Solved (Swing Kit) - How does it work...

Posted on 2011-10-31
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

Lots of people love the Swing Kit. But not many have posted info on the process itself. What is involved, how long it takes etc.

I have a migration going ahead Saturday SBS03 to SBS11. Networkin includes 5 Workstations + 5 users on a terminal server.

1) How long does the process take compared to the White Paper mirgration method?
2) Are there more/less steps than the White Paper method?
3) How much of it is 'automated'?

Can anyone give me an overview of the process?


PS: I emailed the company for this info but they havnt gotten back to me (that was 4 days ago). I hope that isnt indicative of their support.
Question by:mhdi
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    The kit provides tools and documentation for performing the migration "off-line" so you can migrate without directly affecting your existing domain until you know it works.

    Author Comment

    Thanks leew, I gathered as much from their website. However I can't find any info to answer my questions.
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    The primary advantage of swingmigration is not efficiency, as it takes about the same length of time or possibly a little longer, but it gives you far more control. With the Microsoft method you have 21 days to complete the migration, and there are several points of no return where your only option to go backward is to restore the original server. Swingmigration eliminates the time limit and allows you to do the migration in stages, using a 3rd temporary DC (which could be a PC). You can test a stage and you can revert back at any point. Much of it can be done while users are connected and working. Very little is "automated". Their support is typically very good, though I have heard responses to questions about the product are often slow, which to me for a very affordable product makes sense, otherwise they would be spending 90% of the time answering queries. In the event you make 1 support call to Microsoft, the cost would be more than the kit. Keep in mind's sole product is customized migrations, it is their specialty. For the record SBS migrations can be fraught with "glitches".

    Author Comment

    For the record SBS migrations can be fraught with "glitches".
    Are you refering to migrations? Or migrations in general?

    using a 3rd temporary DC
    Is this a virtualised copy of the original server? Ive already tried to do this several times but I cant get a virtual copy of the physical SBS 2003 server to work. Using both vmware and Hyper V.

    Do you have any more info on the process/steps of the Swing Kit?

    Thanks again,
    LVL 77

    Assisted Solution

    by:Rob Williams
    Migrations in general. However with swingmigration if you have a catch you can revert back until you resolve.
    The most important things to do to avoid glitches are have a clean server. All updates applied, run the BPA and resolve any troubles, make sure you have only one NIC.
    The 3rd DC is a PC running a trial version of the OS. It is used to migrate AD. There is no cloning or virtualization involved.
    No I don't have any more specifics. Jeff Middleton who owns swingmigration has done several on-line demos for Microsoft over the years of how the process works, but Googling I couldn't seem to find any.
    LVL 56

    Assisted Solution

    by:Cliff Galiher
    The answers to your questions are as follows:

    Time: a swing kit migration, done properly, takes longer. How much longer depends on your specific environment. Anywhere from a few hours, just to build a temp DC, to a fair bit longer if you choose to fully test the integrity of an exchange database forklift as that conversion takes longer.

    There are more steps than an MS whitepaper migration. The extra time and steps are the "safety net" that the MS version does not provide.

    The process is still manual in most cases. A kit does come with a few tools to assist in some steps, but it is not automated.

    An overview of the process is outlined in the website. To give a more thorough explanation would no longer be an "overview" and would be giving away processes and steps that the company sells. It'd essentially be giving away their copyrighted product.

    Finally, the lack of response is not indicative of their support. SBSMigration is going through some growth and is still straightening out some sales issues. For example it was recently announced that Andy Goodman "HandyAndy" a well known and respected SBS Guru, is now officially a member of SBSMigration to help with these growing pains. But support emails always get answered first, and then sales inquiries, so if Jeff (the founder of SBSMigration) is busy, it is not uncommon right now for sales questions to be late in answering, as he always fields support first. ...and right now he is traveling in Europe as part of the SBS MVP Roadshow, so I know his time on sales answers has been stretched thinner than usual. As they ramp up new employees that will improve.



    Assisted Solution

    I have just completed a Swing Migration. The process is straight forward but you must follow the book to the letter. If you have only 5 users it might be better to do a clean install. That is probably quicker. You can migrate Exchange by exporting the mailboxes to .pst files and then import them again into exchange.
    The support at sbsmigration is very good and timely.
    You still have to configure a lot of stuff after migration. SBS 2011 looks generally neat but you still have to deal with MS typical screw ups.
    Just try to relay authenticated users. Been fighting a day with an issue that takes 5 minutes in SBS 2003.

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