2003 and 2011 SBS on network together

catsystems
catsystems used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

My dilemma is as follows;
I currenty have a Windows 2003 SBS which is the domain controller on our network. This has some accounts software and telephone management software installed, that software is incompatible with Windows 2011 SBS which our new server has installed on it, therefore the software has to stay put on our old server.
However I need to install the new 2011 SBS onto our network and get all the workstations moved over to the domain on the new server. I need to keep the domain name the same on the new server as all our workstations need to be able to see both the new server (for exchange etc) and also the old server for the old software.
Am I able to make our 2003 SBS act as a workstation instead of a domain controller, as once I have setup exchange on our new server the old server won't need to do any server related work whatsoever, it justs needs to be running on our network for access to the old software.

I've heard its possible to "demote" our current server making it a "secondary" server blah blah etc, but what I really want to do is to just make our current server act as a workstation, it doesnt even need to connect to the new domain or anything.

The future aim is as the new versions of our current accounts and telephone management software become available we will install them onto the new 2011 server and eventually get rid of the 2003 server off the network altogether.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mark
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
You can normally demote a Domain Controller to be a member server but not SBS that is one of the few restrictions. You can only have one SBS server in a domain and it must retain all FSMO roles. Having two on the same domain will cause one to randomly start shutting down after 7 days (or 21 days if hotfix applied). It is also a licensing violation to have two or to demote.

Can you install your proprietary software on an XP workstation.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
According to the way SBS is licensed it has to be at the root of the forest, hold all FSMO Roles, and be the only SBS on the network.

Not going to fly.

A second server will be required and a second Win2K8 R2 license downgraded so that you can run both legacy and SBS on Hyper-V.

Philip
What kind of software is on the old server? do you know how the client computers connect to it?  It may be possible to put the old server on a new subnet behind a router and block all traffic that you dont need to get the apps working.
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Though it can be hidden on a different network segment, blocking the required traffic to avoid the SBS "time bomb" that would also block domain authentication.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the fast replies... Robwill no the software will not run on XP. The software maintainers will not support the product on an xp box. It has to remain on a 2003. We cannot upgrade the software as the 2011 compatable versions are not available untill later this year but we have an immediate neccessity to replace the old (current) 2003 sbs as they are desperately low on both disk space and performance for which the cost of upgrading this isn't justified. Hence the addition of a new 2011 to run all the MS apps (Exch / SqL) etc thus relieveing the pressure of the 2003 which can cope with l the 2011 versions are available in which case we can then remove the 2003 SBS completely. MPSecsinc while you are right about the licencing we can't be the only people to be in this situation and while we are fully compliant licencing wise and accept that it is against MS's policy of having 2 SBS's on one network we are left with litlle choice but to pursue this route as a temporary solution. Can any one comment on the following link to see if this would help..??? or any other ideas...
http://forums.speedguide.net/showthread.php?173731-For-Small-Business-Server-2003-users-who-do-NOT-want-to-be-a-Domain-Controller. (3/4 down the page read Blarghie's solution)
Many thanks for your efforts
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Fact: two SBS servers cannot co-exist on the same network segment in the same domain. As mentioned if you do one will start shutting down automatically.

As for ignoring the licensing agreement you 'signed' with Microsoft, and asking this forum to help you hack the system to make it work, that is a violation of the agreement we signed when we joined Experts-Exchange. We are not allowed to assist with thwarting licensing. Very sorry.

You could buy a 2008 R2 std server and add it to the exiting domain as a second domain controller and use it for file, and print services.

Author

Commented:
Robwilll... you make a fair point against what I am sure many will agree is an unfair MS policy. But that debate is for another forum.  Unless there is a better solution It seems absolutely crazy that in order to install a 2011 SBS on a network that already has a 2003 SBS running apps that will not currently run on the 2011 sbs we have to also purchase a complete 2003 STD server licence and cals for all users, re-install all the updates anti-virus protection etc. etc. etc. and all the apps that are only 2003 compatable when all we are trying to do is have the 2003 SBS seen as a workgroup server for the old apps untill the new versions become available for the 2011. Anybody have any other way around this without having to waste money as that is exactly what it looks like we are being forced to do.???

Many thanks again
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Sorry I don't mean to be difficult but I don't see it as an unfair Microsoft policy. SBS is less much less expensive than buying all the separate components. As a result it has limitations. These limitations are clearly spelled out and we are asked to agree to them before breaking the seal on the package and again when installing the software. If they were to remove all the limitations they would be just giving us a $3K product for $1K. I don't work for Microsoft, but I am afraid I have to support them on this one. I know we all have difficulty at times paying for software, and licensing, but it is a product.

I would look into whether you can still get downgrade rights for Server 2008 R2 standard to Server 2003 R2. If so you could buy a copy and install as Server 2003 for now and have the right to re-install as 2008 R2 down the road when your software is compatible with 2008. This way you would have your SBS 2011 and later have an additional server for a remote site, second DC, Terminal server, or some other purpose.

Author

Commented:
RobWill,
I think we've got our wires crossed here somewhere as I think you have the wrong idea of what we are trying to do.
We have already purchased the full 2011 SBS software and we already purchased 2003 SBS a long time ago so we arent trying to get any software cheaper or anything like that, put simply all we are trying to do, is to stop our current 2003 SBS server acting as "a server" so to speak, so we dont have to move our current accounts and telephone management software onto a non-SBS 2003 server.
 
Then, when our Telephone Management software company bring our their update which is due to happen next year or so, which WILL be compatilbe with our new 2011 SBS, then they will be coming into our office and moving the software off our 2003 SBS onto out 2011 SBS, same goes for our accounts software package which currently dont have a version which is compatible with 2011 SBS either,

I hope I've cleared up any of your worries.
Thanks
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
I do understand what you are trying to do and it is a very common scenario. But, the situation requires that you try to add versatility (being able to demote) to an product that specifically denies that option in the licensing. That is a feature that is allowed in a more expensive products. Some folk now a days are choosing to buy the separate products, at a much higher cost, just because they don't want to have to have to live within the confines of SBS.

As for buying 2008, in addition to your SBS 2011, I was trying to think of a method that would allow you to buy a product to solve you problem for now, and still have value for you down the road within your SBS 2011 domain.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
One other idea.
Microsoft used to sell a "Transition Pack" for SBS 2003. It has most definitely been discontinued for a long time. However some people have reported some of the on-line vendors still have copies. I would first check with Microsoft if the activation will still work. But the kit was specifically designed to allow you to demote your SBS to be Server 2003 std, and provides licensing for Server 2003 std, Exchange, and CAL conversion. The cost was basically the difference in price between the standard products and SBS. It might not be practical in your case where you won't need Exchange.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Cat,

Rob is very much in the right as far as what SBS is and what the limitations are.

If your OEM is willing, then can tack on a Win2K8 R2 Standard OEM license (if you licensed that way in the first place) to that server purchase.

Install Win2K8 R2 Standard on the box. Enable the Hyper-V Role.
Install Win2K3 Standard x86 as a Hyper-V Guest.
Install SBS 2011 as a Hyper-V Guest.

Migrate your apps to the Win2K3 Std VM.

We deal with all sorts of industries and their Line of Business Apps that are all over the place as to whether they are compatible with Win2K8 R2, SBS 08 or 11, Windows 7, Windows Vista, UAC, and so on and so on.

Our clients rely on us to provide them with the best possible transition path across all of their LoBs relative to the base IT Solution that will be running it all.

We are moving a lot of our clients to this configuration. A standalone box with Win2K8 R2 Std running the Hyper-V Role only (1+1 License), their LoBs running on one or two server guest OSs and the SBS also a guest.

Philip
Do you know if your apps require domain authentication?  Most of the smaller Accounts apps ive had experience with usually require a non domain based authentication.  As for the telephony, that very much depends on what the app does if its record popping incomming calls from various databases for example your probably out of luck.

Author

Commented:
Robwill, MPECSinc & Voodoo many thanks for all your efforts and advice which are all vaible but costly solutions.. we've decided to upgrade the existing server and limp along with that until all the apps are 2011 compliant which is estimated to be between 6 & 8 months
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
I agree these changes are always costly, however I don't put all the blame on Microsoft. We are all in the same predicament on a regular basis and in my opinion our 3rd party software vendors are the ones to blame. Server 2008 has been available to them for testing and development for at least 4 years, it's time they caught up. In an ideal world we all replace key servers every 3 years. When we buy a new car we are not told to put  our old tires on it until they get around to making the new models :-)  Also, I'm not sure about SBS, but server 2003 "mainstream" support by Microsoft ended almost a year ago. "Extended" support is still in place. In an industry that changes overnight and ll the vendors charge large fees for support, I feel they have an obligation to keep up. As Philp pointed out we are all regularly expected to come up with methods to keep old software in play and often at a greater expense than using new. Virtualization is becoming a very easy and more affordable method of achieving this.

Good luck with your project and I am sorry we were not able to provide an inexpensive solution.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Commented:
Make sure your backups are good. Test them. Do bare metal restores with them to verify their integrity.

Your backups just became the only thing between the business staying alive or possibly sinking.

Philip

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