How to properly use the transition pack for SBS 2003

I have been asked by my boss if we can branch out into other offices with the SBS we currently have.  I told him no I wouldn't recommend doing that, but I would go to a Windows server 2003 domain instead.  I found out about the transition pack and I was wanting to know how to properly implement it into the network.

Should I sperate the SBS box into seperate boxes ie..One as DC the other as Front-end Exchange?

Would it be easy to migrate the current SBS server box to a new Windows server 2003 box?

Is there anything that doesn't transfer or migrate when using the TPack.

Does profiles, mailboxes, companyweb, etc. stay the same.

I would appreciate any feedback. THanks.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
The transition pack has explicit instructions as to how you should do this... and everything DOES migrate out.  Please see for full details.

The main purpose of the transition pack is to make it easy for you to separate out the server components of SBS and to convert your licensing from SBS.  It works quite well.

I would also point out that depending on the number of users you'll have, you certainly COULD keep SBS 2003 as your centralized server.  Please see for information on that.

afs757Author Commented:
The migration site really only tells me the basic stuff that I would do anyway before installing the T Pack.  Its really helpful info though.. What I am real concerned about is that I want to pull the exchange onto a different box.  I really havent done that before and I was wanting to know how to go about doing it.

Also,  at the branch office that we are wanting to do should I put a DC and a back-end exchange server there.

Would I change domain name to a normal name instead of .local or would it stay the same.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Once you've migrated to unrestricted products with the Transition Pack, you would then move Exchange as you would in any normal situation.  Review Sembee's article on this here:

But, I am curious about the basis of your original question... which stated, "asked by my boss if we can branch out into other offices with the SBS we currently have.  I told him no I wouldn't recommend doing that, but I would go to a Windows server 2003 domain instead."

Please understand that I am not trying to challenge you here other than to help you make the best move for your project.  But I wonder why you made that recommendation when you aren't aware of what it would entail?  If you only have ONE or TWO branch offices, and you still have less than 50 total users then you really should consider staying with SBS.  (I know that SBS goes to 75, but that's an absolute maximum).  

Your question about changing the domain name to a "normal" name indicates to me that you don't have a vast amount of experience with networking.  If I'm wrong here, please advise, but moving to an Enterprise level Windows Server network is a major undertaking.  It includes designing and building effective Active Directory and DNS structures, deploying centralized updating and desktop management, and on, and on.  While SBS provides many of these things for you in a much easier to manage environment.

While there is a Microsoft recommendation for branch office deployment ( it can be significantly more expensive and more complicated than configuring a branch office that would work with your existing SBS as described in the multiserver paper I linked above.

Without knowing how many users you currently have and how many you expect at the branch office, I can't tell you how you should proceed with your network design.

But, your .local domain name is just fine... there is no relationship between your PRIVATE domain space and the PUBLIC domain that is used on the Internet.



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afs757Author Commented:
Sorry it took so long to accept the question.  I appreciate the answer.  We currently are getting ready to rech maximum with just our central office.  I know when we add the remote office that we would definately be there.  Also, we are changing our access back-end over to SQL.  I would much rather have seperate boxes for SQL, Exchange, and the domain controller.

Thank You
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