Migrate sbs 2003 to sbs 2011 or make a clean install of sbs 2011?

Posted on 2011-10-19
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
this is my scenario:

A customer of mine has two servers, a sbs 2003 and a 2008 std. the 2008 is not connected to the domain (but all the clients are). The 2008 works as fileserver and also hold their applications. The sbs 2003 is managing the domain ofcourse and they use exchange but only locally, and by locally i mean each user is connected to the exchange for calendar sharing and storing mail but they have a pop3 account to reciev and send mail. They dont use any other services on the sbs 2003. The firewall in the building is handling DHCP and DNS.

The case now is that the sbs 2003 hardware is getting old so i have sold a new sbs 2011 to them and im asking for your opinion wether i should make a migration from sbs2003 to sbs 2011or just disconnect the sbs 2003 and make a clean install of the sbs 2011 and create a "new" domain and reconnect every client with all the work that means with user profiles and so on.

My plans are to use the new sbs 2011 like they used the old sbs, only locally, but in time point their mail directly to their server instead of using pop-accounts. I also plan to connect the 2008 std server to the domain to make the user handling easier.

If you recommend to migrate, what is the best way to point the exchangeclients to the new server. Im thinking about the fact that when the old exchange isnt there they will keep poping mail to their .ost files and they will dissapear when disconnecting client from the old exchange and connecting to the new one.

I should also mention that i havent done any server migrations before and thats why im posting here to get some recomendations.

Question by:jstefanf
    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    by:Alan Hardisty
    If there are not many users on the domain - then a fresh install could be very attractive, but if the SBS 03 server is healthy, a migration should be very simple and straight forward.

    If you follow Demazter's SBS migration guide (which I have done about 10 times now - all successfully), then you won't go far wrong:

    If you have any questions - please feel free to ask.


    Author Comment

    Thanx for the reply!

    I think i will go with a migration. But i still wonder what will happen with the mails that are poped to the local .ost files on the clients. Will i have to make them not check their mail while i mograte the exchange and after that reconnect every client to the new server?

    LVL 76

    Accepted Solution

    I mail is popped to an .OST file - that will appear on the new mailbox once it is migrated.

    If it is being popped to a .PST file, you will have to import it after migrating the mailboxes.

    Usual migration for me takes 3 days if there is not GB's of data / mail, so that should give you an idea of how long it will take.

    Day 1 is prep SBS 03 and get it ready.

    Day 2 is build SBS 11 in migration mode then when it has built, start moving mailboxes / data etc.

    Day 3 is finish the migration, dcpromo the old server and then disconnect it.

    Author Comment


    Sounds great. Tanks a lot!
    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    by:Alan Hardisty
    You're welcome.  Hope it goes smoothly.

    Make sure you get a system state backup before you kick off and keep it safe :)

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