Upgrading Windows 2000 SBS to Windows 2003 SBS with 2003 Terminal Server.

Posted on 2006-11-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a new client that we have recently started providing IT solutions too and currently have a situation where the client is not willing to upgrade their server hardware and instead wish to only upgrade the operating system from Windows 2000 SBS to Windows 2003 SBS. They currently running a 2000 SBS DC with a Windows 2003 Terminal Server. I have only ever fresh installed Windows 2003 SBS for initial setup and disaster recovery where I had to re-create users and recover the Exchange 2003 DB, user folder etc. So I have a couple of questions that I require definitive answers too:

1.) What is involved in upgrading from Windows 2000 SBS to 2003 SBS on the same box. Any documentation for this procedure or do I just ensure the server is backed up, unplug LAN, insert the 2003 SBS CD and start upgrade? Any particular service pack levels required to perform this upgrade?

2.) Other issues I can think of include upgrade ability of existing application ie: Should I remove all non-Microsoft Apps from the server before the OS upgrade?

3.) In terms of licensing; will I need to buy all new CALs for Windows 2003 SBS as well as Windows 2003 SBS?

4.) Is it possible to change the local domain name in this procedure?

5.) They are currently using ISA Server 2000 which we no longer wish to utilize, what will happen to this during the upgrade to 2003 SBS?

6.) Will there be any changes to be made to the Windows 2003 Terminal Server to work with the upgraded 2000 SBS box? I'm assuming that by upgrading I can't change the local domain hence retaining all Security IDs therefore allowing the 2003 Server to maintain it's membership to the upgraded domain controller.

7.) Wild Cards: Anything else anyone can think of that I have not covered in my previous questions.

Best Regards,

Berg Lloyd-Haig
Service Technician
Access Data
Question by:Accdat
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LVL 74

Accepted Solution

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 17928431
That's a client that I'd walk away from unless you think you can win them over with your charm.

Why did they hire you?  If they know so much about what they need to do then perhaps they should upgrade this server themselves?

I'm sorry if I'm being a bit harsh... but if you don't provide a good analysis of the situation for them this could end up costing them significantly more than they expect.  In my opinion, IT expenses are never really a cost... it's always an investment which will either save them money or make them more profit.  So, if you are upgrading a server that cannot really handle SBS2003 and it crashes and takes you three or four days to recover... how much would THAT cost them?

Okay... enough of my lecture...  I'll try to answer your questions directly.

1.  Make sure you read the entire Getting Started Guide for SBS 2003 to refamiliarize yourself with the installation process.  (http://sbsurl.com/start)  But there are specific steps and things to watch out for when doing an UPGRADE from SBS 2000 listed in Chapter 3b of that guide:

2.  That's covered in the document linked above... generally you only need to stop services related to those apps.  Make sure, though, that you do NOT have Microsoft Office installed on the server, especially Outlook as it will break Exchange 2003.

3.  There are upgrade licenses for both the Server and CALs.  The SKU's are T75-01256 for the Server Version Upgrade ($699.00) and T74-01215 for User Upgrade CALs ($194.00 for a 5pack).  The server version upgrades them to SBS Premium so it's really a good deal.  Full licensing details are here:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/howtobuy/pricing.mspx

4.  No, it's not possible unless you actually MIGRATE the installation either by following http://sbsurl.com/migrate or with the Swing Method at www.sbsmigration.com

5.  You should fully uninstall ISA prior to upgrading, making sure there are no remnants... including Security Groups, default gateways, etc.  ISA is sometimes tricky to get rid of.

6.  Since SBS2003 includes Remote Web Workplace which will provide the gateway to their Terminal Server, it's important that the TS has been joined to the domain correctly.  In addition to the above referenced guide, be sure to review and follow http://sbsurl.com/sbstss

7.  Better make darn sure that the current hardware can handle this, since you didn't provide ANY details of what the current hardware configuration is.  I'm also wondering why they are wanting to upgrade... what are the driving factors?  Because it's important that those get recognized and responded to.


Author Comment

ID: 17934111

Definitely not a client to walk away from. This server is capable of running Windows 2003 SBS. Here are the specs;

Windows 2000 SBS Domain Controller

Xeon 3.2 HT, 2048 MB, SCSI 200GB Array (4 partitions), WD2500JD SATAI V:. Running ISA, Exchange 2000.
Disk to Disk Backup solution.

Windows 2003 Terminal Server

Pentium 4 3.2 HT, Intel D865PERL, 2048MB (4x512), 2x WD1200JD SATAI no RAID, Realtek 8139 100Mbs NIC.
Running MYOB, Cactis. MYOB Database residing on Domain Controller.

Our preference was to install a new Windows 2003 SBS Server with tape backup solution. We wanted to replace the current 2000 SBS and make it the 2003 Server for Terminal Services. We would have relocated the MYOB database to the Terminal Services for optimum performance within MYOB as they currently have the MYOB DB on the DC requiring all DB access to be run through the network. We would have then installed CA ARCserve with an agent on the TS to enable full Disaster Recovery off the one tape backup for both servers. We had planned to also upgrade their security suite to something more comprehensive than their current solution. Due to the excess cost of the hardware and due to the somewhat current 2000 SBS system hardware, they found it hard to justify the extra cost since this last investment is still relatively current.

That moves to the driving force behind why they want to move to 2003 SBS; Honestly, who wouldn't want to upgrade to 2003 SBS? Particularly when Remote Web Workplace offers far greater accessibility to their information. Being a customer based in a rural area, these services are very attractive. So that leaves the possibility for OS, Backup and Security suite upgrades to bring their domain up to speed.

Thanks for all the information, I will review it today and start to culminate a plan that will keep everyone happy! Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Author Comment

ID: 17935224

Another quick question; Am I able to change the name of the servers easily? The current naming is not preferred, generic names like "server" and "SBSBOX" are a little too generic and we have a naming convention that we would prefer to stick too.

I'm assuming the only thing I'll need to modify is the login script to utilize the new server name and reconfigure any database applications that rely on server name - Is this doable, if so, what problems might I have with changing server name and should this be done before an upgrade?


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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17939682
Now that you've provided the specs of the server, I'd agree with the client and not upgrade it.  That should be fine for SBS.

If the MYOB db is SQL based, then I'd also leave that on the SBS2003 because SQL is included with the Premium Edition and is optimized to work well on the SBS box.

I also agree about the reasoning to upgrade... and you're right... who wouldn't want to.  But I had to ask so that it made sense based on your initial comment that they weren't wanting to upgrade the hardware... but it looks as though the hardware was upgraded not too long ago anyhow.

You cannot change the hostname of your SBS but you can of the member server without any problem whatsoeaver.  Changing the hostname of the SBS would require a full reinstall or migration as described above.

There would be MUCH more than just modifying the login script... because Exchange relies on WINS which uses the NetBIOS name of the server... way big mess if you change it.



Author Comment

ID: 17942480


It was our preference to provide them with a beefier Terminal Server that also provided an upgrade path, their current 2KSBS box would have been perfect for that role; as their current Terminal Server although it's reasonably beefy, really does not give them much room to expand. Retiring this Terminal Server to a workstation would then enable us to provide a comprehensive Domain Controller with more appropriate backup solution, and the 2KSBS box to become the 2003 TS.

I can understand the issues of changing the name of the SBS causing havoc with Exchange; something I'd like to see in a VM sometime, just too see what it does!

MYOB on the other hand utilizes an application managed database. Upon launching MYOB, you then browse to the database file aka "Company File" - Unfortunately MYOB is not SQL server compatible which then suggest to me that I'd be better off hosting the MYOB database locally on the Terminal Server for optimum read/write performance.

Thanks for your help!


Author Comment

ID: 17942536

From MS Website;

[!] Important
After you install Windows Small Business Server 2003, you cannot change the full DNS name for the internal domain, the NetBIOS domain name, or the computer name. These settings are used to configure Windows Small Business Server tools and applications. To change these names, you must reinstall Windows Small Business Server 2003.

That's as definitive an answer could be!
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17942647
Yep... that's the answer... I just didn't reference it.  But as I said... it's much more than just the login script.

I understand your points about the beefier TS machine... but in my experience, the things you are talking about are far too costly for a small business.  Even with all I said above, they need to see how it will SAVE them money or MAKE them more profit.  If what they have seems to be working... then that should be fine.

Regarding the "more appropriate" backup solution.  Why would running CA ARCserve be more appropriate?  I have deployed almost 100 SBS Networks and on almost all of them we just use the built-in SBS Backup.  On a few, we have also deployed Acronis True Image for Windows Server as a complete imaging backup.  But those are only ones where we've got some large data files.  On a few more, I also have deployed critical data backups (usually their GreatPlains Database backup) to 2GB USB Key Drives which they rotate out each night.  Again... this is just a redundant backup to make owners feel better.

One other thing to consider is that SBS2003 has Remote Web Workplace which may take some of the load off of the Terminal Server.  


Author Comment

ID: 17942811


We use the CA range of products on our servers - it provides us with great security and backup solutions that we have standardized across our client base. The ability to backup not only the host server, but full/partial backups of other servers and workstations as well as the disaster recovery option that allows us to completely restore the server using Windows 2003 Setup ASR and a backup tape/drive to the last backup point. This disaster recovery works for other clients that backup to the backup server; this provides us a single point backup solution for mutiple servers and computers - for smaller clients that do not need this type of responsiveness; then the SBS Backup is certainly sufficient. There are a host of other features that ARCserve gives us, but that is the main brunt of it.

In this scenario, both the Terminal Server and Domain Controller are mission critical; the backup solution will allow us to fully recover both servers in the event of disaster reducing downtime to a few hours instead of a day or two in bad cases. With next to no reconfiguration after the recovery this product works well for our clients. It's not as nice as having a full system image; but the next best thing.

In regards to Terminal Server load, the business is currently expanding and has recently opened a new branch. The branches use the TS to access MYOB and their other accounts software. The demand on this TS is going to increase over time; my only issue with this is that they may spend more money in the long term by not having an expandable solution - In terms of buying a new Terminal Server and then a new DC; or buying a new DC later after we've upgraded the old one to SBS2003 - either way, more work and money is going to be required in the long term to do essentially the same thing; unfortunately the client does not see it this way!

Cheers, Berg
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17942916
SBS doesn't use ASR.  just FYI.  You can review the SBS Backup best Practices here:  http://sbsurl.com/backup

You can always migrate the SBS2003 to new hardware and then move the current hardware to the TS role... you should just tell them how much that would cost them as opposed to doing it now.


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