sbs 2003 - 2011 migration - need an alternative to the official method

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I've got the job of migrating an old SBS 2003 box to SBS 2011. The box is very old has numerous teething problems, doesn't have enough RAM and only has a 60GB hard drive that is so full, no-one has been even able to even patch it with updates in years. There's only 6 users on the system and all the data is shared on a NAS box. The chances of even getting it into a state ready for the regular migration wizard is practically nil.

After doing several SBS 2003 - SBS 2008 upgrades in the past, I just know in this particular case it's going to be far simpler and quicker to do a clean install of SBS 2011, recreate the users, exmerge the emails and connect up the NAS box back onto the server.

I have no interest in copying over AD or even user profiles, just the emails and some data but I would like to be able to do this with as little downtime as possible.

Has anyone come up with any reliable alternative methods to migrate such a simple but difficult migration? If there's any way the two SBS servers can run on the same subnet whilst I'm setting up the new server, could someone please let me know.
Question by:Dale303
    LVL 56

    Assisted Solution

    by:Cliff Galiher
    There is a book called "zero downtime migration" by Karl Palachuk. It documents just such a process. While I personally do not like migrating in such a way, it does document the major pitfalls and ways to avoid them.

    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    When installing the new SBS 2011it may not see the other SBS server because it will see that there is another DHCP server running on the network and won't continue. So during installation you need to seperate both servers.

    After installation you can disable DHCP on the new server till your finished moving everything to the new SBS server. If the ip address and servername differs you can let them run side by side with no problem.

    Author Closing Comment

    @cgaliher - Thanks for that reference. Too much to wade through for this tiny job but will come in handy if I get anything meatier to deal with

    @ronnypot - Had a few niggles doing it this way but downtime was minimal...

    Note to self... Exchange mailbox import was a problematic as several exmerge pst files were over 2GB in size pst import function does not like files over 2GB.

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