Migrating components off Windows SBS 2003

Posted on 2009-12-22
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Here is my scenario:
I inherited an old server running Windows SBS 2003.  It is the sole DC in our single domain.  It does the DHCP, DNS, IIS, hosts exchange, and acts as a file/print server.  The primary means our employees access their email is OWA.  We have only a single storage group and do use quite a few public folders.  

I want to eventually move all this off the SBS and decommission it.  This doesn't have to be done overnight and the SBS can continue to run for several months if necessary.

I intended to put Exchange 2003 on its own box.  Make another new server a DC and install DNS and DHCP on it. Remove DHCP all together from the SBS.  Turn off all exchange services on the SBS.  Eventually, assign the new DC the master roles, GC, etc. and decommission the SBS totally.

If I am understand everything right.  I set up a server, install windows 2003 and patch it up then install my new exchange server 2003 enterprise version on it.  I then replicate public folders to this server and give that several days to happen.  After the public folders are replicated I can move the mailboxes.
Set up my second server, install windows 2003, give it DC, DNS, DHCP roles, etc.  The DNS is AD integrated so I really shouldn't have to do anything.  I could set up the DHCP scope identically to how it is set on my SBS then deactive the scope on the SBS.  If I understand it right, basically everything except giving this new DC the schema master roles.

When I'm ready, (and make sure everything is moved,) I can assign those master roles to the new DC and just take the SBS off the rack?  This is where I'm getting a little fuzzy.

I read a little about transition packs and partial-swinging, etc.but I'm not really sure why all that is necessary.

What I'm looking for here is some input as to the validity of my plan and any difficulties I can expect to encouter.  As well as any suggestions on how I can accomplish this better.

Question by:FASP
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    You pal works well, but as soon as SBS sees your other DC you have 7 days to complete the tasks or the SBS will start rebooting itself. There is a patch that will extend this to 21 days.

    The process is complicated and fraught with problems such that i would recommend buying a migration kit for $200 from which makes the process very systematic, and they provide 90 days support.

    Transition packs are purchased to help save with licensing costs. They cost approximately the difference of the SBS and 2003 and exchange licensee and the CAL's. However it is only available for 2003 and I don't know if you can still buy them.

    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    by:Ady Foot
    Hello FASP. As RobWill mentioned, although it is possible to do a migration it isseldom recommended due to the probability of problems occuring and data being lost.

    That said I have read your plan and cannot see any problems with it. My strongest recommendation would be to ensure that you have a complete backup of everything on your SBS box do that you are capable of fully restoring it to its current state.

    In answer to your question about completing the process, you are correct; once all is migrated and working well you can just turn off and unplug the SBS machine. However my recommendation is to leave it in place so that you can fairly easily place it back online if you need to (restoring the backup you will have made following my earlier recommendation) which provides a layer of redunancy during this whole process.



    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you for reviewing my plan.
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    Thanks FASP.
    Good lock with the project.

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