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Windows 2003 SBS to 2008 R2 Standard

Posted on 2013-06-19
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Last Modified: 2013-06-24
Hello,

   I have a customer currently running a 2003 SBS server without exchange. Essentially, I'd like to add a 2008 R2 server and have that take over as the Domain Controller. I'm not very familiar with SBS and I've read several articles that seem to touch on demoting the SBS server out of the network, but they're not really specific to the issue I'm facing.

The issue is the 2003 SBS server runs some legacy software that they use and it is not compatible on 2008, so they'll need to have the server in production.

Is there a process for performing this or will SBS not work in that capacity. Thank you.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/33a11b3d-272e-4834-9460-3630f56f95c4/migration-from-sbs2003-to-windows-2008-r2-standard

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/57fbde64-4f2a-4b93-a6db-fb5de1d1e7ea/migrate-from-2003-sbs-to-2008-r2-several-problems
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Question by:Jharrisonsnbs
7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:James Hodge
ID: 39260718
Hello,

And SBS Server has to be the Domain Controller in an organisation, and hold the FMSO roles.

I think your strategy should be regarding the legacy software. Is there a replacement strategy for the software? Does it work on another OS (XP for example)? Consider a different 2003 Server to use.

But, in answer to your question, SBS cannot hang around as a domain member, it must be the DC.

James
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Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39260723
The solution is easy -

1.  Buy Server 2012 Volume License.
2.  Install a downgraded Server 2008 R2 (BEST to install virtually as you're wasting money and resources otherwise).
3.  Buy Server 2012 CALs for all your users (the 2012 CALs cover prior operating systems; the SBS 2003 CALs cover SBS 2003 and earlier operating systems but NOT FUTURE operating systems).
4.  Leave SBS in place as the FSMO master DC until such time as the software can be upgraded to a version that will support 2008.  (A 2008 R2 server can fully participate in an SBS 2003 domain EVEN AS A DOMAIN CONTROLLER - BUT *YOU CANNOT MOVE THE FSMO ROLES OFF THE SBS 2003 SERVER*)
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Expert Comment

by:Stelian Stan
ID: 39260730
If the application is not compatible with 2008 it may not even run on 2008. Check first a solution for your application then migrate to SBS 2008
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Expert Comment

by:dmessman
ID: 39260989
I agree with leew except that you should create a second virtual machine on and put a new build of Windows 2003 on there (via buying another Windows Server 2012 license).  I had a very similar scenario . . .

I had a single Win 2003 box that was failing.  They were running a legacy app that only ran on Windows 2003 and XP.  I created a single Win Server 2012 host with FOUR virtual machines:
1) a Win SBS 2011 machine to server as DC and file server
2) a Win 2008 R2 machine to server
3) a Win 2003 machine to server as host for the legacy app
4) a Win 2003 machine as a terminal server so the users could remote into it and use Win 7 on the desktop

I'd be your Win 2003 SBS machine is old and should be taken out of production.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39261373
Can you excursive downgrade rights as far back as 2003?
Personally I would go with leew's advise but possibly virtualize your SBS 2003, assuming your SBS licensing supports that.  If SBS OEM you cannot do so.
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Expert Comment

by:Zenvenky
ID: 39261672
I would suggest you to check these links before you proceed further.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/d874300d-04fe-4c5a-aed1-65720c1019f5/sbs-2003-to-server-2008exchange-2007

Do not install Exchange on Domain Controller if its not an SBS:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997407(EXCHG.80).aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jharrisonsnbs
ID: 39272617
Making 2012 server a member of Domain. We're not going to DC it even though that is possible. Will transfer File Server, Print Server and DHCP services over to the 2012 and run them together for 4-6 months until the 2003 services are no longer needed by the client.
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