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Upgrading SBS 2008 and some questions

I am getting ready to upgrade an existing server running SBS 2008 to 2012 Essentials R2.  I currently only have 10 users (never more than 3 or 4 on at a time) and due to a very limited budget will be re-utilizing the same hardware so I'm setting up a swing server to virtualize the current SBS 2008 for a few days to make the transfer.  I understand the licensing with SBS 2008 but this is a very very temporary setup.

I have set up a few group policies on sbs and some file shares but no applications.  I am almost thinking as opposed to going through the migration steps it would probably be easier to just recreate my users and GP's as well as the shares.  In fact I think I can recreate almost everything in less time than preparing for and actually migrating.

My only concern is migrating exchange.  We use it a lot and everyone has their contacts and calendars in addition to emails. (No public folders just individual calendars)

Everything I read about migration deals with large setups as well as large AD setups.  I have neither.  I am looking for a simple (I'm almost thing exporting to individual .pst's and re-installing for each user) way.  I'm especially concerned with re-creating new users on the 2012 essentials and having the mailboxes migrate over correctly.

I truly feel if I can start from scratch it will give me a much cleaner set up and with so few users I have no issue with doing it.  Do you guys have any advice for me?  Especially how to handle exchange (cheaply)?

Steve
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wrfdchief
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wrfdchief
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
If you are going to be setting up an exchange server as part of your 2012 setup, I'd still migrate. Even with only a few users. Exporting and importing .pst files is a right pain, and exchange 2007 offered no good automation options.

as an aside, you know you can't install exchange on essentials, right? You'll need to run a second server. You can go physical or virtual, but just a heads up on that.
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wrfdchiefAuthor Commented:
Yes I was aware and planned to have both essentials and a seperate exchange server as VM's.  Now by migrate do you mean the entire thing or just exchange?

Steve
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Whole thing.
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wrfdchiefAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input!
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