Migrating from Windows 2003 Standard and Exchange 2003 to SBS 20011

Posted on 2011-05-04
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
We are a small organization with a single server running Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 (10 users).  We are getting ready to migrate to a newer OS.  It is more cost effective to migrate to SBS 2011 than to upgrade to Windows 2008 and Exchange 2008 separately.  What problems do you think we may encounter?  What suggestions do you have to make the migration as smooth as possible?
Question by:admintsg
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    Cost effective, probably.  The license alone for the spearate style is almost 100% more.  Problems are not too many, I just did one, migration mode installation for SBS, you need to make an answer file, that will allow you to join a new SBS to a current domain, give you time to decom the old one and transfer all the data over to new server.  Myself, I like the separate if cost isn't an issue.  Hate running into the SBS limits as my client organizations grow.  25 people is usully my break point on if I shoudl stay with SBS or not.

    os cost and exchange costs for 5 are about $1200, add cals and you are somewhere just norht of 2k in software alone.  SBS is 800 plus cals, which are more expensive, but covers all SBS features.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Oh forgot the link to the site I used for my migration.  Not that different than doing ot for SBS 2008

    Author Comment

    Just to be clear, I'm not migrating to a new server.  We want to install SBS 2011 on the same machine that now runs Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003.
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    I will note that SBS 2008 required 4GB of RAM or more and SBS2011 requires 8GB RAM.
    LVL 56

    Accepted Solution

    Regardless of whether you go with SBS 2011 or separate server components, Exchange does *not* support in-place upgrades, so you will need to perform some sort of migration using another server (even if only temporarily) to hold data while you do a clean install on the final destination hardware.

    Since that is going to be required regardless, I'd recommend SBS 2011, as running Exchange on a domain controller is always a tricky thing to pull of. At least with SBS you get the benefit of MS testing updates, service packs, and other patches on that configuration as compared to configuring it yourself and using some perhaps unusual settings.

    You may also want to be careful about using existing hardware for new OS versions. Whether you go with SBS 2011 or standalone components (that'd be Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010....there never was an Exchange 2008), you are looking at a fairly significant leap in system resource usage from 2003 components. You'll want to make sure you have 64-bit support, a processor fast enough to keep up with Exchange and SQL all on one box, and enough RAM to handle that whole workload. These are not trivial roles and will chew up resources that 2003 servers usually don't have.


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