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Start over VS upgrade and cleanup???

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
We are exploring options...

Here's the Question...
What is the Experts Exchange recommended path?

First - I'm reasonably new to this office (almost a year now but not focused previously on the office setup)

Our office has been up an running a little over 2 years on SBS2003.  1 domain controller only.  It is also Sharepoint, Exchange, DNS, DHCP, file share server, print server, backup server etc...  (suffice it to say - it's the heart of the network).
Active directory structure and group policy are particularly convoluted and although working - are not working well.  It's almost to the point that starting over might be best...
Company growth (staffing etc) in past year is well over 100% and expected to continue.  We will hit the 75 user limit within 6 months...

My rough plans... are 2 options...
1 - HUGE JOB - build new - addressing new domain, cabling of racks, file and print issues, GP issues etc  Time and $$$ are the issue as well as impact to moved users - no trusts available on sbs etc.

2 - cleanup existing - I want to work on Backups as a side project in either case.  Once Backups are happening of critical items like exchange, sharepoint, Active directory and server system state, I want to spin up a second DC/DNS (server 2k3 standard).  This will give some redundancy to AD (not 100% due to SBS limits).  Once the second DC is up, I'd like to install the SBS Transition pack, and CAL transition packs - removing restrictions on SBS and allowing the new DC to be fully functional...  

Assuming all goes well, I'll then work on separating the various server tasks out...  add an additional DC/DNS(3rd), transfer CALs to new DC, dcpromo down the original SBS server - making it a member server...  kill exchange as it will soon be hosted elsewhere (Hosting company)...  Leaving only a member server with Sharepoint and a plethora of fileshares and printers to clean up...

your advice would be most appreciated.
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Question by:1shop
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santhoshu earned 250 total points
ID: 22624108
Your Plan looks good.  You are right in ....
1.  Slowly getting rid of the SBS Server and move to the full version.
2.  Seperating the roles (nobody wants all roles associated with one server as it will turn out to be a single point of failure).
3.  Getting a backup plan.

For Backup Plan, I would request to you consider thrid party backup solutions like CA ARCserve or Symantec Netbackup.  While purchasing make sure you do not purchase the SBS version of the backup software as in the future you are going to get into a full blown windows 2003 enviornment.

Good Design.
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Author Closing Comment

by:1shop
ID: 31502022
Thanks - Basically needed the reassurance that I was on the right track...  

Interesting note - SBS 2k3 r1 has a challenging upgrade path -
Purchase and install R2 upgrade
Purchase Transition Pack - giving license for full copies of 2k3, sharepoint, exchange
Purchase transistion CAL's - giving essentially 2 license keys for each CAL - a SBS version AND a full version...

Regarding Backup - I've gone with a Dell Tape Drive and Symantec Backup Exec - formerly Veritas....  In addition I'm using the built in backup features of exchange, Sharepoint and 2k3...  Overkill on backup perhaps - until needed.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:1shop
ID: 22627442
Thanks - Basically needed the reassurance that I was on the right track...

Interesting note - SBS 2k3 r1 has a challenging upgrade path -
Purchase and install R2 upgrade
Purchase Transition Pack - giving license for full copies of 2k3, sharepoint, exchange
Purchase transistion CAL's - giving essentially 2 license keys for each CAL - a SBS version AND a full version...

Regarding Backup - I've gone with a Dell Tape Drive and Symantec Backup Exec - formerly Veritas.... In addition I'm using the built in backup features of exchange, Sharepoint and 2k3... Overkill on backup perhaps - until needed.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 22643279
I'm really sorry that you selected the above comment without giving any time for other opinions.  Because the fact of the matter is that you cannot "slowly" get rid of SBS 2003.  

While your own comment is correct that you need to use the Transition Pack, you don't need to upgrade to R2 in order to use it.  Even though the Transition Pack is technically called "R2" as well, there is no technical change within the SBS's AD Schema or any other component that requires SBS to be upgraded to R2 before applying the Transition Pack.

"Purchase transistion CAL's - giving essentially 2 license keys for each CAL - a SBS version AND a full version"

That's not really true.  The transition CALs convert your SBS CALs to full version + Exchange CALs.

Also, there is no problem whatsoever in adding an additional DC to your current SBS-based domain.  

Jeff
TechSoEasy


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