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SBS 2011 Upgrade

Posted on 2011-03-22
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I have a SBS 2003 Standard that I am planning to upgrade to SBS 2011.

Could someonve advise me the best method for doing this upgrade.  Is it just a matter of running the DVD on the present SBS 2003 or are there other steps that must be done.  Obviously, this is a new process for me, so please point me to detail steps that I need to follow.
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Question by:mdwhiteside
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Glen Knight earned 250 total points
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by:Rob Williams
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ID: 35192401
When moving from SBS 2003 to a new server platform there are several migration options.
There is no “upgrade path” nor is the older transition pack available any longer that assisted and provided a licensing cost savings when moving to Server 2003 Standard. You will need to do a migration. My personal preference when doing SBS migrations is to buy a $200 kit from swingmigration.com tailored to your particular  migration. It provides tools, a method that allows a more gradual migration and the ability to revert backward, and 90 days personal support.
http://www.sbsmigration.com/pages/99/

There are numerous other documented methods available.
The following isMicrosoftosoft 'official' documentation specific to SBS 2011, but below are options to 2008 which is similarimiar, and demazter's document above is excellent.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=ea184914-6445-4d7a-a432-927e6880dcd0

SBS2003 to SBS 2008:
Microsoft’s documentation for migrating SBS 2003 to SBS 2008
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=52B7EA63-78AF-4A96-811E-284F5C1DE13B&displaylang=en
Philip Elder’s documentation for migrating SBS2003 to SBS2008
http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/06/sbs-2003-to-sbs-2008-migration-guide.html
Karl Palachuk’s Migration to SBS 2003 and SBS 2008
http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2009/08/swing-migration-vs-zero-downtime.html


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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35192418
This looks to be exactly what I need, thank you.  However, a couple of related questions.

1.  Since, I will obviously need to have my server non available during this upgrade, about how long should I tell my users to expect to not be able to use the server.  Since it is both our exchange and file server, when it is down users cannot perform much of their work.

2.  Also, are some of the steps such that I could run them on the server while users are still online and then ask them to disconnect for the completion of the upgrade.  Again, I am just looking for the least amount of downtime for the users.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192470
I have done migrations with zero downtime so this is achievable.  When you need to move the user data do it over a weekend so they are not interrupted.

Most if not all of the steps in my guide can be done whilst users are using the system.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 35192534
Almost no down time as demazter stated with most migration methods, however if you are not familiar with this I do recommend SwingMigration. They use a 3rd server which can be a PC or even a laptop during the migration so that all services are available at all times and you can revert back at any time if a particular part of the migration fails. Keep in mind 1 call to Microsoft is a lot more than the Migration kit with unlimited support.

If you are migrating to the same hardware there will bsignificanttn down time. Make sure your server is also compatible first. This is a multi-day process.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35192562
Just to be clear - I am NOT moving to a new hardware platform, but performing the upgrade on the same server that SBS 2003 presently resides.  User data should not be a factor since it resides on the same server, but in a separate partition.

Does the minimum amount of downtime apply to this situation as well?

If so, my plan is to start the upgrade (migration) this Friday, giving me the remainder of the weekend to resolve any problems that might arise.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192569
I tend to disagree with RobWill here, I don't see the point in paying for something that isn't required and can only cause confusion.

Personal preference I guess :)

If you follow my guide and give yourself at least a week then you shouldn't have any problems.  The important thing is ifyou come across something unusual or that throws you, stop, ask questions.  Don't carry on regardless this is where people get in to trouble.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192586
You cannot do an INPLACE upgrade you WILL need new hardware.

Alternatively, migrate SBS2003 to a virtual machine using SBS2003 then migrate back to SBS2011 on the old hardware.

But this really is drought with problems if you don't know what you are doing.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 35192622
Keep in mind demazter you have done how many migrations? You are likely one of the leading experts in that field.
The internet isplaguedd with SBS specialists still trying to cleanup migrations with failedcomponentss. I truly admire your documentation but if it fails who supports your process? Microsoft when called says; did you follow step 1,2,3,... of oursupportedd documentation.

I am not discrediting demazter's documantation at all, just be aware this is not a simple process.

Swingmigration.com will allow migrating to the same hardware as they use an external temporary DC/server.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192658
Fair point :)

Maybe I should sell the guide with support attached ;)

In this instance if no new hardware can be procured the swingmigration.com might be the best option.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35192765
OK, I plan to check on the swingmigration option, because of the single hardware issue.

However, I have already run into a question.  In your documentation under the first section of Health Checks on the SBS 2003, your instructions are to run Windows Update after verifying the three bullet points.  The instructions say to choose the Windows Update option in the blue banner across the top.

My system does not show any such option.  Under the blue banner is the welcome message, but I do not see any update option above.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 35192768
>>"Maybe I should sell the guide with support attached"
There is a market for it and you certainly have the expertise.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35192803
Didn't see these points made, but just to clarify a couple:

How old is your existing hardware?  You may not have a choice - you may NEED new hardware.  SBS 2003 is old... if you've been using it for just 2-3 years, then you may be fine (hardware wise) - but if the server is 5 years old it may not support 64 bit operating systems.  SBS 2011 REQUIRES a 64bit capable system.  And while you may not want to spend any money on hardware, you need 8 GB of RAM (SBS 2003 max was 4 GB; MINIMUM (as stated on the spec sheet for 2008) is 8 GB with a recommended 10 GB or more).

SwingMigration is NOT a Microsoft product - but Jeff Middleton supports it - which is, in part, why he sells it, I suspect.  If Demazter wants to offer free support - or sell support as an option, then I would see no reason not recommend either of their solutions... other than NEITHER are Microsoft.

But as I've stated in the past, when it comes to setup, if you're not willing to learn this stuff WELL - if you're not willing to be doing this as part of your business a few times (or more) per year.... then going it alone yourself is unwise.  Hire a professional SBSC or someone with CLEAR credentials to migrate you... THEN you can manage it... A businesses success with SBS depends on a GOOD implementation.  Maintenance is usually not the problem.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192839
You are talking about this process here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/A_3236-Get-more-from-Windows-Updates.html

There most definitely should be a Microsoft Updates option.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192854
That said if you have already installed Microsoft Update then the update option for Microsoft Update will appear on the Start Menu in Windows and the option may not be there anymore in Internet explorer
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35192867
OK, both of you are smarter and have more experience than me - I understand that.  Actually, I thought I was paying already for support with my subscription to Experts Exchange.

Do you have an answer regarding my question regarding the Windows Update?
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35192916
My server is less than 1 year old and SBS 2003 was installed because it was what was used on an earlier server that failed.  It definitely has the horsepower to run SBS 2011.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35192967
>>Do you have an answer regarding my question regarding the Windows Update?

Yes, please see above.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35193033
I have run Windows Update on a regular basis since it was installed, so I am assuming from your previous remark, that this is why the option to which you are referring is not showing.  When I press the the Express button, the system responds that no updates are available.

I thought you might be referring to some Windows Update option that I was unfamiliar, but I believe we are saying the same thing.  My system seems to be up to date.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35193071
I was receding to Microsoft Update which is different from Windows Update. It is explained what and how to do this in the link I posted in comment ID: http:#35192839

If the option for Microsoft Update is not there then you already are using it and therefore receiving all the required updates.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35193080
I would also suggest a custom scan rather than an express one.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35193099
OK, thanks for the information - I plan to read through the documentation and then make a plan for the upgrade.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35193116
Also, FYI, when I went to the Microsoft download site, there was a download for updating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2011.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 35193155
Yes there probably is, and tone honest I've never looked for one.  I wrote my guide back in December and have tweaked it when I've needed to.

Some people prefer the format I use and the narrative that goes with it, some don't.  It's horses for courses really.

I would sincerely second leew, if this is not something you do regularly get some support, it can go wrong, it shouldn't if you follow a proven process but there is always the "I don't need to do that itsnot important/I did it last week".

If it does go wrong it's not so easy to put right.


>>Actually, I thought I was paying already for support with my subscription to Experts Exchange.

not strictly true, the support you get might not help.  You pay to ask questions and for access to experts who chose to answer your questions as volunteers.
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by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35193413
I understand your comment about getting support and that may be something I will need to do.  I have done some migrations in the past (2003 to 2008), but truthfully my business is small and I only do these type of upgrades once or twice a year and have yet to migrate to SBS 2011.  I have done a clean install of SBS 2011, but as we know that is very much different.

I seek help here because of the fact that I don't experience these issues very often and so I want to get as much information as possible before doing an upgrade such  as this one.  Your guide seems to be very easy to follow, but I do have the concern of just having the one system, which makes the swingmigration option attractive.

If you are offering phone or remote support, then that might be an alternative as well.  Please let me know your charges for phone support if I need questions answered during the process and/or remote support if problem is more difficult.
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