from a hard, unexpected failure and it was neither fun nor easy.

I’ve double checked my work and I have many backups, but I’m still reluctant. Perhaps today I’ll overcome my nerves.

Any other Microsoft Active Directory administrators been a little nervous to click the Raise button?