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Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Posted on 2014-04-03
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Performing our first Server 2012 Essentials migration for a small customer of 25 users. My question is at what stage do you actually install the customers LOB applications?

We have already read through the following online article which explains the process:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn408633.aspx

I am assuming that Step 4 is where we setup the new server with applications and data. Seems like the logical place to perform the application installs. Step3 appears to just connect the machines into the Essentials server so that they can be managed from the Dashboard etc, and since the existing SBS server will be online all resources will remain accessible.

New deployments always have me nervous but hoping someone can confirm that Step 4 is where LOB apps are installed. In addition if anyone has any gotchas we should be aware of, it will be much appreciated
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Question by:bushido2006
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by:Cliff Galiher
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In the era of ubiquitous virtualization, I can't reasonably recommend running any LOB app on a domain controller. That includes Essentials. So in my opinion, I'd migrate LOB apps to member servers before even starting the DC/essentials migration. In which case, it isn't even a step in the essentials migration.
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Brad Bouchard earned 250 total points
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In the era of ubiquitous virtualization, I can't reasonably recommend running any LOB app on a domain controller. That includes Essentials. So in my opinion, I'd migrate LOB apps to member servers before even starting the DC/essentials migration. In which case, it isn't even a step in the essentials migration.
While I agree completely with Cliff, I'd reason to guess that this is your client's only server, and if it isn't then it's one of two.  If it is one of two or more then I'd highly suggest moving the LOB apps to one of these member servers as Cliff stated, in which case you can do that at any stage; if it is the only server then you have no choice, and yes step 4 is where you'd do that.
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by:bushido2006
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Cliff, I appreciate the response. It has taken me a long time to be okay with putting apps on DC's but we work with lots of small businesses and getting them to buy multiple servers is a challenge if not impossible at times. I guess we could always go with the free VMware version and then host multiple guests but that also has it's draw backs. In any case I appreciate the response.

Brad, Thanks as this is the confirmation I was looking for.
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by:Cliff Galiher
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While the problem has been closed, just a little more info. I did start off my comment with "in the era of virtualization" which I thought was a good indication that yes, I don't expect companies to buy multiple servers.

2012 R2 Standard comes with 1+2 virtualization rights. You don't need to buy two copies of windows, you don't need to use the "Free" version of VMWare or Hyper-V, and you can run one VM as a DC with the Essentials featureset and a second VM for you LOB, all at the cost of one physical server and one server standard license.

As far as the "only server" comment from Brad, (and I'm not being critical) since 2012 Essentials cannot be an in-place upgrade, there is definitely a source and a destination server in place for the migration. (or you are doing a swing, but that still has a "temp" destination server, which is equivalent for this discussion.)

Migrating from the source, whatever that may be, to a VM uses the same steps as migrating from the source to a physical DC. The only difference is, by choosing to go virtualized, you can create another VM first and migrate the LOB.  I cannot envision a scenario where this is not an option because, as I already mentioned, there are no in-place upgrade options here. So there are *always* two machines.

At any rate, I'd strongly encourage you to consider this option. Even in small businesses, virtualization has made splitting LOB apps off from the DC a legitimate cost-effective path for even micro-businesses, and as Microsoft continues to tighten security on domain controllers, getting comfortable with this now is better than later.

-Cliff
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