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SBS 2003 retire problem

rettif9
rettif9 asked
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I have a customer who has an SBS 2003 server which was their only server for a number of years for about 30 users. We would like to replace the server with 2012 standard but we have a problem. 5 users are using an older version of Cougar Mountain Accounting software which the accountant tells me will not run on a 64 bit system. They are not using SQL or Exchange so this is the only obstacle. They are a not-for-profit and can't afford to upgrade to a newer version. Most of their hardware is donated. They obtain their  software from this site when available; http://www.techsoup.org
What are my (low cost) alternative options?
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Commented:
Virtualize the Windows 2012 server and then P to V (physical to virtual) the 2003 server on the new host. We run across this all the time. They can at least have new hardware for the 2003 server until they switch off that software. Use the Windows 2012 as your DC\File server.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I disagree - you want to get rid of SBS.  Buy a SINGLE copy of 2012 R2 from TechSoup.  You should then be able to downgrade to Server 2008 - which still had a 32 bit version and will remain in support for several more years.  Techsoup provides volume licenses which allow you to download both media and keys for all the versions of Windows Server you qualify for when you purchase.  Then you install TWO VMs - one for your DC/File Server and one for this outdated software.

I understand they are a non-profit, but they NEED to upgrade to a 64 bit compatible version SOON.  They should start squirreling away a few dollars every month for that purpose or seek a "sponsor" or "donor" who can fund the upgrade.

Commented:
My bad, yeah, SBS can't be a "member" server. It needs the roles with it.

Side note: Windows 2012 R2 comes with 2 licenses if you virtualize it.
rettif9Dale

Author

Commented:
I knew the FSMO roles was an issue. Thanks for pointing out the downgrade option. I didn't know it was available. This should solve the problem.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
To be clear, Install Server 2012 R2 on the hardware and then install the Hyper-V role.
In Hyper-V, install a 2012 R2 Server as your DC and a SECOND server running Server 2008 (not R2) 32 bit edition and then install the software.
rettif9Dale

Author

Commented:
understood. The second server can be a member server, not DC.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Yes, and I'm saying only downgrade where you have to.