Moving on from SBS 2008...

Finally gonna pull the plug on the 2008 SBS I installed 7 years ago this weekend.
I've got 2 Dell PowerEdge T430seach with a Xeon ES-2630 & 64 GB of ram, that I plan on having 2 VMs running on each.
One of the servers will run Exchange 2016 & a DC (not on the same VM) & the other will be file & print server & a back up DC (again, separate VMs).
Any recommendations on this scenario, as far as allocating resources, etc?
Since there's no upgrade path from exchange 2007 to 2016 & I've only got about 30 mailboxes, I was going to export pst files & import into new exchange server. I also understand both cannot exist in domain at the same time during this process, correct?
After transferring FMSO roles to one of the new DCs, how do I gracefully remove old SBS from domain? Just demote & unjoin domain?
I'm also guessing there will be a 'point of no return' in this transition & want to be prepared.
I'm seeing this as a big jump off the deep end so any advice appreciated!
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you're going to export mailboxes and you're concerned about a point of no return, then I would suggest just build a new, clean domain.  Setup the new servers, recreate users, setup Exchange, then export mailboxes, import them into the new server and reset permissions on files.  You will have to disjoin and rejoin the domain for all the workstations, but you can use the User Profile Wizard to migrate the users to the new domain, minimizing issues with profiles.  This also allows you to setup and test Exchange using a test domain (costs you $5-15) and know that you have that setup correctly.

You seem to have some knowledge, but if this isn't what you do regularly and you have no experience doing it, it would be wise to partner with someone who does have experience to ensure everything gets done with minimal disruption to your 30 employees.

Recommendations for the new domain:
1. Use DFS Namespaces for file share paths so things are no longer dependent on server names
2. Make sure you implement Shadow Copy on the new file servers (see my article on that:
3. Don't implement a second DC unless you understand AD backup AND RECOVERY!  You could cause serious corruption when restoring AD incorrectly.
4. Read over my article on Virtual or Physical (you can skip the first part - you're already going virtual, but the second part includes tips for configuration and design of the VMs.
5. Reconsider your dedicated file server.  While it's NOT WRONG to use one (separation of services is a good thing in general), for a small business, it may not make the most sense.  You might want to consider using the DC(s) as file servers and DFS replication (if you go with two DCs) so you have a copy of the data readily accessible on another physical server.  And of course, I have an article on this two:
6. Consider putting one server at another location (even your house) for redundancy in the event of a disaster.  Using Hyper-V replica, you can setup a VPN between sites and replicate your entire servers to another location in case your office burns down, floods, gets destroyed by Tornado, hurricane, alien invasion, etc.

With a 6 core CPU (12 threads) and 64 GB of RAM ONE of those servers should be more than sufficient for your described needs.

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By the sound of it you have enough capacity to perform migration from Exchange 2007 to 2010 and from there to 2016.
Any other approach would result in reconfiguration of users desktops, specifically users profiles, re-download OST, etc. Also it would require you to export/import PST, delay email delivery and depends on the environment and requirements A LOT of scheduling.
Use the Migration Assistant to plan migration from 2007 to 2010 and from there to 2016.

You don't even have to license Exchange 2010, provided evaluation time of 120 is more than enough to perform the migration.
During the entire process you'll have an option to fall back, if required.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Adding to my previous comment:

7. Use a domain that is NOT .local - something like (where is your email domain).
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gromackAuthor Commented:
This isn't something I do on a regular basis & last time, going from sbs 2003 to 2008, I had the help of a swing migration kit!
I really didn't want to set up a new domain, figuring there would be extra work with desktops, as well as the sales people with their laptops, who currently aren't in office. Currently, it is set up as a mydomain.local & I do remember hearing .local domains aren't the preferred way to go these days. Is there an easier path going from .local to .com? Also, I've got other things I'm moving, as well, like a network version of Quickbooks & Trend Micro Worry Free Advanced.
I do have a couple of other servers, as well, that I could use if I went that route, but in going that way, wouldn't I have the current sbs, as well as a new exchange server in domain at the same time? I thought when there's an sbs in the mix, it can be the only exchange server in the domain? Would they co-exist for a brief period of time, maybe just making Event Viewer act up, or as long as I'm using the migration assistant will it be ok? If I were to do it that way, should I install exchange 2010 on my other T430 or one of my other servers I'm about to retire?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I *LOVE* Trend Micro!  They make me SO MUCH MONEY!  Fixing the problems they obscure with Windows.

No easy way to change from .local to something else without a rebuild.

Migrating Quickbooks is easy.  Trend, I don't know - I just clean up the messes trend makes, I don't install or manage it.
gromackAuthor Commented:
I probably should have mentioned it in my last reply, but my 2 hosts are already part of my ..local domain & I've even got one of my VMs set up & running Quickbooks.
Trend Micro was one of the things I kinda inherited here & have just been renewing it when it comes up for renewal & haven't really had any problems with it, knock on wood.
So, considering i've a;ready got a foot in the water, any reason to not go with the .local domain & just transfer roles to one of my new DCs?
There should not be a problem with co-existence of both Exchange server, as long as you plan an execute it correctly.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Exchange 2007 (which is a part of SBS 2008) is not supported with Exchange 2016.

So there will likely be a problem - I think I've seen prior versions of Exchange won't install if traces of unsupported versions are found.  You'll need to completely uninstall Exchange from SBS to perform the migration - this makes fallback far more difficult if something goes wrong.

If everything works and you've done your due diligence (such as AD diagnostics, etc) then your plan could work.  HOWEVER, in my opinion, you have a greater chance of disaster not migrating to a clean domain given the age of the existing systems (you waited too long).
gromackAuthor Commented:
But what if I went to Exchange 2010 or 2013 & then to 2016?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You could do that.  Again, if it were me, I'd be most likely doing a clean domain.  It's not going to get any easier in the future if your company expects any growth.
Ajit SinghCommented:
gromackAuthor Commented:
Anyone used or heard of CodeTwo Exchange Migration or Kernel Migrator for Exchange?
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