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Server migration

Posted on 2014-02-03
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Last Modified: 2014-02-12
We've got two servers:
1) SBS 2011 - Functions as application, file, Exchange server. (domain controller)
2) WIN 2012 - DB server.

We've reached almost 65 users (max 75) on the SBS '11 and as you can imagine the i/o and memory consumption on this machine is intense especially when the RAM's limited to 32GB.

I want to leave Exchange on the SBS and migrate the rest to the WIN 2012 srv.
This means i only have to acquire CAL's for the WIN 2012 srv and don't have to buy Exchange 2013 with the very expensive Exchange CAL's.

So my question is,can we have change the 2012 srv into the domain contoller and leave the SBS 2011 as the Exchange mail server?
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Question by:The_Nibbler
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 167 total points
ID: 39831779
Nope. -One of the trade offs for the price break you get on SBS and SBS CALs is that you cannot split apart the components. SBS must be a domain controller, and must in fact hold all of the DC FSMO roles. No exceptions.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 167 total points
ID: 39831942
You can make the other server an additional domain controller though (which would be a good idea for this number of users), and it can also be a global catalog. However you cannot move the FSMO roles to that server. You will also be unable to upgrade the forest/domain to Windows 2012.

Simon.
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Lee W, MVP earned 166 total points
ID: 39831947
I'll differ slightly from Cliff's comment.

He's absolutely correct in that SBS must be a domain controller and hold the FSMO roles and that you cannot remove exchange from it.  

BUT, you explicitly asked:
So my question is,can we have change the 2012 srv into the domain contoller and leave the SBS 2011 as the Exchange mail server?
And, in fact, you CAN make the 2012 server a DC in the domain.  It just can't hold the FSMO roles and you cannot remove the DC functionality from the SBS server.

BUT (a different BUT), it's almost pointless to do so anyway.  BY FAR, the most intensive application on the SBS server is going to be Exchange.  AD function is MINIMAL in terms of system resources.  So while you can add a second DC (and *IF* you ACTUALLY understand AD recovery, I'd recommend you do so), it's not going to do anything noticeable in terms of lightening the load on the SBS server.

You MIGHT be able to improve the SBS server performance a little by setting up WSUS on another server and tweaking the SQL instances and their memory usage... but in general, you're likely stuck with what you have and the only way you're going to get much more performance is going to be to replace the hardware with faster hardware (disks, most likely).  Though even that is no guarantee as it REALLY depends on where your bottle neck lies (determined through analysis of performance counters).
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