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SBS 2003 upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 and on-site Exchange

Posted on 2014-01-19
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Last Modified: 2014-01-25
Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade an SBS 2003 domain onto Windows 2012 R2 with an on-site Exchange Server.

So far I have created a Hyper-V environment on a new server, installed Windows 2012 R2 and added this to the SBS domain as a member server. I have not promoted this to be a PDC.

The SBS server has been updated and I have ran the Best Practice Analyser.

Can anyone outline how I should continue with this


For the Exchange Server I was going to create another virtual server running Windows 2008 R2 so that I can install Exchange 2010 - is this the best way forward?

Thanks

Julian
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Question by:J-B
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16 Comments
 
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39792824
"The best" way forward is entirely subjective. But I'd probably choose 2012 over 2008 R2. And yes, I'd do exchange before doing anything with DCs.
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by:arnold
ID: 39792846
Presumably you are retiring the SBS since you can not have a master/primary DC other than the SBS.
While 2012 includes options for two VMs, do you have windows 2008 media for your VM?

I'd agree with cliff go for 2012 VM for the exchange.
Test the VM exchange setup,

What are your plans for the SBS server? Are you going to repurpose it as a physical DC after an upgrade to server 2008, or 2012?
Not sure how powerful the existing sbs to possibly be another hyper-v in the environment with another DC VM.
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39792848
Yes. You can only go from 2003 to 2010. 2010 will run fine in a virtual environment. How many users are we talking? I am guessing if you were on SBS then it is less than 75? If that is the case then you could easily do everything with one Exchange server.

I always use this blog for my upgrade steps.
https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-exchange-2003-to-exchange-2010/
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Author Comment

by:J-B
ID: 39792852
Have about 20 users at the moment but more coming on board with mobile devices rather than PCs

Is the way forward to migrate the exchange prior to making the Windows 2012 R2 the DC ?
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39792857
It doesn't really matter. Exchange 2010 can be installed with 2003 DCs in the environment. These are the domain requirements.

Cut and pasted from the link above (https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-exchange-2003-to-exchange-2010/ )
•The Active Directory forest needs to be in Windows Server 2003 forest functionality mode;
•All domains that contain Exchange recipients need to be in Windows Server 2003 domain native mode;
•The Global Catalog Servers and the Active Directory Schema Master need to be at a minimum level of Windows Server 2003 SP1 (which equals to Windows Server 2003 R2);
•The Exchange 2003 organization needs to be running in ‘native mode’;
•Link State updates on all Exchange Server 2003 servers need to be disabled according to Microsoft knowledge base article 'Suppress Link State Updates'
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39793928
Not that it's truly important to your migration but have to correct arnold's statement regarding SBS 2003 and multiple DC.  It's a common misconception that SBS can't have multiple DC's.  You absolutely can have multiple DCs with ANY version of SBS.

regarding your move.  You need at least two VMs.  One which will eventually be the new DC.  The second one for exchange. With the exception of SBS, Exchange should never be installed on a server that is also a  DC
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by:arnold
ID: 39794173
Chris, my comment dealt with the fact that the SBS must be the PDC, master.

From the question:

So far I have created a Hyper-V environment on a new server, installed Windows 2012 R2 and added this to the SBS domain as a member server. I have not promoted this to be a PDC.
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39794192
my mis-reading..sorry
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hecgomrec earned 333 total points
ID: 39794313
By recommendation will be as follows:

You need 2 new servers:

First Server 2012 : Most be a DC and you will transfer here all your FSMO and DNS, DHCP when you finish the exchange migration.

Second Server 2012: Should be a DC, will carry your Exchange (2010, point less to migrate to 2007).  Once migration is finish and emails, OWA and ActiveSync works for all clients follow the steps under "Demote and remove the Source Server from the network"   here.

Then, Transfer FSMO roles to your DC, make any firewall settings if required.

Your SBS at this point will start shouting down by itself every 30 minutes as he can't be on the AD as a DC (Microsoft policy by default).  You will have to demote the server in time.  I let it off the AD for a while to test everything then rebooted and demoted it when I was sure everything was working... it will stay on if you demote it... so it will be like a file server only.

Now, going to the Virtual machine issue, I won't recommend to use a virtual machine for your Exchange server as most likely you will run all your roles in that Exchange guest as your described environment unless you understand and follow to the letter this.
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39794324
The server on which you install Exchange SHOULD NOT be a DC...Microsoft is very clear about this
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by:hecgomrec
ID: 39794353
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Author Comment

by:J-B
ID: 39795344
All,
My virtual machines are as follows:

1. Windows 2012 R2 - this is to become the primary domain controller

2. Windows 2008 R2 - this looks like the best operating system for Exchange 2010.


Is there a definitive guide for migration to this from SBS 2003 ? This is no longer multi homed.

Isn't the SBS 2003 time limited once you add another server as the PDC?

Can someone explain the procedure to make the 2012 R2 the PDC as I dont believe you put the media in to update the active directory on the SBS box

Thanks

Julian
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Assisted Solution

by:hecgomrec
hecgomrec earned 333 total points
ID: 39795476
Once again, you must include new servers on the domain, you can make them DC but do not transfer FSMO roles until you have finish the migration to exchange 2010 and everything is working.

Yes, once you have another PDC (FSMO roles transferred) the 2003 will time out and shut down every 30 minutes until you make it just a member on the AD.

Here is an article that will help you from "demazter" http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2881-Migrate-Small-Business-Server-2003-to-Exchange-2010-and-Windows-2008-R2.html
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39795741
I do not believe you can run an SBS as a member server.
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Assisted Solution

by:Gareth Gudger
Gareth Gudger earned 167 total points
ID: 39795788
You get 7 days by default once move the FSMO roles to another DC. There is a patch that pushes this up to 21 days. However, do that as your last step.

Do the 2003 to 2010 upgrade on Exchange first.

Do the DC to 2012 second.

Move the FSMO roles from 2003 SBS to 2012 last. Then you don't even need to worry about the time.

With regard to moving SBS Exchange, it is the same process for Exchange 2003 Standard as it is Exchange 2003 SBS. Use the article I referenced above.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 39808922
Just to clarify a few points.  And I know done of them have already been mentioned above.

1.  You can have more than one domain controller in an SBS environment.  
2.  The SBS server must hold all FSMO roles.
3.  Exchange can be installed on a Domain Controller and this is a supported configuration, it's just not recommended.  Although in a singke DC/Exchange environment the reasons it's not recommended aren't really valid.
4.  SBS cannot be kept on the environment as a member server.  It must continue to be a DC and hold all the FSMO roles.
5.  If you are installing Exchange on a server that will also be a DC then it must be a DC before Exchange is installed.

Thanks.
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