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Migrating from SBS 2008 to Server 2012 Stanard R2

Posted on 2014-10-21
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I have a client currently running an SBS 2008 server on RAID 1. One of the drives in the RAID 1 failed and rather than replacing the drive, the client wants to buy a new server w/RAID 10 running Server 2012 Standard R2. The client is using the Exchange feature of SBS 2008, however, we will moving e-mail services to a hosted platform.

Question is: What is the best way to migrate from SBS 2008 to Server 2012? I have migrated from Server 2008 to Server 2012 without issues, but I have never done an SBS 2008 to Server 2012 migration. What else should I been on the look out for? Are there additional steps beyond the FSMO role, AD promotion/demotion, etc? Is there a guide for such a migration?

Thanks!
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Question by:Yort
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by:RantCan
ID: 40395522
Short version:  Install DC role on 2012 R2; seize the FSMO roles from the SBS, migrate DNS/DHCP and then uninstall SBS 2008 from the server.  You will need original discs to uninstall the SBS from the server.  Make sure your client purchases the proper CALs for the new environment.
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by:RantCan
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RantCan earned 250 total points
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Will you be virtualizing with Hyper-v on the new server OS?  That might be an option to consider.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 125 total points
ID: 40395734
If you've done 2008 to 2012 standard then the process is basically the same. Migrate the individual roles  (file, DHCP, etc) in the order you see fit.  There are a few caveats, one unique to SBS.

First, uninstall Exchange *before* doing anything with the ADDS role. This isn't unique to SBS. Exchange, when installed on a DC, doesn't like it when things change in AD. It is one of the many reasons Exchange on a DC is a bad idea, and one of the reasons SBS as a product no longer exists. But this caveat is true for any Exchange on a DC environment (I've seen plenty outside of SBS.)

Always uninstall Exchange. Or you'll hit pain points later with orphaned Exchange objects.

Do not transfer the FSMO roles until everything else is off the server. Data. Roles. Everything. Once you transfer the FSMO roles, SBS is no longer in licensing compliance and you have a very limited window to complete your migration. So this should be the second-to-last step. This *is* unique to SBS. One expert said seize...and you should never seize roles unless the source server is not present and cannot be made to be present. Always transfer roles whenever possible (not unique to SBS.)

And finally, after you've transferred the roles, you can demote SBS as an AD server. Again, you want to do this to clean up DC objects in AD. Otherwise you end up having to do a metadata cleanup later.

From there you can turn off the server, format the drive, donate it. Whatever. You can't continue to run it as-is.

You will have a computer object and DNS records to clean up. That is normal for an domain controller migration and is again not unique to SBS. And this is done after the server has been fully retired from the network and there is no chance you'll turn it back on and confuse AD.

-Cliff
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
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@RantCan
seize the FSMO roles from the SBS
This is incorrect.  You NEVER want to seize roles unless the FSMO role holder has failed.  You TRANSFER the roles.  Seizure is a last resort, not a first (or second) step.
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by:Yort
ID: 40397288
Thank you everyone for your quick and informative replies. My biggest concern was Exchange. From my past experience, what has been said here and what I have read elsewhere, I will migrate the client to hosted Exchange prior to taking any action on the SBS2008 server. Then, I will begin the process of best practices by uninstalling the Exchange feature, and moving forward from there.

Thanks again!
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by:Yort
ID: 40397291
@RantCan - It will not be virtualized. Very small office of five 5 people.
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by:Yort
ID: 40397294
Truly appreciate the information.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40398564
The size of the office is irrelevant for virtualization - you cannot replicate a non-virtual server for disaster recovery.  You are also throwing away a server license by not virtualizing - Server 2012 allows TWO VMs to run 2012 if you virtualize. If there ever comes a time when a new line of business app is needed that needs its own server or an RDS server is desired or an Exchange server, building your server TODAY as a VM will save LOTS of time and effort later.
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