Upgrade 2003 Small Business Edition Server to 2008 or greater

srilee used Ask the Experts™
I have a 2003 Small Business Edition server running with Exchange 2003 on it. I'm planning to move my email to a hosted provider in the next 2-3 weeks. Anyone have suggestions for upgrading my 2003 server (Active Directory) to newer version?
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Sr IT Support Engineer
You'll want to have Exchange completely gone from the SBS server first, then just introduce a new server in with whatever OS you want.   Join to the domain.  Make it a DC, a DNS Server, Global Catalog Server and then move all your data to it.  Then transfer the FSMO roles to the new server, the DC PROMO the SBS box out of the domain and that's it
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

How many users do you have?  (This can affect the recommendation).

Perform a migration since upgrades are not possible.

0. Perform a FULL BACKUP
1. Check the health of AD
2. Install a new server and join it to the domain
3. Promote it to a DC.
4. Check the health of AD
5. Transfer the FSMO roles.
6. Uninstall Exchange from SBS
7. Demote SBS server.
8. Remove SBS Server.

If you do not know how to do at least 75% of these without asking further questions, you would be wise to hire a professional with experience to do this for you and then you can manage it.
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant
I did this for several customers in the last year and found these links very helpful in doing so. The critical piece for SBS is to make sure Exchange is working to the new hosting option before proceeding, as already stated. http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2013/05/05/step-by-step-adding-a-windows-server-2012-domain-controller-to-an-existing-windows-2003-network.aspx. Since SBS holds all the operations master roles, transfer the operations master roles to new domain controller before demoting it

Ensure that another global catalog is available to users before demoting it. For information about configuring domain controllers to host the global catalog see this link https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758330%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

and then finally demote the SBS when you are ready to remove it from the domain

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