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Moving to Server 2012 Standard

Hi Guys,

Current System:
OS: SBS Server 2003
Hardware: HP ProLiant ML150 G3 1.0, 1.60 gigahertz Intel Xeon, 320Gig HDD, 4GB RAM
Current Rolls:DC, WSUS
Applications: Pastel and Anti virus Management Console.

Now the Network comprises about 40 users of which are  XP, Vista and Windows 7 machines.
Now Compatibilies are going to come in to play moving to 2012 Standard. Like Pastel and will the Later desktop versions running well with 2012. My main concern is Pastel compatiblities and Later Version Desktop OS compatibility. And the AD. I was thinking of redoing the AD and not relying on the SBS's AD. Migrate all users to the new AD.

Thanks Guys.
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GECs36711
Asked:
GECs36711
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1 Solution
 
lauchangkwangCommented:
>> My main concern is Pastel compatiblities and Later Version Desktop OS compatibility.

My suggestion is check with Pastel and see whether it is supported by Server 2012 since they are the software provider. For the desktop OS compatibility, normally the latest version (Server 2012) is compatible / able to talk with older desktop version (Vista / XP / Windows 7)

You may refer to the link below for Desktop compatibility:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server_2012
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GECs36711Author Commented:
In that link where would i find the compatibility?

And the rest like the AD part? Any suggestions?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I am not familiar with Pastel, but one of the advantages to going to server standard (2012) over SBS is you can add it to the existing network, make it a second domain controller (FSMO roles have to stay on SBS), and transfer services as needed or supported.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I don't know what lauchangkwang is talking about... Itanium has NOTHING TO DO with OS support.  That said, Of course Microsoft won't support NT4, 98, Me, 95, or even 2000... They're OLD.  They'll probably work... but if you have issues, forget about calling Microsoft - they've moved on and if you're still using one of those, you should too.

Keep in mind - and no one has seemed to address this - SBS 2003 includes Exchange - if you're using Exchange, then your choices are:
1. Get SBS 2011 Standard instead which includes Exchange.
2. Get SBS 2011 Essentials (if you have or expect to grow to fewer than 25 users in the next 3-5 years) and move e-mail to a cloud based provider
3. Wait for SBS 2012 (Windows 2012 Server Essentials) and move e-mail to a cloud based provider
4. Move to Server 2012 Standard and move e-mail to a cloud based provider.

(Or instead of cloud based provider, use another e-mail server product such as Kerio).
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GECs36711Author Commented:
@RobWill
I'd like to take the SBS box out of the network completly. So there are no restrictions whats so ever. I'd have to  join every one to the new AD (One by one) and is there a migration tool that i can run on the clients pc?

@Leeu
We've gone with option 4. We've already moved to Google Apps. for a year now.
So XP won't have any issues? being compatible with Server 2012?

I'ved checked with Pastel and we would just need to upgrade it. Which is no problem.

Is it a good time to go 2012?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I can't say you'll have no issues... XP IS 10 years old... And Microsoft will likely not be too eager to help you with compatibility issues... but, that said, I wouldn't expect problems... but you should ALWAYS test new systems before deploying them.  With Virtualization these days, there's really no excuse NOT to test, in my opinion.
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GECs36711Author Commented:
So with the AD, I'd like to start it from scratch. Is there any way you'd recommend emplementing it between 40 users? and is there any migration tool that works well with migration a user to a new AD. A tool to be used on the clients pc.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You're asking for a LOT of work.  I've started over with a network of 15 users a few years ago... It's DAYS of work to get everything back up and running... and the problem is, you really need to get everyone working NOW.  A migration, you can (in many ways) migrate users one at a time... but when you start over, it can be REALLY difficult to do a one at a time migration.

Is there a reason you want to start from scratch?
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GECs36711Author Commented:
Just dont want to be faced with any AD migration issues. I've heard of a lot of AD migrations that have taken place and in the end resulting in just starting with a new one.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Three options:

1. Do it yourself and, since you apparently don't have experience doing this, take your chances.
2. Start from scratch - spend days or probably weeks cleaning up the resulting mess (user complaints about missing files, things not working right, etc)
3. Hire a pro to do this.
4. Spend considerable time becoming an expert on AD (learning it) so that you ARE #3.  

If your time is near worthless, go for #2.
If you're a gambler, go for #1.
If your a business that sees the value of technology and having things done right (I imagine that whatever the business does, they believe they are professionals at it and that while it MIGHT be possible for someone else who doesn't do whatever they do for a living to do it in a one off shot, they believe there's great value in having  whatever they do done by a professional or they wouldn't be doing it. (Go for #3).

If you're there for the long term and a value to the company, then #4 will take MUCH longer than even #2, but will give you a great deal of experience and knowledge that will help you in the long term to better manage the network.

Assuming you're preference is #2, Run DCDIAG on the existing DCs and verify that there are no significant unexplained errors and add the new 2012 server to the domain as appropriate.

This is my opinion based on my experience both doing and cleaning up messes that others have created.
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GECs36711Author Commented:
@leeu

Thank you for the options.
Preference is 2 or 4.
I'd like to take the SBS box out of the equation completely. Because it is dated. and so that we can rely on something more updated.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
#4 cannot be effectively done in a question or two.  You need to learn and play - setup test environments and see what happens.  Ask questions, read books to understand more about the requirements of AD, Group Policy, and the like.  If you can pass exams to get certified in areas that include Active Directory, then you're sufficiently qualified to consider yourself #3 and can continue.

You can absolutely migrate away from SBS - that's not a problem - preserving your AD.  But if you want to start over, start over... but ESPECIALLY if you're not the business owner, you should EXPECT the worst - as in DAYS where only a few people can work and WEEKS until everything is sorted out.  If you get lucky and can get things working suitably well faster, great, but I had more than 10 years of professional experience when I decided to rebuild that 15 person network and it took me a week to get things sorted out... just keep that in mind.  Every environment is different, but planning for the best is never a good way to begin a project... again, plan for the worst and then hope for the best.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I would agree firstly to do a migration rather than clean install with 40 users, and secondly if you haven't at least done one test migration in a lab, to hire someone to do so.  Alternatively purchase a migration kit from www.swingmigration.com which allows a more controlled migration and provides 90 days support for the migration.   manually moving 40 users will be a week of down time, at least for some.

If you do decide to do a clean install there is a little tool that will save a lot of time with moving the user profiles:
http://blog.lan-tech.ca/2011/05/19/sbs-and-profwiz/
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GECs36711Author Commented:
@RobWill
No i will be doing a lot of testing before emplementing the server.
I have a complete extra Server with the same spec as the old server being replaced. That i use as our backup server. So the pplan of action is to restore a full backup on to the backup server then have the new server and software and do a lot of testing before going live.

Does swing migration do just the AD? do you get to choose?

Yup i've used profwiz in the past and it works pretty darn well. My questions are should i get the fully licensed version which i do not mind because it is a very handy tool to have or can i do what i need to with the trail. And my last question is when using the profwiz tool, where does the actual directory lie for the migrated folders. As i could remember the only problem was finding the actual location of those folders if i go from the root down to search for it.

Thanks for the awesome info. This is really going to go far.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
SwingMigration migrates the entire server.  Depending on your scenario, they have a dozen different plans, it can be same hardware to same hardware, or different hardware, physical to virtual, old O/S to new O/S.  It retains AD, all user accounts, profiles, Exchange, DNS, DHCP, SharePoint, and more.

The nice thing about SwingMigration is you can do it in stages as time permits because it uses a third temporary server for the migration (can be a PC), and you can always revert back to the original server at any time as it is not touched.

As I understand it the advantage of the paid version of Profwiz is it allows you to script the migration of users.  Manually doing 1 by 1 with the free tool, if you had a different server version and 200 users, is not an option.

Profwiz doesn't actually move the local profile, and doesn't even rename it, it just changes all the permissions making it compatible with the new network.  That can be confusing if the existing profile is john, and the new domain profile is jdoe, the local will still be joe.  However that is in the case of a new install.  When doing a migration the domain profiles will remain the same names.

Glad to help.
--Rob
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GECs36711Author Commented:
I wonder if swing migration can do SBS2003 to Server 2012 Standard, then do specific aspects like just the AD, all user accounts, profiles, DNS, and applications (Which some applications are subject to compatibility though.)

Thanks Rob.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Best bet is to contact them.  I guarantee they will have that scenario, but whether it is yet documented and available I don't know.  They currently do have SBS 2003 to Server 2008 R2 standard which would not be much different, and support I am sure would still apply.

Originally SwingMigration focused on SBS to new SBS.  In recent years it has been migrating any server version to any other server version with AD, and with or without Exchange.

I am not sure how they address your custom 3rd party applications.

I have no affiliation by the way, but they are a well respected firm here on EE and good folk to deal with.  They are also pretty much the only ones specializing in this.  Lots of firms will do it for you, but SwingMigration are selling a service.
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GECs36711Author Commented:
Awesome thanks Rob. Will contact them.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks GECs36711.
Good luck with the project.
Cheers!
--ROb
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Øyvind NikolaisenCommented:
My suggestion would be to follow all the steps given in demazter's excellent article about moving from SBS2003 to Exchange 2010 and 2008R2. Do a search here for "Migrate Small Business Server 2003 to Exchange 2010 and Windows 2008 R2" - I believe that should answer most questions on how to do it and in which order you're to do it.
I'll pretty soon hit the lab to do a test migration to 2012 in order to verify that it's working for that version as well.

Brgds
Øyvind
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