Migrating from Microsoft SBS 2003 to ???

WE have a 40 user network on MS SBS 2003. We're running out of disk space on the 4 year old box so a new box is in order as well as an update to either SBS 2008 or ??? I'm not too keen on the SBS solution because I've been partial to separate servers for separate functions. Our users aren't too sophisitcated so we aren't even using many of SBS features - like Sharepoint so it is a bit of overkill. I've got a few migration questions: 1) is an inplace upgrade from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 relatively painless? 2) If I decide to go a separate server route can I export the Exchange database from SBS 2003 to a standalone Exchange server? 3) Is there any kind of conversion utility to export Exchange messages to any other format - like if I wanted to move to Sendmail or some other mail system? (Recommendations?) Thanks!
Who is Participating?
IF your current SBS2003 server is running out of space would you consider just buying a hard drive and "extend" its memory space? At the end of the day a new decent server would cost you over $2000.

Anyway let's go to your questions.

1. Yes it is relatively easy to migrate to SBS2008. If you haven't done that before I would strongly recommend you look at www.sbsmigration.com - SwingIT is highly recommended by experts in this site to all inexperience IT Professionals. But if you want to take the challenge you can always do a manual migration, just google it you will be shown hundreds of links.

2. Yes you can migrate your SBS into full Windows server HOWEVER, I don';t think there is a route to migrate from SBS2003 directly to Windows 2008 so maybe you need to do a two steps migration, which to me is a pain. Again www.sbsmigration.com would tell you what options are available to you.

3. You can use exmerge to extract from Exchange but it will only export into pst format. I haven't known of any other utility to convert Exchange into other format.

Just a note - if you migrate from SBS2003 to SBS2008 all you need is to upgrade your llicenses (CALs). IF you migrate to full Windows 2008 Server you might need to buy new licenses. And bear in mind that you will need both Windows Server 2008 CALs and Exchange 2007 (or 2010) CALs. It will be expensive. So, my recommendation is to stick with SBS, which is much cheaper.

I recently just upgraded to SBS 2008 from SBS 2003 and it was somewhat painless.  I read that many people had issues with the migration process but all in all it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

For answers to your questions.
1. There is no direct upgrade path, you have to have a second server or use Virtualization to do this.  There is a migration wizard that walks you through the upgrade process of moving data between the two servers and does much of the work for you.  The whitepaper on the migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=52b7ea63-78af-4a96-811e-284f5c1de13b&DisplayLang=en  I have attached the file as well incase the link doesn't work.

2. There was at one time a Transition Pack that would allow upgrade from SBS to full versions of the software, such as Exchange.  I am not sure if this is still available but that would be your best bet as it cost around $1500 and converted your software to full versions of Windows Server and Exchange.  One thing to note is that your CAL's may have to be purchased as the SBS CAL's you are currently using won't work with full versions.

3. I personally don't know of any conversion process, save converting all mailboxes to PST and importing them to another server (if that server will take PST).  That doesn't mean there isn't one though. SBS-Migration.doc
Transition Pack no longer available.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.