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Upgrade SBS2003 Premium to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32bit

Posted on 2012-03-21
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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).

Many thanks.
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Question by:NAKBrooks
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Neil Russell earned 500 total points
ID: 37746140
There is no direct inplace migration from SBS to 2008 using only a single machine. You need to do a swing migration OR just flatten your SBS and start again.

What you could do is use a virtual machine, even on a desktop/laptop to create a 2008 server to do a swing migration to and then flatten your SBS and install 2008 Enterprise and migrate from the virtual back to the physical.

Not a five minute job and lots to consider.
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 37746142
Have a read of this thread, points to a tool set I have never used but may be worth a look.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/smallbusinessserver/thread/cc72ab28-5c18-4a8c-a671-b565180c1434/
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 37746815
Windows Enterprise is overkill for the senario you outline.  Standard would be fine.  

Windows Server 2008 is now R2, there is no 32 version.  You will have to purchase 2008R2  and downgrade unless you can find Server 2008 32 from a source you trust.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/downgrade-rights.aspx

You can add a second (or more, no limit) DC to SBS... no issues.  Just clarifying for others that read this thread.

SBS Essentials, (64 Bit as are all SBS products after SBS 2003) with a limit of 25 PC's in the domain will also allow additional DC's, and backup the client stations for those that you add the connector.

Replacing SBS with SBS Essentials and adding a RDS server in the main office will keep all corporate data in the main office and make it accessable to the roving notebooks where ever they are since it also features RWA.
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by:NAKBrooks
ID: 37747842
Thanks for comment. I know it seems overkill but I already have s/w and licenses for 32bit Server 2008 Enterprise so might as well use them.

Reason I want to replicate the data using DFS is that it comprises mostly very large files that need to be accessed by fat client apps, which is impractical remotely over a thin ADSL connection (the data. changes infrequently so bandwidth for DFS replication isn't too big a problem, and I'd schedule replication out of hours). A local DC would also greatly speed up log on aZt the remote office (users have large profiles).

I could leave the central SBS2003 as-is for now, and add a second DC if that is possible (somehow I had it in my mind that an SBS2003 domain could only have one DC) but not sure I could use DFS in that scenario to replicate the data.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 37748215
TS/RDS solves all those issues.  Only keystrokes and screen refreshes pass over the net, and the data never leaves the office.

But, you will be fine with the plan you have, just an offsite box to manage.
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