SBS 2008 to Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 Migration procedure

Hi Experts,

Wondering if you could assist me please.
We have 2 physical servers at present

1. SBS 2008 - Acting as FILE SERVER, DC, DNS, DHCP, Exchange Server, SQL Server Database for mission critical APP for our environment
2. Server 2008 - Acting as a Terminal Server and running a mission critical APP as well

We are migrating the above 2 physical servers to the following -

1. File Server running Server 2012 R2 - Future DC, DNS, DHCP and FILE SERVER
2. Exchange Server running Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013
3. Application Server running Server 2012 - SQL Server Database and Application will be migrated to this server and it will also act as a new terminal server.

My Questions are as follows -

1. Has someone got a migration guide that explains how to do a SBS 2008 to Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013 migration.
2. Quite a while ago now, I did a migration from SBS 2003/8 to Server 2012 and Exchange 2010 and from memory there was something about SBS 2008 server to be decomissioned in 21 days. Is this still the case? I guess the issue we have is that we have 5 third parties involved in this migration and getting them to migrate everything across in 21 days from start might be hard.. Please advise the best way to do this so that we can get an extension on the 21 days or else we must plan it really well and for that we need a proper migration DOCO that explains entire procedure.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
1)  Don't treat these as all one project. So don't look for one migration guide. You'll be biting off way too much. Treat each role (not even each server, but each role) as a separate project. Only do one at a time, and have some sort of change management in place. Even if that means a notepad where each change you make is written down. That way when a problem surfaces, you know what was changed last.  As far as those migration guides, Microsoft's TechNet is your friend. There are guides to migrate DHCP. DNS. Add replica DCs. Transfer FSMO roles. Demote DCs. Migrate from Exchange 2007 to 2013, and more. If you follow the above advice and treat each role as its own small project, you'll find the guides easily. IF you try to lump them together, you'll find partial guides with missing steps (trust me, I've looked) and often were written by folks for their own environment, but are too specific and therefore cause problems when followed. Hence the reason to go to TechNet instead.

2) SBS must hold all FSMO roles and no cross-domain trusts can exist. If you break either of these rules, you have 21 days to fix the situation.  When going from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008, since both wanted FSMO roles, that always meant *one* of the two servers was out of compliance and therefore you only had 21 days for the entire migration. If you migrate your DC to Essentials then that will still be the case. But if you make migrating the DC the last step, 21 days is plenty.  And if you are migrating to Standard or Datacenter, you don't have to transfer the FSMO roles right away, nor are domain trusts required, so you'd have all the time in the world...until you transfer the FSMO roles. Make *that* step the last one and 21 days would still be plenty of time.

So yes, under some circumstances, you'd have 21 days to complete some migration tasks. But with proper planning that isn't a big hurdle.
manav08Author Commented:
Thanks Cliff,

In our case we are migrating to server 2012 R2 standard, so what you are saying is -
1. We DCPROMO the future DC Server, setup DNS and DHCP roles on it. Migrate printers/Data etc. to it
2. Next we Migrate mailboxes to the new Exchange server 2013 on a separate Server 2012 R2 Std VM.
3. Uninstall Exchange from SBS 2008
3. We then involve all 3rd parties to do their migration of databases etc. on present SBS 2008 and TSERVER.
4. When they are finished, we transfer the FSMO roles and decomission the SBS 2008 ?

Lastly, I see lot of guides for migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 but none from SBS 2008 to Server 2012 Std. Can you pls send me some links?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
That is a good general form, but by no means would it be the only path. You could migrate Exchange before migrating DHCP, for example.

Don't look for SBS guides. That's why you aren't coming up with much. Since you are migrating *to* standard, look for standard guides.  There is no difference in migrating DHCP from SBS 2008 to 2012 and migrating from a 2008 Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter to 2012, for example. Since your destination is standard, use those guides. You won't find anything SBS specific in that realm because, again, there are just too many variables, topologies, and nuances to make unifying such a guide make any sense,
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manav08Author Commented:
Hi Cliff,

From back in the days when we used to upgrade SBS 2003, I remember we had to uninstall SBS from the server itself. Not sure if it is still the case. That is why I was looking at SBS 2008 upgrade procedures.
Would you mind pointing me to some guides you have referred to in the past?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Well as an example, I just did a bing search for "TechNet migrate active directory 2008 2012" and came up with this on the very first hit:

I read the procedure and it is dead on. I can virtually guarantee you that every role you want to move has a similar guide on TechNet and/or one of the TechNet blogs. I gotta be honest, beyond doing the proof of concept search, I don't feel compelled to do all the searching for you.  Just sayin'....
manav08Author Commented:
Thanks Cliff.

Is there a decomissioning procedure for SBS 2008 though like uninstall Exchange services and then Uninstall the actual SBS component as well like in 2003??
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Yes, you should uninstall exchange, but at the risk of repeating myself, that isn't unique to SBS. When you migrate from Exchange 2007 to 2013 running stock standard servers without SBS in the mix, you'd uninstall Exchange 2007 as well to clean up the old entries. And Exchange migration guides cover this.

No, you don't uninstall SBS components in 2008 or beyond. That was an odd quirk of 2003 (and technically wasn't required even in 2003 to decommission the server, as it doesn't do anything special to AD that would cause issues.)

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manav08Author Commented:
Thanks Cliff
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