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Migrating Windows 2003 server to SBS 2008 standard

Posted on 2008-11-03
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Our customer is currently running a single server with Windows 2003 Server - no exhange. They want to install SBS 2008 (Standard) and start using exchangw 2007. Will the SBS 2008 server join a windows 2003 domain (not SBS)? Ideally we would like to introduce the new SBS server, join the domain, transfer roles and eventually either demote the existing 2003 server to member status or remove completely.
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Question by:wsmyth
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by:andrew_aj1
ID: 22868571
It would not be a good idea to try to join a Server 2008 SBS machine to a Server 2003 Domain. Server 2008 SBS is designed to be a DC for a small business. What you are wanting to do is unsupported and not recommended due to the way SBS 2008 works. I would recommend that you buy a Server 2008 Standard x64 machine. You can easily join that to your Server 2003 domain and also install Exchange on it.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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by:wsmyth
ID: 22868622
Hi Andrew. Your suggestion is very straight forward and has been an option since server 2008 was released but it is equally prohibitively expensive. We are looking for the easiest way to get to SBS2008 (most cost effective!)
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by:andrew_aj1
ID: 22868659
If you wish to do that you can buy a Server 2008 SBS machine and set it up as it is made for (as a DC) and then transfer all your information from your Server 2003 machine to the new SBS 2008 machine.
You can then use your Server 2003 machine for other roles such as Terminal Services or file sharing.
There really is not a good way to join a SBS 2008 machine to a Server 2003 domain.
Good luck.
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by:wsmyth
ID: 22868716
What would be the best way to transfer information - specifically AD data from the existing 2003 server to the new SBS 2008 box. We only have a small noumber of workstations but would really like to avoid having to manually join them to a new domain.
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andrew_aj1 earned 1500 total points
ID: 22868746
I believe manually doing it would be the only way. You have to determine what is more cost effective - to buy Server 2008 and Exchange or to move everything from Server 2003 to a new Server 2008 SBS machine.
I wish there was a simple solution. Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:IronEdge_Group
ID: 23486919
I'm surprised at some of the responses here.  Costs aside, there is a migration path you can follow to transfer everything to SBS 2008 and introduce Exchange into the organization at the same time.  I have done this many times, and there are a TON of articles covering this.  This migration works with SBS 2003 as well as Windows Server 2003.
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Expert Comment

by:ellegaard
ID: 32703242
I have tried this as well on to different occasions - both went horribly wrong. I ended up with two servers handling some parts of the system each. NewServer didn't have everything it needed, OldServer couldn't be turned off.

I had to restore OldServer from a backup, reinstall NewServer and do it manually. If there's less than30 users and/or 20 machines - I'd do it manually anytime!
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