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Starting Over with SBS 2008

Josiah Rocke
Josiah Rocke asked
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Hello! I know there are plenty of "migration" thread out there. I am familiar with the "official" migration method and have used the "swing" migration method as well. I'm considering NOT migrating. Here is why:

Our network currently consists of 33 workstations on a SBS 2003 domain. We have 27 active Exchange accounts. Currently, all drive mappings & printer shares are handled through an old script (dating back to Server 2000). We have had a number of issues related to security, logon scripts, user profiles, etc, so I'm leaning towards starting over with the AD and group policy. I'm sure what we have could be cleaned up, but I'm not familiar enough with scripting to do it. I am familiar with the more "official" group policy tools in 2003/2008.

Based on the above, I have the following questions:

1. Given the relatively few number of users & workstations, is starting over a viable option?
2. Can I install SBS2008 to a virtual machine in VPC and do some of the setup and then transfer the machine the new server we are purchasing in the fall? (I'm thinking I could then take the entire summer to create the new user/computer accounts, develop & test group policy, etc)
3. Yes or no to either of the previous, how would you recommend I proceed?

Thanks! I will check back often and add any additional info that is requested.
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
1) Yes, it is viable, but it will be labor intensive. You will *have* to disjoin and rejoin all the workstations to the domain and manually move all user profiles. Just be aware of the drawbacks. 30+ workstations is definitely worth reconsidering migration.

2) Physical to Virtual is pretty straightforward, but the other way around not always so much.  It'll depend on the hardware and how "easily" windows detects the changes.  You probably won't know until you try. If you go virtual, you may have to accept that you'll stay virtual.
Josiah RockeNetwork & Communications

Author

Commented:
1. The trouble the users don't really have a profile on the server! The script we have currently maps a "U" drive to a manually created hidden share on the server.  When each new workstation is setup, I have to manually point the "my documents" folder for each user on that workstation to that hidden share. It's messy, and it causes problems!  Even when I add new users with the "New User Wizard" snap in, I get errors after the wizard completes regarding "unable to create folders". Besides all that, all the profile specific settings, such as quotas do not work! It also appears that users' profiles are stored on their local machine, and if they log onto another machine, they have to create a new profile.

2. How much of a performance hit will I take staying virtual? Assume a quad/hex core processor with 8-12 10k/15k SAS drives. If I buy SBS 2008 Premium, I think I can install server 2008 standard as the host, and the SBS to a VM. Will it run fast enough if the VM is handling all roles (file, print, AD, sql, exchange)?
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
With Hyper-V?  You won't see a significant performance hit.  Hyper-V R2 is even better (and still free, but you lose the GUI.)

The downside to hyper-v is that it doesn't virtualize USB, so backups and fax integration require a bit more detailed planning.
Josiah RockeNetwork & Communications

Author

Commented:
can I install the SBS VM in Virtual PC in Windows 7 x64 enterprise and migrate to Hyper V later?

Also, If my backups are going to tape through a SCSI controller, will that be an issue? We do not integrate fax at this point at all.

Given the messed up profiles (not to mention printer shares & drive mapping!), would I still be better off considering migration? Last time, we did a swing migration and I ended up having to disjoin/rejoin half the machines anyways (mostly the older clients). I really think I'm almost better off creating new user/computer accounts. My main concern (which I forgot to mention) is the exchange accounts. If I start fresh, is there a way to import everyone's exchange data into their new account?

I know I could export each user to a .pst, but I really don't want to do that.

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
No. Virtual PC (last I checked) does not support 64-bit guest OS's. And SBS 08 is strictly 64-bit.

SBS 2008 does not support tape backups natively. You'll either be doing backups differrently or purchasing a 3rd-party backup utility that supports your tape drive *and* SBS. Whether it can work through Hyper-V's virtualization stack...you'd have to test.

Migration would preserve AD and your mailboxes, but you could choose to edit your group policies and not migrate files as part of your migration plan. So yes, it is certainly still worth considering.

With limitations, you can use exmerge (google it) to move exchange data.
Josiah RockeNetwork & Communications

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the input! I'm going to try using Hyper-V and test out both migration and fresh install.