Domain Migration  (2003/2008) Best Practices

Posted on 2009-12-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Good day, (pleaseexcuse my english, its not my mother tongue)

I am in the process of evaluating a domain upgrade. We want to migrate from SBS 2003 to Standard 2008 in the coming months.

I never done a domain migration, i know there is a lot of help on EE, but i also know every migration has its complications and all setups are different.

So here is my Setup:
I only have one Domain Controller with  Windows SBS 2003 SP2, Exchange 2003 SP2, DHCP, DNS and ActiveDirecotry.

My plan is to buy a completely new server, with Windows Standard  2008 and install exchange 2007 on it. This will be come my new Domain Controller.  the Guy before me named the Domain:, so i need to rename the domain back to

I already bought  Microsoft Press Books about  Exchange and 2008, but these might not be the best guides around. EE is usually the best place for advices.

I read about a lot of steps,. and i am a  lot confused so far, like

CALS migration or transition packs from SBS to STD
How to migrate mailboxes. Should i export from 2003, or 2007 will see them and get them automatically?
How About all my user accounts? Do i export AD?

Once the new DC is up, the old one will be flushed.

Question by:maxalarie
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    There are lots of factors in this process. Do you have 10 users or 200? If you only have a few users I would just start over and recreate the user accounts. Depending on the way Exchange is being used you can move what you need over a few ways .pst ext. I recommend two severs one for the domain and one stand alone for the Exchange. I havent used SBS for over 10 years but I remember there were a lot of limitations on the upgrade process. If that has changed you could just upgrade the production server then add the new server to the domain and then move the Exchange accounts and all of the Rolls over to the new server then demote the old one. Make sure you have backed up AD, Exchange and all the needed data before you do anything.
    LVL 77

    Assisted Solution

    by:Rob Williams
    Though you can do it, it is not recommended to install Exchange on a Domain Controller. SBS is a very special configuration that works well.
    Are you exceeding the SBS 75 user limit? If not SBS would be far cheaper both in software licenses and CALs than going to Server 2008 and Exchange.
    If over the 75 user limit you could consider EBS (Essentials Business Server) which allows up to 300 users. It is like a larger version of SBS and utilizes 3 servers rather than one.

    As for the migration I would strongly recommend buying a $200 kit from  They provide very detailed instructions, 90 days support, and their method is very systematic allowing you to do the migration in stages.

    There is no transition pack to go to 2008 CALs

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