Migration of SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010

Hi Experts,

I have to do a migration of SBS 2003 standard to Windows Server 2008. Up until now I have just been using Windows Server 2008 x64 but I read somewhere that Windows Server 2008 R2 is the way to go if you want added benifits like hyper-v. I have a series of question in relation to this migration -

1. I have never worked on Windows Server 2008 STD R2. What are its advantages and disadvantages of it over Windows Server 2008 STD.

2. I am going to use this new server as a Domain Controller with Exchange 2010. I do know, it is not a recommended solution but works for small/medium businesses who do not have that much capital. Would someone please let me know if you have run into issues with using R2. I have personally used STD for exchange 2007 and it has always worked.

3. This happens to be my first Exchange 2010 install as well. Is there a migration guide for migrating Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 or should one just follow the same steps as with Exchange 2003- Exchange 2007 migration.

4. I also know that to migrate from SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2008, you need "Windows Small Business Server 2003 Transition Pack" but I remember reading somewhere on EE in one of the posts by "tigermatt" that it isn't required and you can get around by transferring your FSMO roles etc. and proceed with normal migration as you normall would use when migrating SVR 2003 to SVR 2008.

5. Would someone be able to point me to some good articles in relation to migrating SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2 x64
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Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Migrate SBS 2003 to Windows 2008

Above Link have your answer in terms of migration - Look for Demazter's comments

Export Mailboxes in Exchange 2003 :

Import Mailboxes in Exchange 2010

2008R2 have added benefits over 2008, I haven't used it yet fully but hyper-v has a lot of advantages as compared to 2008
Features Overveiw : http://bink.nu/news/windows-server-2008-r2-overview-feature-overview.aspx

Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 / 2010:
Post ID : ID:26506703

I would recommend going the demazter's way ; as then you would have a fresh ground to create the new domain on R2.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Mutahir,

The situation discussed in the article you sent me is different - they are talking about renaming domain whereas I am talking about migration, which is what I must do, since I do not want to go around setting up 50 user profiles, settings etc.

You suggest an export and import of mailboxes, whereas I think this is more complicated way to do it. I have personally migrated exchange 2003 to exchange 2007 serveral times by using move mailbox command whilst in same domain. I think I should be able to do this for exchange 2010 but need confirmation.

Re: your article about Windows 2008 R2, microsoft already has the benifits but what I am after is a comparison sheet with pros and cons + added benifits to STD edition.

Once again, I want to do an UPGRADE only.

Would you or someone in the forum please answer my questions in the order they appear. I have good knowledge of exchange and have successfully performed many migrations of Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 but what I am after is specific answer to the above questions.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I would recommend contacting  www.swingmigration.com They sell "kits" for about $200 specifically for migrating from or to SBS. The kits are customized for any migration scenario, come with migration tools, detailed documentation, 90 days support, and the process can be done in controlled stages. I don't believe they have a kit for Exchange 2010 yet but the process would be similar to Exchange 2007 and I am sure they would help you with any differences, or advise you otherwise.
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manav08Author Commented:
Hi Robwill,

Just so that we don't loose track, you are responding to Part 4 of the question. Is this correct??
Is SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2 migration not possible??
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Actually 3-5

1) http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/r2-compare-features.aspx

2) Exchange Server 2007 will run on Server 2008 R2 as a domain controller without issue. As you have mentioned best practices states you should not do so, as Microsoft feel there can be performance issues and possibly security concerns, but doing so is quite common

3) There is no official Microsoft documentation (white paper) for a migration from SBS 2003 to Server 2008 std, and any Exchange version, as of yet. I would recommend http://www.sbsmigration.com/pages/99/

4) There is no SBS 2003 to 2008 transition pack. Using the SBS 2003 to 2003 std transition pack first, as some suggest, is a waste of money as it is basically a licensing tool that converts server and CAL licenses, but they are still 2003 and you will need all 2008 CAL's.

5) http://www.sbsmigration.com/pages/99/
manav08Author Commented:
Hi RobWill,

1. Good
2. You said Exch 2007 but I think you meant Exchange 2010. So good.
3 to 5. I am reading tigermatt's comment on http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_23488279.html and he states that you have to install the transition pack before demoting the SBS (http://www.microsoft.com/DOWNLOADS/details.aspx?FamilyID=bbcf7319-4947-4fd2-a2ea-145588765e68&displaylang=en) Have you had any experience with this?? After I run this transition pack, can you assure me that it will not break the exchange that is part of SBS? Also how much does it cost??
manav08Author Commented:
Also, I have already purchased the CALs for 2008 under the OLP agreement, so that shouldn't be a problem.
manav08Author Commented:
Now I am really confused with all this. If someone could point me in the right direction it would be good.

Just happened to ring MICROSOFT and after spending an hour on the phone I was pointed to this website http://www.microsoft.com/wess/en/us/solutions-pathway-overview.aspx. They couldn't answer my simple question as to how many CALs I need to purchase for transition pack, as I have already purchased CALs for my Windows Server 2008 under the OLP.
Could anyone please tell me how many licenses in transaction pack do I need. Would I be able to get around by just buying the 5 licenses, remove the restriction and then migrate to a full blow Windows Server 2008 DC. For the Widnows Server 2008 we have already bought 25 licenses. HELP!!!!!
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I would first see if you can finds a transition pack for converting SBS 2003 to server 2008. I refuse to ever say "never" again, I have been proven wrong to many times, but I am doubtful you will.

If you feel you need to buy a transition pack you need to buy the same number of CAL's as you currently have on your existing 2003 server. As mentioned this is a cost saving package (as well as some tools) to basically give you a rebate for your SBS 2003 CAL's toward your 2003 (yes 2003) server and Exchange CAL's. Also, unless you find someone with old inventory you cannot buy a 2003 transition pack as it has been discontinued.

As mentioned in the Microsoft link you provided, the transition pack has been replaced by the WEES program which offers you a 20% discount on your CAL's when upgrading. This is a financial plan and has no migration methods or tools associated with it. I am afraid I am not familiar with the offer, but it may require purchasing "volume licensing". Regardless this should be discussed with a Microsoft Software vendor/partner.

It is a complex migration, which is why I recommend www.swingmigration.com The only service they provide is migrations to and from SBS. $200 is a very reasonable price to pay for the tools and support for the transition. That is less than 1 server and Exchange CAL. If at any time you have to call Microsoft for support it will cast much more than that. The swingmigration method does not require a transition pack, and does not have the 21 day migration limitation. It is a very controlled process that allows you to do the migration in stages and at any point revert back to your original configuration.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Robwill,

Thanks for your prompt responses.
I am still very confused. Just read - http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/SBS_Small_Business_Server/Q_24735795.htmand they are saying that you don't even need a transition pack to do an upgrade.

Response to your above comment -
Transition pack is still available and I was informed by microsoft about this as well as a Microsoft Software partner, not sure what this WEES is about.
SWINGMIGRATION - I have heard about it several times but also I have heard that some people haven't been able to find it really easy to use. Have you personally used it? what is your experience with it?

The cost of the kit is about $300 or so and transition pack is not too much different then. Just not sure which way I should proceed. I alreaady have VLK for Server 2008 STD.

Any other experts want to give this a go??
Funny, this thread is just like this other one:

The answers you seek are in there.

As for sbsmigration - I have used it quite some time ago, though not in the exact same scenario.  Not at all hard - they give you clear instructions, just read through and understand before you start.  Contact them, they're good people, if they can help you, buy a kit.  if they can't, they will say so.  no bs from these guys - just communicate to them exactly what you are trying to do, and they can tell you whether they have a kit that will work for you or not  (I do not work for them, btw)  It's not much for the kit - have you bought a technical book lately?  (and how much of that book did you find useful?)
Oops, sorry, wrong link, it's this one:
(forget that other link, too damn many tabs open at once, sorry)
manav08Author Commented:

The thread is an unresolved issue, just like mine. I have posted my comments there if you wanna read them.
Also I have written to these swing migration guys and will wait for their response. Their email is ycst@sbsmigration.com in case someone needs it. Its not on the website, you have to go through the voicemail system to get it.
For some reason, I am not really confident about using this SWING MIGRATION procedure. It would be easier to do with a transition pack, I think.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi All experts,

I have recently come across this blog which looks interesting http://blogs.technet.com/moloyt/archive/2007/10/10/sbs-2003-transition-pack.aspx The author explains clearly the entire procedure and things to be careful of. If I do go the transition pack way I have the following questions -

1. Moloy says - "You will no longer be able to run Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Setup to modify (add, remove, re-install) the server applications". Now this is going to be an issue as I will need this to remove exchange 2003 from the domain after migrating to Exchange 2010.  Has someone had any experience dealing with this. Would a manual uninstall of Exchange 2003 from SBS domain do the job for me?

2. Licensing - Since I already have CALs for Server 2008 and Exchange 2010 under open license agreement, I think I should be able to ask Microsoft for a free downgrade and use these CALs once SBS 2003 is transitioned to Server 2003. Is this correct?

3. I am still not totally convinced if SBS Swing Migration is the answer. Has someone used it in a similar scenario??
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Hi manav08.
I was just re-reading my posts and I apologize some of them sound somewhat "blunt". Also I know I have stated most of the following above, but to summarize.

I agree there is a lot of confusing information out there, and part of it is because the options for moving from SBS 2003 to SBS 2003 R2 are quite different than moving from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. Also keep in mind starting with SBS complicates things over server std.

It has never been necessary to buy a transition pack to migrate from one server version to another. With SBS 2003, Microsoft did offer a transition pack that assisted with your migration from SBS 2003 to server 2003 std, or later to server 2003 R2 std. When someone changed from SBS you basically have to throw away your SBS server License and all of your CAL's, and then buy a new server 2003 std license and new server 2003 CAL's, and if using Exchange, an Exchange server license and Exchange CAL's. This was a huge leap in costs. The transition pack basically allowed you to pay just the difference in cost between your existing SBS license and CAL's and the cost of the new server licenses and CAL's. The transition pack did not automate the migration process but it did come with documentation and some tools to assist you with the process.

Unfortunately there is no transition pack available to move to Server 2008. You have to buy all new CAL's but that has been the case for each major O/S version NT=>2000=>2003=>2008. Even if you start with server 2003 std, you have to buy new CAL's. Lot's of people have been requesting a transition pack because of the savings, but to the best of my knowledge it doesn't exist nor will it based on past history.

There are those that tell you to buy a transition pack to migrate from SBS 2003 to  server 2003 and Exchange 2003, then buy your server 2008 licenses and migrate to that, but that would be a huge additional expense, and a whole other migration process. The pricing of the transition pack is scaled depending on the number of CAL's you have.

There are numerous documented methods to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 by Microsoft, Philip Elder (MPECSInc), demazter, and swingmigration.com, but the documentation for moving to server 2008 std is somewhat limited at this point, especially where you would like to use Exchange 2010.

You mention you were told you can still buy a transition pack. Quite possibly, but I understood they had been discontinued and were only available from a few large vendors such as newegg.com that had some old inventory. Did Microsoft say the transition pack would take you to Server 2008? I have never heard of One. Based on the WEES link you provided earlier it does seem they offer a 20% discount on your new licensing when you move to 2008, but that is the only price advantage I have seen so far.

Therefore based on; there is no advantage to using a 2003 transition pack, my belief that a => 2008 transition pack doesn't exist, limited documentation for your migration scenario, I recommended www.swingmigration.com Swingmigration adds a temporary server (can even be a laptop) to your domain while migrating. This means you do not make any changes to your original SBS, so you can continue to work, and you can revert back to the SBS at any time, making the process very safe. Microsoft methods have "points of no return".

Having said all that the WEES link you provided http://www.microsoft.com/wess/en/us/solutions-pathway-overview.aspx does state;
"For SBS 2003 and SBS 2003 R2 customers who want to purchase standalone components, Transition Pack is only available on the FPP pricelist through the Distributor channel for Americas Operations Center and EMEA Operations Center.  Starting in April, the Asia Pacific Operations Center will have all SKUs available on the price
list.  Click here for pricing details and how to buy."
However earlier they say; "The program replaces previously offered products, such as Version Upgrade (VUP), Product Upgrade (PUP) and Transition Pack (TP)"
And when you click on the link for pricing there is no transition pack.
Even if a transition pack were available you mention you have already bought 2008 CAL's so there would be no real advantage except the server license itself.

It might be worth a call to swingmigration.com just to confirm what your options are. Their sole specialty is migrations to and from SBS.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Robwill,

My response -

We had already purchased licenses for Windows Server 2008 and Exchange 2010, so the savings factor doesn't worry me at this stage. Obviously I thought you could just migrate straight from SBS 2003 to SERVER 2008 by transfering FSMO etc.etc. you know it :), but obviously I was wrong.
All I want to know is how to successfully migrate. My plan was to use the trannsition pack to convert SBS 2003 to Server 2003 and then I should be able to do the migration to Windows Server 2008 R2 STD.
As far as I understand and as explained by MOLOY ( http://blogs.technet.com/moloyt/archive/2007/10/10/sbs-2003-transition-pack.aspx) the transition pack contains a CD to convert SBS 2003 to SERVER 2003 pretty much on the fly.
I have already checked with our wholesaler and he has transition pack in stock. I have asked him to confirm if it is for R2 or just STD SBS 2003. This will be another drama :) as I read here http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/SBS_Small_Business_Server/Q_23205194.html

Also the other concern I have is as per my questions listed above (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_25493352.html?cid=1575#a28774622)

PS: I have also emailed SWING MIGRATION team and am waiting for their response.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>" I thought you could just migrate straight from SBS 2003 to SERVER 2008 by transferring FSMO etc.etc"
You can and that is my recommendation. But the process is more involved than server std to server std., mostly because Exchange is involved.

You have my opinions on the migration process.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi RobWill,

Have you tested it yourself as I do not want to break my exchange.
Every post I have come across, says you have to run the transition pack CD.
Apparently they say you cannot seperate or migrate the applications or else you end up breaking your entire domain. This is confirmed by Microsoft in this documentation http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/C/E/CCE84C91-AB7C-4AB2-B246-48A7E4155E54/SBS2003.R2.MarketingMaterials.Customer.TransitionPack.Lo_Res.pdf

Also have a look at the post by MOLOY above. It states that  -
Things you can achieve after installing the transition pack

You can achieve the following task after installing the SBS 2003 transition pack, which otherwise is not possible in SBS 2003 because of product design limitation.

- Transfer the Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) roles to another domain controller

- Establish two-way trust relationship with another Domain

- Add child domains to the existing AD forest

- Move server applications to another server (for e.g. You can move Exchange Server 2003 to another server for better performance)

- Enable Terminal Server in Application Sharing mode

- Remove the 75 users/device limit

- Increase the max number of processors supported from two to four
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I have never used the transition pack nor have I used swingmigration. I have years ago done 2 migrations SBS to server 2003, and confess it took weeks to clean them up.

You certainly can destroy AD, DNS, and Exchange in any migration process, transition pack or no transition pack. As a Microsoft MVP I am privy to many demos not on the internet, I have also attended swingmigration demos. Based on these, if ever I were to do a migration of any sort in the future I would buy a kit from swingmigration.com in a second, if for no other reason than you cannot damage your original SBS/Exchange with their process.

Using the transition pack to move from SBS to 2003 and then migrate to 2008 will definitely work, but it seems like additional cost and steps to me. Using the transition pack does walk you through the process but it is not as simple as doing an XP=>Vista upgrade by installing a CD, answer a couple of questions, and let it run.

MOLOY's list is not because they used the trasition pack, but because the server is now server 2003 std.
Just a quick comment on the transition pack - used that once.  Never again.  Even PSS couldn't clean up that mess.  (The fiasco was blamed on something Backup Exec adds to the registry)  Bad memories.


My $0.02 on your question(s)

1. incremental.  64bit only.  looks more like windows7
2. it's not *that* much different from Win2K8.  i don't know of any R2-specific quirks (doesn't mean they don't exist, though)
3. the basic steps are the same, but configuration is a little different.  easier, actually
4. i think you got the process about right.  you can transfer fsmo roles.  (just make sure you complete the migration before your sbs box starts shutting itself down)  you don't have to use the transition pack.
5. it would make for interesting reading, but sorry, i don't know of any

P.S.  I know that other thread is not finished, but the basic steps are in one of the posts by cappinmorgan, where he describes a response from MS.  
manav08Author Commented:
Hi RobWill,

Thanks for your answers. I have done about 10 or so migrations from SBS 2003 to SBS2008 but none from SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2003/2008. Wish they d proper guidelines for that.
I have written to the SBS SWING MIGRATION team. Lets see what they say. The only reason why I do not want to use that is the amount of time it will take me to follow a new set of instructions from their book, when I already have knowledge of doing migration mode installs both with SBS and Server 2008.


Thanks for your input until now.
I remember reading somewhere in EE that this guy didn't use a transition pack and when he DCPROMOd the SBS out of the domain everything basically siezed. I am not prepared to take that risk unless you can confirm to me - A blog or a EE post..Thanks..
No blog or EE post.  Just hard-earned experience.

I did it once, and everything got hosed.  I will NEVER use the transition pack again.  I'm sure that it works in the majority of cases, but the one time I used it, everything blew up.  Like I mentioned, even PSS couldn't fix the mess it created.  We worked with PSS and Veritas (they were still Veritas then), and there was lots of finger-pointing.  Not to mention a very pissed-off client.  Eventually, PSS fingered a change made in the registry that Backup Exec makes, which they think caused the transition pack to fail so miserably.  The transition pack is not just licensing, btw.  There is a software component to it, or at least, there was a few years ago. So, I can confirm that, in my case at least, the transition pack is the devil incarnate.  YMMV.

sbsmigration does work (i turned to that the next time i had to do a SBS to Win2K3 migration).  very "elegant" and smart solution, imo

I sincerely wish you good luck if you choose to use the transition pack.  (if i was a religious person, i would pray for you if you used the transition pack  :-)  )

As you mentioned, you have done SBS2003 to SBS2008 migrations.  This also entails dcpromo to remove Active Directory from the SBS 2003 box (without a transition pack in sight).  A process that many have gone through successfully.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Kaffiend,

Still waiting for a response from these SBS Migration guide people. Wish they were quicker :)
In b/w- what do you mean by PSS?
PS: I was after a blog or post for someone who has done migration mode install without using Transition pack or SBSMIGRATION (swing method)??
PSS - Microsoft Product Support Services

Glen KnightCommented:
Answer to question 1> If you are familiar with Windows 2008 then there isn't a massive amount of difference in R2.  The one thing you need to co sider is it is 64bit only.

Answer to question 2> Either 2008 non R2 or 2008 R2 will work fine with Exchange 2010 I have 15+ exchange servers in production using 2008 R2 with absolutely no problems at all.  Just a note none of the high availability features are available in Exchange 2010 if you use the standard edition so if you plan to use any of these in the future then install Enterprise 2008 R2.

Answer to question3 > Exchange 2010 will quite happily co-exist with Exchange 2003 or 2007 there is a guide here on technet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998604.aspx I have done serveral upgrades from Exchange 2003.  It's a fairly straight forward process.  If the Exchange 2003 and 2010 servers will co-exist for a prolonged period of time then I would recommend installing a temporary CAS role server to provide Outlook Web Accessi/ActiveSync as the 2010 server will not be able to service these requests if it has the mailbox role on it.

Answer to Question 4 > You don't need a transition pack, I have never used on and never will.  If your migrating to the same domain name then there is abslutely no need.

Answer to Question 5 > I haven't quite finished mine yet but I am not aware there is one.  I can provide you with the steps 1by1 if you like?  I guess it depends when you are planning to do the migration?
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
To manav08:
I doubt that Jeff Middleton has a "kit" yet for your specific scenario, because the demand simply would not be that high yet.
Exchange 2010 only just RTM'd (As did Server 2008R2), so you can't expect there to be a wealth of knowledge/experience/White Papers out there.
There is NO transition pack to go to Server 2008R2 from SBS 2003.   You can install the Server 2008R2 into and SBS 2003 domain.  Then run ADPREP for both forest and domain on the SBS Server using the 2008 media, Then DC Promo the new Server 2008 R2, Also make it DNS, Global Cataolg Server and DHCP (but don't run the DCHP because it will interfere)...once all your replication.
You could export the mail out to .pst files.
Unplug your SBS Server from the network, then Seize the FSMO roles on the Server 2008, then install Exchange 2010 and import the mailboxes.   You'll have some AD clean up and DNS cleanup to do.   But your SBS Server would remain in tact if things did not work the way you wanted...

To clarify what Glen has said, the High Availability features of Exchange 2010 are NOT available if you do not use Windows Server Enterprise. You CAN do High Availability with Exchange 2010 Standard, which was a turn around for Microsoft compared when compared with previous versions.

There is a lot of conflicting advice out there with regard to the transition pack, but you do not need one. As previously mentioned, it works if you follow the steps to do a normal migration of Active Directory and Exchange.

If I were doing this, I would *not* install Exchange onto the same box as your DC. Virtualisation software is so cheap (or free) now you can happily virtualise two machines - one as a DC and another as an Exchange Server. Simple and much more secure.

Furthermore, there is no requirement to export mail to PST files. The Exchange 2010 can be brought up with the SBS online, so mailboxes can be moved using the standard Move Mailbox wizard.

Glen KnightCommented:
Prerequisites: SBS2003 must be fully upti day, I recommend running the Best Practice Analyzer and resolving any problems it identifies.  Exchange 2003 MUST be running with Service Pack 2.

I would recommend using virtualisation technologiy so that you can use seperate exchange and DC there are a few free ones I would recommend either VMWare ESXi:  http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

Or Hyper-V server:  http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx

Both of which are free bare metal hypervisor products.

Step 1 > Prepare the Domain for Windows 2008 R2

To do this run 

adprep /forestprep
Adprep /domainprep 

on the SBS2008 server

Step 2 > join the 2008 R2 to the domain as a member server

Step 3 > run DCPROMO on the 2008 server and select the advanced link to then install DNS as part of the process.

NOTE: if you do decide to put Exchange and DC on the same server you MUST do this part before you put exchange on.

Step 4 > update the SBS server, the DHCP Scopes and the 2008 server so they now ALL use the 2008 server for DNS

Step 5 > Install DHCP on the 2008 server and configure scopes etc and activate.  The SBS DHCP service will automatically disable itself at this point.

Step 6 > install Exchsnge 2010 prerequisites on the 2008 R2 server by running the script that can be found here:   http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354(printer).aspx

Please note the different script for Windows 2008 R2

Step 7 > prepare Active Directory for Exchange 2010 by running the following commands from the Exchange 2010 DVD:

Setup /PrepareSchema
Setup /PrepareAD

NOTE: Unlike previous versions of Exchange if you don't do this the Exchange Installation will do it for you.

Step 8 > Install Exchange 2010 selecting the Hub Transport, Mailbox and Client Access roles.

Step 9 > move mailboxes using the Exchange Management Console, replicate public folders.

Step 9a > reconfigure port 25 and 443 to go to the new Exchange 2010 server instead of the SBS server.

Step 10 > Uninstall Exchange 2003 from the SBS server following this guide:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288905(EXCHG.80).aspx

Step 11 > move the FSMO roles to the Windows 2008 R2 server as per:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801
All 5 roles need ti be moved to the 2008 server.

In Active Directory Sites and Services expand the 2003 server right click on ntdS settings and uncheck the Global Catalog box

Step 12 > Run DCPROMO on the SBS2003 server and remove active directory from it.

Step 13 > Shutdown SBS2003 server and remove it from the domain.

I have not covered user data migration (other than exchange) but that is simply a case of re-creating any shares you may have and updating any login scripts, active directory attributes and group policies.  Then back the data up and restore it to the new location.

If you have any further questions please let us know.


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Glen KnightCommented:
Oh and ALWAYS do a SYSTEM STATE backup BEFORE you do anything else!
manav08Author Commented:
Thanks to all experts - Robwill, tigermatt, demazter, CrisHanna_MVP and Kaffeind,
I am really grateful to have you all respond to my questions and based on the above, I have summarized what I should be doing to do a migration mode install of Server 2008 R2 with exchange 2010

1. Run adprep /forestprep and adprep/domainprep.
2. Join new Server 2008 R2 to the domain and dcpromo it to be a DC, DNS, GC and DHCP server.
3. Transfer all FSMO roles to the new server.
4. Prepare AD for Exchange 2010 by using switches PrepareSchema and Pepare AD. But is it only if I install it on a seperate server?
5. Do a migration from exchange 2003 to exchange 2010  using move mailbox command or GUI.
6. Uninstall exchange 2003 from old SBS SERVER.
7. DC PROMO out the OLD SBS 2003 DC
8. join it to a workgroup and shutdown server.

Once again, I will be using no transition pack or SMSMIGRATION procedure.
Please just say YES to assure me that the above will all work............

More Questions -

1. ChrisHanna - Why do I need to sieze the roles. Can I not just transfer the roles across using ADUC and AD Domains and Trusts??

2. BIG QUESTION - Glen and tigermatt, you have now suggested that I use HYPER-V. I have not explored it yet but it definitely would be interesting. I particularly do not want to use it for this project because it is something I do not have experience with I guess. Moreover, will I not require 2 Windows Server 2008 R2 licenses, one for the DC and another one for the exchange?? If this is the case it would look bad for me to go to the customer and say that I have quoted you incorrectly.
Thirdly, I am not really sure how the backups are going to work with HYPER-V or VMWARE-ESXi as we were going to backup onto external hard-drives.
Glen KnightCommented:
>>Please just say YES to assure me that the above will all work............

>>1. ChrisHanna - Why do I need to sieze the roles. Can I not just transfer the roles across using ADUC and AD Domains and Trusts??

There is absolutely no reasonto seize the roles.  This should always be done gracefully if at all possible.

>>Moreover, will I not require 2 Windows Server 2008 R2 licenses, one for the DC and another one for the exchange??

Yes that is correct, but we were recomending this based on Microsoft best practices for Exchange not being on a Domain Controller.  There are many small businesses that do use a single server.

Hyper-V or VMWare are useful ways of utilizing a single physical server to provide multiple servers.  Even if you only want to use a single server I would still suggest using virtualisation as it makes it very easy to add another server at a later date without incurring hardware costs except for possibly more RAM
Glen KnightCommented:
Oh and with your steps above, do them in the order i have done them above.
DO NOT transfer the FSMO roles until you ate ready to DCPROMO the old server.  If you do the SBS Server will restart every few hours.
Glen KnightCommented:
>>4. Prepare AD for Exchange 2010 by using switches PrepareSchema and Pepare AD. But is it only if I install it on a seperate server?

No, you will need to do this anyway.

As I said looming at your list it's OK but it's in the wrong order.  Please perform the steps in the order i posted.  This is probably the second most important piece of advice after taking a SYSTEM STATE backup.
manav08Author Commented:
point noted demazter.
At this stage I will not be using HYPER-V but for future projects, I will definitely explore it.

All Experts,

I will like to keep this question open for 2 weeks or so which is when the install is scheduled to take place, as I do not want to spoil my easter break in case something goes wrong :-).
Once again thanks to all the geniuses. B/W it is all of the people like you who have inspired me to start my own blog early this month (www.confatech.com) . Wish I could devote some more time in helping other users just like you do, but unfortunately my work is way too busy at this stage...
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
Sorry for responding back so late
While there is nothing wrong with transferring the FSMO roles, in the event that something goes wrong,  you would not be able to return to the SBS Server to run the network.
If, after you have the new server setup as a DC, GC, etc., you disconnect the SBS server from the physical network, you seize the FSMO roles, if something is not right, you could go back to the SBS Server
If you export the mail boxes to pst files and import them in to the new exchange server you don't have to worry about removing the Exchange 2003 server from the network.
But you would have to clean up AD and DNS this way to remove the old SBS server
Just another option.
Glen KnightCommented:
In my opinion, if you get to the stage where you have the 2008 server as a DC and Exchange is installed there is very little that can go wrong that would stop the migration.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Chris,

I would keep that in mind in case something goes wrong but I would prefer to use move-mailbox to move mailboxes. I don't particularly like the Exmerge method because a lot of my users have well over 2 GB mailbox size.
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
I'm just offering suggestions and options.   One of the really nice things about the "swing migration", which is essentially what I've described at a very high level, is that it leaves the original server intact...just in case.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"One of the really nice things about the "swing migration", which is essentially what I've described at a very high level, is that it leaves the original server intact...just in case."
Which was my key point, where manav08 is quite apprehensive about the migration. Very early on the in the standard migration process it is not reversible. In addition if support is needed, one call to Microsoft is more expensive than the unlimited 90 days support provided by swingmigration.com.
I do appreciate they likely don't have SBS 2003 =>Server 2008 w/Exchange 2010 but the process is somewhat similar to 2007 and willing to bet they would assist with the 2010 if problems arise.
Glen KnightCommented:
I am not sure what the big deal is about leaving the original server in tact?

This is why the absolute last tasks are to uninstall Exchange, transfer the FSMO roles and DCPROMO the SBS Server.

If anything was to go wrong it would go wrong LONG before these 3 stages, at which point the SBS2003 server is still operational, you can move all the mailboxes back to the SBS2003 server, gracefully DCPROMO the Windows 2008 server and nobody will be any the wiser.
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
For some people it may not be a big deal...for someone with little to no experience, it could be a lifesaver.   It's just an option
Glen KnightCommented:
Yes but if things were to go wrong it would actually go wrong before you render the SBS2003 server unusable.
manav08Author Commented:
hey guys, I sent an email to SWING MIGRATION people on Saturday but still haven't heard back from them, so obviously I am not really impressed. Either way I will not be buying a transition pack or swing migration kit.
Don't know why Microsoft confuses people by saying you need a TRANSITION PACK. Wish they had better explanations on technet.
Glen KnightCommented:
Manav08 > I assure you there is no need for a transition pack.

Follow the steps I posted.  If you get any errors/problems DO NOT move on to the next step until it is resolved.
manav08Author Commented:
got it, demazter. thanks mate
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
I'm not sure why you would expect a response to a general inquiry over the weekend.  We aren't even half way through the first business day of the week.   There could be many reasons why they have not responded, including providing support to folks already in the middle of migrations.
As for the Transition Pack, it was only really ever intended if you had SBS 2003 installed, and then need to lift the SBS restrictions on the same server.  Essentially it turned SBS into a standard server.    Has not been in play since Server 2008 came out.
manav08Author Commented:
Hi Chris,

Sorry, I am in Australia and  its 2am, Tuesday morning :)
I sent them an email on Saturday morning my time so I guess that would be Friday in US.
Anyways no complaints at all. All I am trying to say is - if I do not need it I will not waste my money.
Im off to bed now. Will respond tomorrow
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>"I am not sure what the big deal is about leaving the original server in tact?"
I agree with Cris. If you are not familiar or comfortable with migrations it's good to know you can pull the plug on the new equipment, make no changes and leave things as they are, and come back and start over when you are ready, with no 7 or 21 day restrictions. Not suggesting it can't be done otherwise, but it is a nice safety net. Look at the hundreds of folk in a panic looking for help in dozens of forums because one component of their migration failed.

manav08 in fairness to swingmigration I think you will find they have excellent support, but as Cris also said, paying clients come first. I am sure they get a lot of general inquiries.
Glen KnightCommented:
The 7 or 21 day restriction only applies with SBS to SBS migration.

As we are not migrating to SBS there is really very little risk involved.  Everything up until the point where you transfer the FSMO roles and DCPROMO the SBS server is reverseable.

Even transfering the FSMO roles can go back if you change your mind :)

if it was an SBS to SBS migration I would agree with both of you.  
manav08Author Commented:
Hi demazter, chris, robwill,

Obviously there is a lot of discussion about what would happen if things go wrong. Why don't we do what demazter suggested earlier. Can I not convert my existingserver to HYPER-V virtual server and then take a backup. That way it would be heaps easier.
I have started another question for this, so that we don't make a mess of this question - . Please feel free to answer (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Applications/Virtual_Server/Hyper-V/Q_25599345.html).
Also wondering if I do go ahead with it, will there be any implications in relation to the amount of network traffic originating from the one machine. Also will I be using NAT on the virtual network cards??
manav08Author Commented:
Hi demzter,

One more question for you. I have now decided that I will do HYPER-V R2 install as the host OS and Windows Server 2008 R2 as the guest. The host server is running 8GB RAM in total and I have allocated 7GB to my Guest OS. Hope this is ok.
As I am setting up the server offsite, I cannot join it to their domain. Just wondering if Exchange 2010 has to be setup after joining to the domain or it can be setup before as well. I am sorry but I have never experimented this in the past.
Glen KnightCommented:
Afraid so, Exchange requires Active Directory to function so you will have to join it to the domain before installing Exchange.

Especially if this is also going to be a domain controller you MUST run DCPROMO BEFORE Exchange is installed.

The RAM allocation is OK, how much RAM does the Host server support? Will you be able to add additional RAM at a later date if you wanted to add another server?
manav08Author Commented:
Hi demazter,

I did think that it was a dumb question :)
Host Server has 8GB of RAM and there are 2 more free slots for the processor so I guess I can put say another 4GB, if needed. Shouldn't 1GB be enough for HYPER-V R2 if I am only running one guest OS.

Also wondering if the performance of running one guest-OS be similar to running the OS on the physical machine in this scenario. Considering that I only have one Guest OS.

I also plan to share the network card with the host OS for now...Hope this is ok.
Glen KnightCommented:
>>I did think that it was a dumb question :)
There is no such thing as a dumb question, the answers are only easy if you know them.

You will probably not notice any degredation in the performance.

Sharing the NIC should be

>>I also plan to share the network card with the host OS for now...Hope this is ok.
I can't think of any reason why this would cause a problem
manav08Author Commented:
To whosoever is reading the post-

The project which started last weekend and finished today was a success. For those of you who are reading this question and are still confused, lets just summarize it all -

1. No Transition pack is required whatsoever as long as you follow DEMAZTERs instructions step by step as per post http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_25493352.html#A28906975

2. I do agree that for some people the whole procedure may look quite complicated if you haven't done Exchange 2003-Exchange 2007 (or SBS 2003-SBS2008) migration installs in the past. If this is the case, I recommend you to do it in a virtual environment like HYPER-V first before doing it in a LIVE environment.

3. I did try to contact www.sbsmigration.com to obtain their guide for the migration but never recvd. a response, so I assume that none whatsoever is available to do a migration from SBS 2003 to Exchange 2008 R2.

4. This is my own personal experience - Exchange 2010 is still a bit buggy and not as stable as you would expect. I get quite a few MSExchangeTransport log errors when the server restarts but they do not effect the operation of the server. It is my personal suggestion to wait until later on this year which is when Microsoft plan to release their first SP1 update for Exchange 2010

5. There is very minimal difference between Server 2008 STD and Server 2008 R2. In my opinion the latter is much faster to boot up and stuff.


To Experts -

I am thankful to each and every one of you who took time to help this project be a success. You guys are genius's so please keep the good work. Keep sharing your knowledge and keep it growing :).
I have only 500 points to share so obiously its a bit hard but I will try my best to allocate points in the most justified manner (according to me). Please do not feel bad if I am unable to award you points. I am still very thankful to you and your help is much appreciated.
Glen KnightCommented:
Well done manav08, glad it worked out for you.

For anyone reading this question in the future I am about 3 quarters of the way through a step by step guide of how to do this so watch my article list.  I will try and remember to post the link back here once it gets published.
Glen KnightCommented:
As promissed everyone here is the FULL migration guide for Windows Small Business Server 2003 to Windows 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010:


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