Performing a Windows Small Business Server 2008 migration is a great way for solutions providers to bring in more business. Once you've secured the deal, knowing how to perform a successful Small Business Server (SBS) migration is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with clients. In this podcast, virtualization expert Dave Sobel answers frequently asked questions about performing an SBS 2008 migration, including when it is appropriate to do an in-place upgrade; using virtualization with SBS migrations; and troubleshooting any problems that may arise during the migration process.
Read Dave Sobel's answers to other frequently asked questions on migrating to Windows Small Business Server 2008.
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• What are the basic steps for performing a Windows Small Business
Server 2008 migration?
• Is it possible to do an in-place upgrade?
• Can solutions providers use virtualization with an SBS migration?
• What major limitations can solutions providers experience in migrating to SBS 2008? • What should solutions providers do if things go wrong? • More resources on Microsoft Small Business Server 2008
• About the expert
There are six basic steps to the SBS migration process.
- Prepare the SBS 2003 system, your source server, for a Windows SBS 2008 migration. This involves making sure the source server and the network are ready for migration. You do this by performing a backup, evaluating the system's health, updating the system and raising the functional level of Active Directory. You must also run the Migration Preparation Tool on the source server.
- Create the migration answer file for an SBS 2008 migration.
- Install SBS 2008 in migration mode.
- Move the settings and data to the destination server and use one of the basic methodologies outlined above.
- Clean up the links to the old server, including folder redirection and adjusting any required settings.
- Run the Windows SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer and resolve any additional migration issues.
Strictly speaking, no. SBS 2003 is a 32-bit product and SBS 2008 is a 64-bit product, which doesn't allow for an in-place upgrade. Using virtualization, it is possible to do an upgrade using only one piece of hardware, provided that the core system is 64-bit. Each individual procedure specifies how many pieces of hardware you'll need.
The key to a smooth SBS migration is to use multiple machines and to perform proper backups. Virtualization can assist in both and thus be very helpful in allowing solutions provider to do more with the available hardware.
The No. 1 limitation is the restrictions of your methodology. Starting over from a new SBS domain limits time and resources because there is considerable manual labor involved. It's essential to know the network restrictions and ensure that there is high-speed data connectivity between the servers involved in the migration. Finally, customer line-of-business applications must be considered when performing the migration.
The importance of performing backups comes to the forefront when things go wrong. With a complete system state backup, you can roll back to the beginning of the process. Don't be afraid to stop and re-examine where you are in order to make the right decision about moving forward.
- Microsoft unveils new Windows Small Business Server
- Hosting provider offers Microsoft Small Business Server service.
- Migrate to Windows Small Business Server 2008 from Windows Small Business Server 2003.
- The Official SBS Blog
- SBSfaq.com Blog Site
About the expert
Dave Sobel is CEO of Evolve Technologies, a Fairfax, Va.-based solutions provider that offers virtualization, networking and security services to small and medium-sized businesses. He is a regular speaker at industry events and an active member of Heartland Technology Groups in the United States and Europe.
This was first published in August 2009