Upgrade SBS2003 Premium to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32bit
Posted on 2012-03-21
I need to upgrade from SBS2003 Premium to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (32bit version). You may wonder why?
The reason is that we have never used the Sharepoint and SQL Server elements of SBS and we now don't use the Exchange elements either as we have moved to Office 365. We need to keep the server, but just as a domain, DNS, DHCP and file and print server.
We can't just ignore the unrequired functionality and stick with SBS2003 as I want to add another small branch office to the domain. That branch office is connected by an ADSL connection that is none-too reliable and slow so I intend to provide it with a second domain server to ensure speedy log-on for local clients and also use DFS to replicate data (which doesn't change much) between the sites.
The existing domain is small (9 clients only). The remote office is used mostly for hot-desking, around 2-5 clients at any point in time (i.e. up to 5 of the 9 clients are laptops that move between locations).
Probably too much info above, but just sets the context.
My question is, is it straight-forward to do an in-place upgrade to the existing SBS2003 server (i.e. de-install all the bits of SBS I don't want and then do an in-place Win2008 upgrade) so I preserve all my profile settings, file permissions, etc, etc, or do I need to do a clean install?
I don't have access to another server to do a "swing" type migration (but note that I am NOT upgrading to SBS2008, just to plain Win Server 2008), and I am sticking with 32bit.
If an in-place upgrade is fairly striaght-forward I'm confident I can handle it myself. If I need to back-up everything, do a clean install, re-join all the clients, restore profiles, sort out file permissions, etc, etc, then I would probably need to get external help which has a cost implication (we are a small business).