Upgrade server 2003 to 2012

Hello all,
The support of 2003 will be ended next year. So, we plan to upgrade all of our server 2003 to 2008 or 2012. We also plan to convert these 2003 servers to VMs. This is for server upgrading only (not DC).
Please give me some ideas how to perform this plan.
Thanks,
dongocdungAsked:
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Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
It all depends on what applications or roles installed on the machines.
You will need to check if the application will even run on the new Windows OS, in the first place.
IF that is ok, then you need a step by step of migrating, installing and or copying data over to the new servers. Digging out the manuals, PDFs and other instructions would help a lot.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How many servers?  2?  200?  What do they do?  Web services?  Database?  Email?  File?

If you want good advice, you need to be FAR more detailed.  Even then, you're talking about your SERVERS!  If you don't already have a good idea of what you'd like to do, you should probably be speaking to a consultant who can come and see what you have and not just imagine it based on a few words.
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Rob GMicrosoft Systems EngineerCommented:
My suggestion would honestly be, if you need to ask this question, you bring in some migration consultants and pay them to do the migration.. As depending on what you are moving, depends on how easy or horrific it will be.

I would also suggest that you upgrade because you want to, or need to for compliance.. If it is just for windows update reasons, i wouldn't worry about it so much. Most of the major corporations out there still have at least one windows NT4 server running, and those haven't been supported since 2006.

If you have a decent IT team, they should be able to maintain the 2k3 box for years to come without the need for Microsoft to be involved..
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Max LoiSr. System EngineerCommented:
Depending on the virtualization technology that you'd like to adopt (vmware, hyper-v, etc.) there are some specific tools to convert physical server into virtual one.
You can do it one server at a time, saving the possibility to get back to the physical server if something goes wrong.
I don't think that you got a large number of servers, otherwise you shouldn't be here to post this question, but if yes I agree that you should ask to a consultant for a migration project.
If you got a small number of servers, just ask here and I'm sure that you'll find a right support.

Max
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Greg HejlPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Looks like you need a technology refresh.

It's best to startup new servers and apply the applications to them.  I advise against upgrading 2003 to 2008 to 2012,  you will be dragging alot of unnecessary baggage into the new OS. start with a fresh build and install your applications.

Upgrading an AD environment to 2012 is simple.

If you do it this way you'l be set on 2012 technology for a long while.
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dongocdungAuthor Commented:
We have around twenty 2003 servers to upgrade either to 2008 or 2012 but I prefer to do it to 2012. I will discuss with my team about these issues.
thanks for all your advices.
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Max LoiSr. System EngineerCommented:
20 servers are not so much, but I would consider to migrate one at a time.

You don't need to migrate a server if it is a:
Domain Controller
WebServer (IIS, Apache, Tomcat)
SQL Server
FTP Server (IIS, Titan, others)

In these cases, the best choice is probably install new servers as needed and the migrate data/applications by simply doing a backup and a restore, except for Domain Controllers, in that case you only need to install the role on the servers you want.
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Windows Server 2012

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