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Need reccommendations on migrating from Windows 2003 Small Business Server to Windows 2008 Full Suite

Posted on 2007-11-14
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We currently have a SBS 2003 environment and want to move to a 2008 environment. We have explored the options to upgrade to SBS 2008 and then purchase transition packs to go from SBS to the Full Suite of server products, but this may be more costly than buying new licenses for all the server products, and my experience with Microsoft Upgrades has been less than satisfactory.

What other options do I have for the migration? I was considering adding the new 2008 server as a DC in the SBS 2003 domain and attempting the transfer of all FSMO roles to it. This would break the SBS server because of the AD requirements, but as long as I have the AD moved to the new server, I can install Exchange 2007 on the new server, and import the mailboxes (that I previously exported). Is this feasible? Or am I missing some key factors...

All recommendations are appreciated. My main concern is keeping the Domain intact during this transition. I really don't want to start from scratch it possible.
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Question by:fieldsja
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by:NetAdmin2436
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As far as I know you can only have a SBS be the domain controller in a environment. You cannot add a second domain controller in a SBS environment. SBS wants to be the only domain controller in a network. After all, it's geared for Small Businesses and includes a lot of extras. Microsoft does this by design.  I have never heard of anyone successfully adding a second domain controller.  You must use a transition pack to get SBS onto a standard windows server. Then you can start adding new domain controllers.

If you don't want to go the transition pack route, you'll have to create your new 2008 domain from scratch.

Hope this helps
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
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"As far as I know you can only have a SBS be the domain controller in a environment. You cannot add a second domain controller in a SBS environment."

That is wholeheartedly NOT TRUE.  SBS must be the holder of all FSMO roles, but you can have as many other DC's as you like (within the limit of 75 total allowed devices).

fieldsja...

How soon are you looking to do this?  Because if it's soon, then the best option would be to get the current transition pack and transition your SBS 2003.  The cost is NOT more than separate licensing of the new products, plus when you get the transition pack you also get transition CALs to convert your SBS CALs to CORE CALs at a nominal fee per CAL.  Info is at http://sbsurl.com/transition

But you don't need to do this yet unless you are reaching the 75-user limit.  What's driving your interest in considering the transition?

The thing is that Server 2008 will not be released for another 3 1/2 months, and SBS 2008 will be another 6 months after that.  So we're still a bit far from being able to implement any kind of Server 2008 network.  Additionally, you will not be able to do an in-place upgrade an SBS2003 to SBS2008 because it will be going from 32-bit to 64-bit.  However SBS2008 will have a migration utility to migrate SBS2003 to SBS2008 on a new machine.  The details of all of this though are not yet firm, and therefore it's really still to early to know for sure how these things will ultimately end up.

Jeff
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by:NetAdmin2436
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<<That is wholeheartedly NOT TRUE.  SBS must be the holder of all FSMO roles, but you can have as many other DC's as you like (within the limit of 75 total allowed devices).

I stand corrected then.

Still, if SBS has to hold all the FSMO roles and can't be demoted....that doesn't help you at all when migrating to a standard version. Hence the transition pack is the way to go IMHO if you want to get onto a standard version.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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Well, that's true... the Transition pack is really the only way to get onto stand-alone servers unless you just disconnect the SBS and sieze the FSMO roles... not a very clean way to migrate.

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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So far, without buying the transition packs, the best way for us to complete this move seems to be using the Active Directory Migration tool (ADMT) to move the AD to a temporary server with a temporary domain, doing a clean install of the desired operating system on both the new server and the old server (we still want to use the old hardware) then using the ADMT to move the AD from the temporary domain to the new domain on the production equipment.

We will still need to migrate the exchange data, and SharePoint data separately... but this may be the best way to proceed with the migration.

Has anyone done this before? We need to use the temporary domain and server so that we can still use the same Computer Name and Domain Name we currently user (cannot directly migrate AD between servers and domains with the same names).

Are there any issues that I need to be ready for, any tips for the quickest, most successful migration?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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"without buying the transition packs, the best way for us to complete this move seems..."

That makes absolutely NO sense.  If you don't buy the transition pack you need to buy new CALs.  The transition pack costs less.

Your method ignores licensing, and has completely unnecessary steps.

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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TechSoEasy stated:
"Your method ignores licensing, and has completely unnecessary steps."

I think you are forgetting that I want to go to Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 from SBS 2003... So I would have to buy the Upgrade to Premium (for SQL Server), buy the version upgrade package (If MS offers it from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008), then buy the new transition packs. I would also be forced to upgrade the current OS from 2003 to 2008 which Microsoft never recommends (they only recommend clean installs with AD and Exchange Migration).

In addition, SBS 2008 does not come with Hyper-V, which means I would be required to buy another license which would cost $999 for Standard (which offers the ability to run one instance of Server 2008 under the hypervisor) or $3999 for Enterprise (which allows for 4 instances of Server 2008 to run under the hypervisor). I am planning on running two instances so purchasing two copies of Standard would be enough... and increase those costs by $2,000.

Using pricing set for SBS 2003 R2, the estimate of the upgrade process would be a little under $4,500 plus the two copies of Server 2008 Standard (for Hyper-V), which would increase the cost to just under $6,500.

Buying Exchange 2007 Standard, the two copies of Server 2008 Standard, SQL Server Standard, and SharePoint 2007 Server is around the same price, and we have the install medium for the full version of each product, not upgrade medium.

Does it still seem like it makes no sense?
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by:fieldsja
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Oh, I forgot to mention that the estimate for the upgrade route is only a best guess becuase pricing and options for SBS 2008 (both version, and product upgrades, in addition to transition packs) have not been released yet. Since MS hs release the pricing for Server 2008, those numbers are more concrete.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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You still miss the point of the transition pack licensing.  It's designed to only cost the difference between SBS and stand-alone server products.  It CAN'T be more than buying the stand-alone licenses separately.  Plus they haven't raised the price for Standard Server 2008 from what Standard Server 2003 was, so I doubt that SBS's pricing will change either.  

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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TechSoEasy,

I fully understand the design behind the Transition Packs. Again, the Transition Pack route does not include any upgrades to the newer versions of software, that is two separate upgrades that need to be purchased, both the product upgrade to SBS Premium needs to be purchased as well as the Version Upgrade.

If using the Transition Packs, we would have two options:

1. Apply the Product Upgrade from SBS Standard to SBS Premium. Apply the Version Upgrade from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. Transition from SBS 2008 to Full Suite.

2. Apply the Product Upgrade from SBS Standard to SBS Premium. Transition from SBS 2003 to Full Suite. Apply Individual Version Updates for SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, and Windows Server Standard.

Choosing to not use the Transition Packs,

1. Install new server with full products: Server 2008, Exchange 2007, SharePoint 2007, and SQL Server 2008 then migrate AD and exchange to the new servers.

In addition, you stated that SBS 2008 will be 64-bit and an in-place upgrade will not be possible. Which indicates that a migration (most likely using ADMT) will have to take place... is that really much different that what I am considering doing?

If we were just doing a simple transition from SBS 2003 to the Full Suite then a transition Pack would be the best route. Since we are also upgrading both the Product from Standard to Premium, and from 2003 to 2008 it is not clear if the Transition Pack (In addition to the required updates) is the best route.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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Why do you think you need to upgrade SBS Standard to Premium???  If you are transitioning there's no reason to do that.  All premium does currently is give you SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition and ISA Server 2004.  And since ISA Server is not being included in the next version of SBS, it's very likely that there will be only a single version anyhow.

But, as I said in http:#20283873 it really depends on your timing and how many users you have.  

So... what is your TRUE timetable and how many users do you currently have?

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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We fully understand what we need and why we are upgrading from Standard to Premium, that is not the issue I needed information about.

I just needed to know if anyone has done such a migration in the past and what issues may need special attention. Also, if anyone has done a migration directly from SBS to a non-SBS domain. I understand what options are available and what needs to be accomplished.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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I'm sorry, but from what you've posted above, it is not apparent that you fully understand what upgrading entails.  Furthermore, nobody has done a migration from SBS2003 to 2008 because the product won't be available for another year yet.

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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I apologize if I come off a bit angry in this post, I am frustrated with the direction this question is going.

In my previous post (11.28.2007 at 09:55AM MST, ID:20366845), I did not ask about migrating from 2003 to 2008, I asked for comments from people whom had experience migrating from and SBS environment to a non-SBS environment.

I understand what upgrading entails, from STD to Premium it is a simple process. The transition pack upgrade is also a simple process. The migration process is a bit more advanced, however, I understand this process and have used it in the past on full version server products.

I believe my frustration stems from the fact that this question has been open for 16 days without an answer. All I have received is criticism for my question. We have 2 possible plans for consideration, I needed information concerning one of these plans in order to make a more informed decision. I simply need to know if anyone has migrated from (not upgraded using transition packs) and SBS domain to a Full Server product domain, and for those that have, what issues did you run into that hindered the process.

At this point, I am pretty sure I will have to use the ADMT in order to move to the 2008 products. I may choose to purchase the transition pack to convert the CALs from the SBS to the full product licensing, but with lack of a solid upgrade path from Microsoft, and the problems associated with upgrading the OS versus new installs, I will most likely need to migrate the SBS domain to an fully installed 2008 server when the time comes.

If anyone has had experiences with the ADMT that they would like to share, I would appreciate the input. If there are any recommendations concerning the use of ADMT when moving from an SBS domain to a full product domain, I am very interested in that information. Please do not contribute to this thread if you do not have any useful information to contribute that pertains to these questions. I apologize for being so blunt however, I am getting frustrated with the lack of useful information contained in this thread.

Thank you.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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Your frustration is due to the fact that you haven't listened at all to what we've been saying...

"The transition pack upgrade is also a simple process. The migration process is a bit more advanced, however, I understand this process and have used it in the past on full version server products."

There is NO MIGRATION when you apply the Transition Pack.  You will be using FULL VERSION SERVER PRODUCTS once the Transition Pack is applied.

Can I say it any more simply?

Jeff
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by:fieldsja
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You obviously don't understand the scenario no matter how many times I explain it to you. Migration is required, even if using the transition pack, because there is not an upgrade path from 2003 to 2008. While Microsoft if looking into it, the ADMT is the current solution recommended.

This statement is supported by the following comment from a SBS TechNet chat available at the following URL http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/trans/sbs/07_0713_tn_sbs.mspx

"David Overton (Expert):
Q: will there be a comprehensive plan for doing the swing migration. There was never a complete article on this for 2003.
A: We will provide lots of details on migration - we will not be able to do an inbox upgrade as upgrading for 32-bit to 64-bit solutions is not supported, but we expect to offer more help otherwise"

It looks like the only course of action is to do a migration from the SBS 2003 server to the 2008 Server, migrate the mailboxes, then decommission the SBS domain completely. As for the purchase of the transition packs... it may be beneficial to the bottom line to buy the packs for the license numbers, but since it is impossible to move to 2008 without a migration then I understand the path we need to take.

So I guess this answered my question. I will go ahead and request a refund for the points.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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I do understand the scenario, but the problem is that you've never answered my question about timing... because Windows Server 2008 will not be RTM for another 3 months, and SBS 2008 won't be released for about another year.  So, your quote above from the TechNet chat is irrelevant.  If using Standard Server 2008, you are still premature because you should never use a beta version in a production environment.

Using the transition pack is definitely helpful to the bottom line (which you choose to ignore), but even moreso, if you are going to migrate to Standard Server 2008, it will be much easier to migrate from Standard Server 2003 to Standard Server 2008 than from SBS 2003 to Standard Server 2008.

It all goes back to the timing question which you haven't answered... because if you are planning on doing this in the next 6 months, then you would be better off moving to Standard Server 2003 first.  If it's more than 6 months out, then it's too early to even know what will be happening on the migration front.

Jeff
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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I recommend that the question either be deleted/NO refund, or points awarded for answers provided.

The question was flawed from the beginning, and after a significant amount of effort, I was unable to get fieldsja to understand that.  

The original quesiton stated, "We have explored the options to upgrade to SBS 2008 and then purchase transition packs to go from SBS to the Full Suite of server products"

There are currently no options to upgrade to SBS 2008 because the product won't even be released for another 12 months.  So, we don't yet know what those options might be.  In fact, there will most likely be a special upgrade/migration path from SBS 2003 to Essential Business Server 2008 (formerly called Centro), which I was never even able to discuss because we couldn't get past the issue of timing... which is a critical point in making these decisions.  (I requested this information more than once).

Just FYI, info on Essential Business Server is here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/11/07/5955270.aspx

The link that fieldsja provided above to the TechNet Chat was quite clear about the fact that it's too early to be making decisions, but was very clear on the fact that there will be tools and assistance for migration...
"Q: will there be a comprehensive plan for doing the swing migration. There was never a complete article on this for 2003.
A: We will provide lots of details on migration - we will not be able to do an inbox upgrade as upgrading for 32-bit to 64-bit solutions is not supported, but we expect to offer more help otherwise"

I also couldn't get fieldsja to understand that if the plan was to move from SBS to stand-alone servers, then there was absolutely NO reason to upgrade SBS to Premium Edition prior to doing that.  In fact, that may be detremental to their plan because SBS Premium Edition includes SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition, not Standard Edition.  When I tried to explain this, the response I got was, "We fully understand what we need and why we are upgrading from Standard to Premium, that is not the issue I needed information about."  If they fully understand why they are upgrading, it would have been helpful to explain it to me, because I certainly can't see any valid reason for doing so.

In my opinion, the answer to the question at this juncture is "you can't do that", which is not a valid reason for Delete/Refund.

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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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All of that was stated in my initial comment, {http:#20283873}

It's as complete an answer as possible based on the available information since the timing issue was never clarified.

Jeff
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Force accepted.
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