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Adding a SBS 2011 Essentials to an Existing SBS 2003 domain

Posted on 2012-08-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-20
I have a customer with a SBS 2003 Standard domain. I am considering installing a SBS 2011 Essentials box to take over the file sharing. All other services (DNS,DHCP Exchange, etc) would remain on the existing SBS 2003. The network is only a 10 user network.
Does anyone know if these 2 can coexist on the same domain?
Question by:reditsolutions

Assisted Solution

SebastianAbbinanti earned 150 total points
ID: 38314580
It's not possible. You can only have one SBS in a domain. All SBS must be domain controllers. You cannot create domain trusts with SBS. So there is no way.

During the migration you can have both servers on, but in 21 days, the old server will shut itself off.

Instead, consider adding a windows 2008 R2 server to the mix as a member server. That is permissible.

LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38314582
I dont think they can both exist in the environment and isnt recommended :(

I guess until they are 2 different domains it shouldnt be an issue ....... but in the same domain ... humm
any reason you want another SBS2011 and not a normal Windows Std if you just planning it to be File server ?

- Rancy
LVL 78

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 150 total points
ID: 38314653
As mentioned you cannot have 2 SBS servers of any version in the same domain.  You can migrate your old SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 standard with Exchange and remove the SBS 2003.  

I am assuming you are looking at Essentials because of the cost?  If so you could consider Foundation Server 2008 R2.  It has all the features of Server 2008 R2 except that the domain has to have 15 or less users accounts in AD.  Foundation is only sold as an OEM product so you would need to buy a server with it installed but the hardware is quite affordable as it does not have to be a powerful server.
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Author Comment

ID: 38314803
Yes, I was looking at Essentials because of the cost.
I was aware that I could only have one SBS Standard but wasn't sure if it still applied to Essentials.
I will see if our supplier has some Foundations boxes available.
Thanks everyone

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38314819
Does anyone have a link to microsoft to read up further on this (specifically coexistance of sbs standard and essentials)? I tried googling with no luck.
Like I said, I am aware that only one SBS can exist on a domain but I was looking for a definite answer to SBS 2003 and Essentials on the same domain.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38314884
I doubt that you will find that specifically but what you will find is that both SBS 2003 and SBS 2011 Essentials must retain all 5 FSMO roles (Flexible Single Master Operations).  FSMO roles are the key components of a domain within Active Directory.  In a non-SBS domain these can be on one domain controller or split among multiple domain controllers.  One of the few limitations of SBS is all 5 roles must remain on the SBS.  You can add DC's but you cannot move the roles.  Thus you cannot add a second SBS as; A) there would be duplicate roles on each server, B) if you remove one or more roles you violate the licensing agreement and SBS 2003 after 7 days, and SBS Essentials after 21 days, will automatically start shutting down every hour.  

This is not speculation but fact.  
SBS is less expensive than server standard for reason, it has limitations.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38314887
To confirm, from the SBS licensing documentation:
Active Directory Domain Services for both Essentials and Standard must be the root of the forest, be the root domain controller having all the flexible single master operations (FSMO) roles, not be a child domain, and not have trust relationships with any other domains. You may have multiple domain controllers.

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