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Upgrade W2k3 Standard to Enterprise

Posted on 2009-06-29
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Can i upgrade my W2k3 Standard Servers to Enterprise and will i lose any data in the process? I have 2 DCs and 1 Exchange Server.
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Question by:ISRAdmin
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oBdA earned 250 total points
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It is a supported upgrade path, but the usual precautions apply; make sure you have a fully functioning backup at hand.
Note that there is no way back other than a restore; EE can not be downgraded to Standard.
Supported Upgrade Paths
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/whyupgrade/supportedpaths.mspx
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by:ISRAdmin
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Will all the software and programs i have installed still work if all goes well?
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by:oBdA
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If all goes well, then the software should continue to work as before.
Enterprise Edition isn't that much different from Standard, it just provides more features.
May I ask why you're planning to upgrade to EE?
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Absolutely. As i said in the original question, I have 1 Exchange Server. I would like to add another Exchange Server in a clustered environment in order to have an email server ready in the event of a failure. I do have a tape drive backup system, but the boss doesnt want us to have any email downtime, so i need another server ready to go at all times. I order to have a cluster, i need Enterprise....right?
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by:oBdA
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Yes, you do need Enterprise, but I'm afraid it's not that easy ...
What you need as well is hardware that is certified in this exact configuration (that is, not just the single components may be found somewhere in the HCL).
In addition, I'm not sure if Exchange can be clustered without reinstalling if the cluster was added after the Exchange installation; I somewhat doubt it.
In other words: if you want to continue with the clustering, I'd recommend to get certified hardware, create the Exchange cluster, and then migrate from your current Exchange server into the cluster.

The Microsoft support policy for server clusters, the Hardware Compatibility List, and the Windows Server Catalog
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=309395
Note especially the section "Clusters that are not listed on the HCL in the cluster category"
"[...] The hardware specifications for server clusters are extremely stringent. The Cluster HCL and WSC contains a list of known acceptable cluster configurations that have been tested. You can waste a lot of time by attempting to troubleshoot perceived server cluster issues that are being caused by the cluster hardware that you are using.
Some examples of hardware incompatibilities that can cause cluster problems include:
* The cluster solution does not properly isolate the shared disk and HBAs from other devices on the shared bus.
* The SCSI controller does not support operating in a multiple-initiator environment.
* The HBA does not properly handle reservations or release or renew a device on the shared bus.
* The caching mechanism on the controller is incompatible with the cluster configuration.
* The network adapters for intra-cluster communication have too high a latency.
* The RAID controller does not properly replicate configuration information between controllers.
* The PCI bus is incorrectly configured and has incorrect adapters in the wrong bus (primary, secondary, tertiary, and so on).
* The controllers are incompatible the "Physical Disk Resource" type.
* The SCSI controller does not deploy proper termination.
This list does not include all the issues that can cause problems with a server cluster. None of these issues can be detected by PSS. All of these issues would typically be discovered if the complete cluster solution were tested for Cluster HCL or WSC compatibility. [...]"

Some additional links that may be of interest:
Guide to Creating and Configuring a Server Cluster Under Windows Server 2003
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=96f76ed7-9634-4300-9159-89638f4b4ef7&displaylang=en

Implementing a Two Node Cluster with Windows 2003 Enterprise
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Implementing-Two-Node-Cluster-Windows-2003-Enterprise.html

Technical Overview of Windows Server 2003 Clustering Services
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/clustering.mspx

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition  Server Cluster
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/enterprise/clustering.mspx
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by:ISRAdmin
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Wow, that sucks. So in all likelihood, the servers that i have won't support a server cluster...
Well, since you have been so much help so far, do you know of any other way that i can add a "backup" email server because if something happens to the one i have, it could be a day or so before it can be rebuilt and reloaded from the backups.
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by:oBdA
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I'm afraid you'd need to ask that in the Exchange TA; Exchange is not really my area of expertise, sorry.
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by:ISRAdmin
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No problem, iill give you the points for answering my original questions. Thanks again for the help!
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