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gsswho6Flag for United States of America

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2003 SBS Upgrade Best Option

Hello guys,

Just wanting to get your advice on the best possible way to upgrade an entire 2003 SBS domain/etc and hardware to newer hardware and SBS 2011? Is there an easier way to do this using a tool/etc or is it best to just start over from scratch and build the new SBS/Domain/hardware side by side? Appreciate the feedback. This will be an entire upgrade, rather small... 1 SBS hosting exchange, 1 server hosting website and 5 client PC's. All old hardware will be wiped clean after the upgrade.

Thanks again...
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Cliff Galiher
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Microsoft has official migration docs. Hit up TechNet.
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There are several options for migrating.  My personal opinion is that a migration is ALMOST always the best way to go.  

The short answer I would offer:

-Migrate to a VM (very few good reasons exist to install direct to hardware these days).
-Buy a volume license for SBS 2011 (allows you to move it off the hardware later and use disaster recovery solutions).
-PRACTICE with a test environment first -- several times -- or hire a pro to do the migration (you can manage it later).
@leew when you say "Migrate to a VM (very few good reasons exist to install direct to hardware these days)" do you mean move into a datacenter and create a VM environment this way? If he's already using SBS2003 wouldn't he have to purchase some type of hardware to create the VM unless it was done as mentioned above? Just trying to understand - thanks.
Migrating to a VM is different from Migrating to the cloud - the cloud could be a VM though.

I mean, if this is new hardware, install Hyper-V Server 2012 and (for convenience) setup a Windows 8 client to manage it.  Then create a VM and run it off that.  By using a VM, you can enable Hyper-V Replica and have an off-site backup on another Hyper-V server replicated to within 15 minutes of your on site server (This proved extremely useful for some clients in the Northeast USA when Sandy hit a few months ago - one client in particular had a replica in texas that was able to keep the entire company running even though the main office lost power for days). Further, it enables easy migration to new hardware later - simply install Hyper-V and move the VM.  Done.  No reinstalls of the network.  And if you need to test something out, you can - shutdown the VM, Export it, then import it onto a test machine and test away (MAKE SURE YOU NEVER PUT THE TEST MACHINE AND THE PRODUCTION MACHINE ON THE SAME NETWORK!!!!)