Deployment advice for clean Windows server 2008 install in a pre-existing Windows 2000/XP domain

paul_techy
paul_techy used Ask the Experts™
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I have a new Dell server and have the option of installing Windows Server 2003 or Windows server 2008 SP2.  I have reviewed 2008 with friends and online articles and have decided to deploy 2008. The network consist of 35 clients which majority use Win XP SP3 and a couple run Win 2k Pro. Our current server which runs Win 2k Pro Server is used as a DC/File Server/SQL 2k/print server/DNS. We are also part of a WAN with other DC's(W2k, W2003).
I have serveral questions I would like advice on.

1. Whats easiest way to migrate existing clients to new server (when server is ready). The new server domain name will be different and clients are part of old domain.
2. Picking domain name. Would like to use same domain name of email account domain. We use exchange server. Will there be any conflicts.
3. Should I install SQL server 2005 express and migrate all databases.
4. Should new server be used to host printers or use different machine.
5. Will be imaging old server and restoring to vmware on new server incase we need to refer to it in the future. Will this pose a conflict?
6. What settings can I easilty migrate over from old to new server to make deployment easier. Such as AD. I will use different naming convention for userID's.
7. Are there any tips I should be aware of to avoid other issues.


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IT Engineer
Commented:
1. The easy way is to use the Active Directory Migration tool and migrate your users.
2. AD domain name has nothing to do with your mail domain name. You can use whatever name for your local Active Directory Domain like mylocaldomain.local and then use whatever public domain you want as primary SMTP domain for your users.
3. I'm not an SQL expert but I guess your databases can just be moved as long as you just replace the security on them (moving across domains here). You should install same version of SQL server as the one you are currently running as else you might have compatibility issues.
4. In such a small environment you can use this machine or simply use the old one as print server eventually.
5. As long as the old machine will be shut down there will be no problem with virtualising the old machine and heve it started up to check for stuff.
6. You can migrate users , files (altough you will need to review permissions). But as you start on a fresh domain I would say just migrate users and files and printers have them installed fresh instead of migrating as you will need to replace some drivers.
7. Make sure you have the right permissions to migrate the users else you will just have to create them manually.
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
By the way , you say you are going to use another name for the AD ... another name for the server itself or just a fresh Active Directory forest ?

If it's just another server in the same forest then yo don't need to migrate users , just their shares. and here I am again a bit confused as you say you want tu use different user ID's ....
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
Commented:
You say that you are part of a WAN with other DC's are you part of that WAN domain?  If so why would you want to change your WAN segment's domain name?
Absolutely do not virtualize the current server, unless you can keep away from the new physical server and your network. You will have trouble..
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Author

Commented:
GeoSs: I was thinking a new server name and changing the usernames for each user profile in the AD. So the usernames would be different then my old AD. Would I have to create a new windows profile on each client one by one creating more work.

nappy_d: We are part of the WAN domain. Each DC within the WAN has a different domain name.
Are you saying if I change the domain name any refernence to the old domain name on the other DC's would need to be updated.
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
You can then migrate the users with the AD Migration tool and then just rename them after you moved.
You can then move the files and re create any shares according to your new domain.
Printers can be migrated but as you move from 2003 to 2008 you will need to update the drivers.

You can safely virtualise the old server. Disconnect it from the network , virtualise it and then shut it down. You can then just start up your new virtual machine without any problems if you need to see any old settings or anything else on it. I have virtualised 10 of 20 DC's without any problems.

Author

Commented:
Can vmware run on Windows server 2008 std ed. SP2 or are you using Virtual PC?
What software are you using to virtualize the old server?
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
I am using Vmware ESXi and I used vmware converter to virtualise the machines.

Author

Commented:
Also since the clients are part of the old domain how will the local profiles migrate over within end users systems. Specifically since the usernames will be different. thanks
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
You can use a tool called "Profile Wizard" to migrate your user profiles on the client computer.
http://www.forensit.com/downloads.html

Author

Commented:
It should be safe to keep the old server onilne too if a different IP is used for the new server, correct?
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
No , never have OLD server online and the virtualised one at the same time !!!!
If you are running the virtual machine the other one has to be shut down , that's it.
After you virtualise the old one (WITHOUT a network cable plugged in) shut it down. As soon as you bring the Virtual machine up and connect it to the network do NEVER EVER bring the old one up while conected to the network. This can cause problems with AD  that can see 2 machines with same name and both being Domain controllers. Never do that mistake , no matter what IP address you use. (unless they are on separate subnets or separate VLANS and can't see eachother).
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
That is what I said about two posts ago :)
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
You can virtualise the machine and then shut it down or wipe :)
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
This still begs the question; if the author is part of a bigger AD infrastructure(as mentioned in the original post), is this server the GC or master replica and what does your enterprise AD admin(if not you) says about changing your site's domain name?

Also, converiting a DC should be done cold and the free vconverter only allows for hot conversions.
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
He does not say any details about the big setup :)

You can do a hot conversion as long as you just pull the network plug or let the network on but know what you are doing.

Author

Commented:
Server is a GC for local lan only. AD Trust is setup with other domains which would just have to be reconfigured as well as some permissions.

Let me know what other details are needed that will help assess this better.

George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
You are good to go with what we told you :)
Just make your new install with the new domain , migrate what can be migrated and then re-establish the trust relationships if necessary.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
Agreed.  Since they are trusts. you should be fine...

Author

Commented:
It will take me sometime to setup the new server and migrate all users. In the meantime, I would like to setup DC redundancy for my old server incase it crashes any time soon. Therefore is it possible to setup a virtural machine on my new server which would serve this purpose. So the VM would serve as a second domain controller and replicating Active Directory.
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
Yes , this is possible. You can just install a new machine , promote it as DC and also make it as Global Catalog so you have a copy just in case.
If your old server crashes you would also be able to seize the roles of the old server on it if necessary.

Author

Commented:
What is your recommendation on choosing the internal domain name. Should it be the same as the public "website" domain name. I was also thinking of using corp.companyname.com where companyname.com is our public domain name.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
I think then you need to consider split brain DNS See this URL http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms954396.aspx

See about half way down the page...

Author

Commented:
Thats interesting and I will read up on more.

How about companyname.net (internal) companyname.com (external).
Our future plan may be to offer clients with access to internal databases. Also I want to avoid any DNS issues from the internal side.
George SasIT Engineer

Commented:
I don't want to be rude or anything , but I think we have answered all your initial questions :)
What you are asking right now it is a documentation and a migration plan for a new domain implementation :) which is something totally different than what you are asking in your original questions.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
I would have to agree with GeoSs :)

Author

Commented:
ok thanks for your help. I too taught I may have reached my limit but wasnt sure.

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