Upgrade SBS 2008 to SBS 2011

Posted on 2011-10-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
What is the upgrade path (or is there one) to get SBS 2008 to SBS 2011? (Please provide the MS guides for such an upgrade).
Question by:DrDamnit
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    There is no upgrade path from any version of SBS to any other unfortunately. You need to do a migration. The following page has links for Microsoft documentation:
    I would also recommend reading:
    However it sounds like you want to use the same hardware. If so the only documentation I am aware of is buying a migration kit from
    They will provide documentation and tools specific to you migration as well as 90 days support.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    You could do as I'm in the process of doing for one client - build/use a VM machine, install SBS 2011 on that to migrate to, then rebuild the original hardware as a VM Host (I'm using Hyper-V) and just move the VM from the temp system to the original hardware.  
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    You could Ghost/Duplicate your current server hard drive/array to an IDE/SATA drive then get it running on another box.  Once you have it running then migrate it back to the current server box.  It is not as hard as it sounds.  You may need a BARTPE disk with BCDEDIT to get the temporary box running but other than that it should go pretty smooth.  I migrated my SBS2008 server to SBS2011 this way.
    LVL 32

    Author Comment


    This is an SBS2k8 box on a VM. You're saying just install the secondary system as a new VM, and then migrate AD and Exchange?
    LVL 56

    Expert Comment

    by:Cliff Galiher
    If you want to move from SBS 2008 to SBS 2011, you would want to install SBS 2011 into a new VM in migration mode. There are several migration guides out there to folllow; I personally recommend purchasing a migration kit from, but that is just a preference. But yes, ultimately the answer here is that you cannot do an in-place upgrade. You will be migrating. Once you recognize that this is the path available to you, it doesn't matter if the old machine is virtual and the new physical, thee old physical and the new virtual, or both physical or both virtual, the actual migration process is the same. You will be installing into a new server (virtual or physical) and migrating AD and Exchange in accordance with the migration documentation you choose.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    No matter how you do your migration make sure you have a good backup of your current server.  You should also make sure your users are not updating the SBS 2008 server in case you need to restore it.  Migration mode makes changes that will allow two SBS servers in the same domain.  This is not normally allowed.  I beleive it will only allow your SBS 2008 server to operate for a specific number of days, maybe 15 or maybe 30, I don't remember.  So if the migration fails you have a limited amount of time to continue using your SBS 2008 server unless you restore it to pre migration condition.
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    That is the advantage of the swingmigration method, your original server stays in tack and you eliminate the 21 day time limit.

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