I have a client with an SBS 2003 network with about 30 users running on an older Dell PowerEdge 2650 server. The server is running out of space and and performance is not good, not to mention it is almost 7 years old. They had another IT company purchase a new PowerEdge T610 server with 2 Quad Core Xeon CPUs, 24Gb of memory and 1.8TB of RAID 10 storage space but no server OS. It is a nicely configured new server but it is sitting in their office still in the box it came in! They have fired the previous IT company and brought me in to revive their network and migrate them going forward. They dont have much of a budget but I would like to migrate their SBS2003 to a virtual environment (Xenserver, VMWARE or Hyper-V - keeping in mind Xenserver is free so my first inclination). They are also in the process of getting an office management application that can run on either of these VM platforms.
1. Can I install Xenserver on the new server, allocate a portion of the new server and migrate the SBS2003 server easily to a virtual environment and maintain their domain, exchange and user logins? Will I have any major downtime in converting the physical SBS2003 to the virtual SBS2003? Is this seamless? I could then create another virtual server and load Win Server 2008 R2 for the management application (yet to be purchased) to run on.
2. I dont think Microsoft's Hypervisor will support SBS 2003 in a virtual environment so I may have to rule this way out?
3. Is there a free product from VMWare or inexpensive enough for my situation that may be a better solution?
My thoughts are to keep them on the SBS2003 platform for another year or so and then virtualize/swing migrate them to SBS2011 when their budget allows for this. Currently the SBS2003 performs adequately for them (they have about 30 users, 20 mailboxes and use about 300GB of storage space on the server, with about 5 server printers).