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SBS 2008R2 New Setup--Recommendations/Suggestions Wanted

Posted on 2011-05-06
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Hi, I will be migrating a client from Windows Server 2003 (not SBS) running Exchange 2003 and SQL Server Express. I am migrating them to SBS2008R2 Premium. I have extra Server licenses so that I can separate Exchange and SQL services. I am interested in your recommendations for how you would setup the new system and tips on migrating.


* Should I try to migrate the domain over from Server 2003 to SBS2008R2? Or would it be easier to just recreate the domain from scratch and recreate user profiles (15 Users)? If I do simply create a new domain and then recreate users, is there a way for me to link the new users to the old Exchange Information Store mailboxes?

* I am hosting in VMware so I plan on using two servers in the new plan. I may use three. What I'm thinking is having one SBS2008R2 virtual machine as the main Domain Controller and SQL Server host. Then I'd have a separate Server 2008R2 to host Exchange, Files and Printers. If you could split into two or three different servers, how would you install services to maximize stability?

* By using more than one server to host Exchange and SQL does this present any challenges during migration (as opposed to a single machine hosting SBS2008Prem)

Thanks!

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Question by:goldylamont
6 Comments
 
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by:ShareefHuddle
ShareefHuddle earned 400 total points
ID: 35709960
Honestly I dont think you should goto SBS 2008. It just has to many issues. You'd be better off using Windows 2008 R2. Plus taking exchange off of SBS will create problems. It can be done but it is a pain. Don't use SBS just use Server that way you can you migrate without any issues. Best Practice is nto not put exchange or sql on a dc but you can definatley do it. I would create 2 servers. First create a W2K8 R2 then domain prep your existing domain. Then join your 2008 to the domain. Make it a DC. Make it a GC and tranfer all FSMO roles to it. Use netdiag to make sure everything is good. Now make you can install Exchange on it as part of the original orginizational group. Move your mailboxes within emc to the new server and then there are a couple of steps to remove the Exchange 2003. I would also house my file server on this server. Once you do that now lets work on your SQL box. If it is a small SQL db then I would make a second server that will house it and the print server. Now this is a brief description from about 10K feet up but it makes migration much easier otherwise you will have a lot of workstation work to do. Don't use SBS.

Shareef Huddle
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Author Comment

by:goldylamont
ID: 35710010
sorry ShareefHuddle but we have to use SBS-the cost of licensing Win2008R2 + Exchange + SQL Workstation separately are too much. We need to use SBS because the licensing is less expensive or else I would use just the regular server license.

That being said--SBS Premium was made to run with another server to offload business apps. I'm not sure if it's recommended to separate SQL or Exchange for SBS Prem.
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Cliff Galiher earned 1400 total points
ID: 35710067
I've cut-n-pasted your initial post and added comments in-line just to keep everything straight:

Question: Hi, I will be migrating a client from Windows Server 2003 (not SBS) running Exchange 2003 and SQL Server Express. I am migrating them to SBS2008R2 Premium. I have extra Server licenses so that I can separate Exchange and SQL services. I am interested in your recommendations for how you would setup the new system and tips on migrating.
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There *is* no SBS 2008 R2. There is SBS 2008 and SBS 2011. Your migration path will vary depending on the version so this *actually* matters.


Secondly, the roles that come with SBS 2008 or 2011 *cannot* separate roles regardless of how many extra server licenses you have. SBS is designed as an integrated product. If you find that limiting or aren't interested in the enhanced integration, SBS is not for you.

SBS 2008 Premium comes with a second server standard license and a SQL license for line of business (LOB) applications, which also makes it clear where that role should be run. There is no premium edition of SBS 2011. MS has changed the model for 2011 to a "premium add-on" which is an additional purchase, but the net result is the same. The add-on comes with a standard server license (must be joined to an SBS domain) and a SQL server license (must be used in an SBS domain) for LOB apps. That is the *only* SBS role that can be run on a second server.
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* Should I try to migrate the domain over from Server 2003 to SBS2008R2? Or would it be easier to just recreate the domain from scratch and recreate user profiles (15 Users)? If I do simply create a new domain and then recreate users, is there a way for me to link the new users to the old Exchange Information Store mailboxes?
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There are pros and cons to each, but recreating the same domain name and same usernames does not mean the accounts are the same. Security IDs will not match so it creates a lot of work. Migrating, on the other hand, takes more preparation. I recommend migrating, but others may have a different opinion.

Ultimately, however, based on your questions, I assume you have little or no exposure to SBS either with new setups OR migrations. I *strongly* encourage you to contract with some outside help and learn from them. SBS is very functional, very robust, but because of all the moving parts, very easy to screw up.
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* I am hosting in VMware so I plan on using two servers in the new plan. I may use three. What I'm thinking is having one SBS2008R2 virtual machine as the main Domain Controller and SQL Server host. Then I'd have a separate Server 2008R2 to host Exchange, Files and Printers. If you could split into two or three different servers, how would you install services to maximize stability?
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Previously covered. Cannot separate the roles as you've laid out with SBS. If you want that architecture, you'll need to go standalone products.
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* By using more than one server to host Exchange and SQL does this present any challenges during migration (as opposed to a single machine hosting SBS2008Prem)
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A single machine never hosts SBS2008 Premium. SBS 2008 Premium is, by design, and by intent, a two server solution. It is SBS 2008 standard and a second server license and a SQL license. The actual SBS install is exactly the same between the two editions. And yes, more servers equals more challenges. See my previous comment about contracting outside help.

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:goldylamont
ID: 35710203
Cliff, thanks lots of good info here. You are correct, I am migrating to SBS2011 w/Premium Add On (not 2008).

Regarding Migration--I realize that recreating user names will require me to create new user profiles on the workstations. I'm still leaning towards doing this as I don't trust integrity of the old Win 2003 server to migrate over the domain. So, if I can create a new domain from scratch my question is--is it possible to use the same Exchange Info Store from the old domain in the new domain with new user accounts?

I've done several setups of SBS 2003...also several setups of Windows 2008R2 but this would be my first migration to SBS2011. So, I have lots of experience with Windows servers but less with migrations. I feel like if I can understand how to migrate over Exchange IS this would work but I'm open to opinions.

thanks Cliff!

any other suggestions from users welcome.
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LVL 60

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1400 total points
ID: 35710309
If you choose to perform a clean install, you are looking at exporting mailboxes and public folders to PST files and then importing the mailboxes inot a new mailstore. You cannot move mailboxes as you would with a true migration.

-Cliff
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LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 35710403
My own preference would be to do a clean install as that can ensure accounts are in their proper OUs from the start.  You can make a migration work - and there are documents for doing it, but for 15 users, *IF* you manage user expectations and use tools to migrate profiles where necessary, it will take probably 1-2 days POST migration to get everything settled, but it will be a cleaner environment.
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