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Migrate or move SBS 2011 to Fresh install on New Hardware

Posted on 2013-11-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
I need to move my current SBS 2011 server to a new server.   The current hardware it is on is failing.  What is the best thing to do.  Do I do a fresh install of SBS 2011 on the new server and move exchange and active directory or do i need to go through the migration process.  I really don't want any bad settings or data from the source server going on the destination server.
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Question by:Warmad
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If you installed it virtually, then you can shut it down, move the VM to new hardware and turn it on.

If it's not a VM, then you should make it one.  There are two options I would consider:
1) P2V it and turn it into a VM running on a new server.  Unfortunately, I don't know of any P2V tools for Hyper-V (my recommended platform) that are easily affordable (System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) would be your only supported option I'm aware of).  That said, I have had success using DISK2VHD and then defining a VM's hardware using the VHD created to act has the VM hard drive.
2) Perform a migration to the new server, VERY PREFERABLY as a VM on the new server.  Virtualization makes things MUCH easier in the future.

You cannot just "move" AD and Exchange - you would HAVE to Migrate, if you don't do a P2V.

And it is STRONGLY advisable to use supported methods in whatever you do so if you have to get paid help, you can from Microsoft.
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by:Warmad
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I did not install it virtually.  What if i had a clean install of SBS 2011 on new hardware and would just re-enter all the users/computers in AD manually.  How could I import/migrate exhcange DB and Mailboxes?
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by:Cris Hanna
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You can export mailboxes to pst files, then import the pst files back in.  Re-creating the SBS server from scratch is a long process and will aggravate your users to no end unless to migrate their profiles too.
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by:Warmad
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If I migrate from the older SBS 2011 server to the new SBS 2011 server does the domain and the name of the new server have to be the same as the old server?  And because of network mapping of drives and folders is it ok the new server has the same name and same domain name?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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does the domain and the name of the new server have to be the same as the old server?
The domain name would remain the same in a migration but the server name would need to change.

In a rebuild, you'd have to setup things from scratch. While it would technically be possible to keep the same names, it would potentially be problematic during the setup and configuration process.  And pointless since everything would need to be re-setup anyway.

STRONGLY RECOMMEND you install the new system virtually.
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by:Warmad
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If I went the route of VM.  What is the software to purchase?  The VM software gets installed onto a Windows server operating system I am assuming?  Then I would use the VM software to create the drives to install my SBS 2011?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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You don't purchase any software.  I prefer Hyper-V which is free from Microsoft.  It CAN be a little tricky to setup unless you buy the third party utility called VTUtilities which provides management and VM Setup capability.  Otherwise, you COULD go with VMWare, but if you take some time to learn Hyper-V (not THAT much time, but a good intense day of studying and it should be fine).  Or if you have a server 2012 or 2008 license, Hyper-V is a role in there... but that requires a little more planning.
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by:Warmad
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This sounds great but of course I will have other questions.  For instance best practice for Exchange is to have log files on one physical drive and the DB on another.  I have my new server configured with raid 1 for the log files and raid 10 for the DB.  That is two separate drives.  How would I install SBS on a VM?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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With 2 VHDs - one on the RAID 1 array and one on the RAID 10 array if you want to maintain that configuration.
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by:Warmad
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I would just need either windows server 2008 r2 or windows 2012 to configure Hyper-V?  Then once i configure Hyper-V I install SBS 2011 on a VHD?
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
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Setting up a Basic Hyper-V system is simple.  Install Server 2008/2008R2/2012/2012R2 and add ONLY the Hyper-V role.   (Make sure the hardware supports virtualization and that it's enabled in BIOS - VERY FEW systems today don't support it).

Once installed, you open the Hyper-V Manager and define a new virtual machine.  Once the wizard completes, manual edit it and ensure you assign enough processors and RAM (since this is SBS, DO NOT use Dynamic RAM).  You can then define multiple hard drives (add a virtual SCSI controller) and those drives (in the form of VHDs or VHDxs (if you can, use VHDx)) can be placed on any drive array Windows can access.

The licensing for Server 2008 and later allows the host, *IF RUNNING HYPER-V ONLY* to be installed without using a license (key is still necessary, but the key is not a license).  Then you can install that same copy of Windows in a VM and run whatever services you need.  

NOTE: SBS 2008 and 2011 have the Hyper-V components included but DO NOT USE THEM.  Hyper-V on SBS is not supported and can break things.  SBS IN Hyper-V is fine and fully supported.

The Free Hyper-V is a Server Core installation of Windows with ONLY Hyper-V enabled.  There is no GUI and the firewall is tuned so as to make accessing the server very difficult to start (for security reasons; it can be changed, but it can be challenging to change it).

Further, Hyper-V doesn't license the VMs - you can run as many VMs as you like HOWEVER, the OS installed in a VM must be licensed.  Since linux is free, you could run 50 linux VMs fine and not pay for any licenses... but if you wanted to run 50 Windows servers you would have to buy 50 licenses*!  

*TECHNICALLY, if you wanted to run 50 Windows 7 systems, you would have to buy 50 Windows 7 licenses.
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by:Cris Hanna
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I also want to clarify that you can't use the SBS install OR repair media to create you're Hyper-V Host.
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by:Warmad
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I want to thank both of you for your responses.  I had to leave my office.  I need to digest all what was written and probably will have more questions on Monday.
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by:ktaczala
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Whether you go virtual or physical, unless you are having major issues with the OS, I would do a migration.  Pulling over everyones profiles, mailboxes and shares will be IMHO better than trying to recreate everything from scratch (too many variables, plus you would have to rejoin each workstation to the new domain, remap users folders, re-setup shares, desktops, favorties, email settings, certificates, etc..).
Unfortunately the new server would have a different IP address and a different Computer name.  After demoting and removing the old server you could change the ip address back but I wouldn't bother since everything need to be working on the new server before demoting and removing the old server.  You can add a cname to have the old server name point to the new IP address after you remove the old server, if needed.  You would need to run the migration preparation wizard on the old machine to start with.  That would allow you to have 21 days to finish the migration using the migration wizard in the SBS Console.
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by:Warmad
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Are there clear and cut instructions on migrating to new hardware into a virtual or physical environment?
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by:Cris Hanna
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TechNet has an article on moving SBS 2011 to new hardware
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg616008.aspx
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