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Re: migrating server 2k3 SBS to 2008

Grant Taylor
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kobiianardo wrote:
> Hello new here with a newbie problem, I've been told to move
> everything from an old file server to a new machine, or from a
> computer with server SBS 2003 to a new computer with server 2k8. I'm
> not a computer/network person at all, but this is what I've been told
> to do, so I'm having major problems. If anyone can help or knows a
> better place to post this to get helped please tell me.

Is the new server Small Business Server?

If it's SBS, you are most likely going to be doing a SBS 2003 -> SBS
2008 migration. In which case, I *STRONGLY* suggest you download and
read Microsoft's "Migrating to Windows Small Business Server 2008 from
Windows Small Business Server 2003"
This document is 80+ pages and very abridged and does reference other
documents / pages on Microsoft's web site that are them selves abridged
and reference still more. (I would not be at all surprised if
everything referenced to the 3rd degree (on average) would be 200 - 300
pages printed.) - Word to the wise, print the document, put it in a
(3-ring / spiral) binder. You will be flipping back and forth between

I recently used that exact document and successfully migrated from SBS
2003 to SBS 2008. I ended up spending about 30 hours doing said
migration over the course of a couple of a weekend.

If you are migrating from SBS 2003 to Standard 2008 (non-SBS), you will
likely want to look in to (what I think is called) the SBS "Step Up" (?)
option from Microsoft. "Step Up" essentially converts SBS to Standard.
So, you may actually have to Step Up from SBS 2003 to Standard 2003
and then migrate from Standard 2003 to Standard 2008.

Are you planing on removing the 2003 SBS system from the network after
you complete what you are trying to do? Or do you want it to continue
using it as is?

> What's needed: I was told that we want the new machine to act as a
> file server where people can get/share their stuff. The new server
> would have different permissions set up for different people/users i
> suppose. we have about ~15 people that access the new server and 2
> printers. And after all that's done, I'd need to install VPN on this
> server thing. hmm... I need to ask how the people are using the old
> server and redirect their computers to use the new file server in the
> same way.


You will have to do this regardless of what your migration plan is.

> Current Setup:
> I'm REALLY fussy on what the old server does, but from what I can
> see, our old server is set up this way: we have a T1 line comming in
> and it hits a firewall machine thing and then a switch that spread
> out all over the place, one of which is the old server, and another
> is the new server. Right now on our setup, there's a workgroup (or
> domain thing i dont know the difference) setup called something like
> "Company.intra" that requires a log-in to access the available
> resources. On the new server under Network Sharing center says my
> computer is connected to the internet like this "35WERWER(the new
> server's name) --- Company.intra --- internet"

If you are running SBS chances are very good that you are running a domain.

If you have an option to "Log On To" "Company..." in the Windows Sign On
screen, then you are indeed running a domain named "Company.intra".

> Questions:
> 0) Bascially: how the heck do i do this? at times it seemed really
> simple, if i could just copy all the old files from the old server,
> set-up different passwords for different shared-folders and have
> people use that. But I dont know if that's the best way to do about
> things, and i really understand what that ".intra" thing means for a
> workgroup.

A domain, and especially SBS, is really an entity unto its self. You
can't simply turn off old servers and / or turn on new servers with out
informing the domain that you are doing such. (Technically you can, but
there will be consequences of doing such.)

The ".intra" thing is probably short for some form of "internal".
(Microsoft usually recommends that you use ".local".) This is (very
simply) part of how Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) works using

I encourage you to read the migration document I suggested above as it
will help you understand the migration process much better. It might
also help if you got more understanding of AD / DNS / etc. before
attempting this migration.

On the positive side, things can go very well. On the negative side,
things can go very wrong, possibly to the point that you are restoring
your entire server / network from your (last good) backup prior to any

This is probably a good point to say this:

Stop what you are doing. Go get a good backup *now*. ... (I'll wait.)
.... Now, go verify it. ... (I'll wait again.) ... Did it verify?
Good. ... Now, go make another backup and verify it too and take it
off site.

Do you know how to restore your backup if the worst happens???

It is imperative that you have a good backup, because part way through
the migration process, you will make irreversible changes to your old
SBS 2003 server.

> 1) What sort of workgroup/domain do i need to setup or inherit from
> the old server to get the "What's needed" sharing structure.

The migration document referenced above explains how the SBS 2008 server
will import settings generated from the SBS 2003 server during the
install of SBS 2008. (Yes, you will be formatting and re-installing SBS
2008 on your new server as part of the migration guide.)

> 2) Of the roles available from Server 2k8 what do i need to achieve
> this? do i need DHCP? DNS? Active Domain?

I believe that AD DS will install DNS on the new SBS 2008 server as part
of its migration process. You will likely need to install and configure
DHCP on the new server.

I recommend that you run your DHCP server on the SBS 2008 server as it
can take care of some more things than the DHCP server on your router
can (easily) take care of.

> 3) Does setting up VPN require IIS? <--- i dont get this question but
> i needed to find out.

Most likely not.

Microsoft's VPN options through Routing and Remote Access Service
(a.k.a. RRAS) does not require IIS.

If you don't currently have a VPN solution, RRAS is a decent VPN to
start with. There are some pros and cons, but for smaller / simpler
installs, I think the pros out weigh the cons. Besides, RRAS is fairly
easy to administer and will integrate with AD to see which remote users
are allowed to use the VPN.

> 4) Are there any security issues involved with me posting stuff like
> this on the internet?

With what you have posted, not really.

The information that you will end up working with during the migration,
yes. One file in particular that you want to *NOT* post is the answer
file that is generated by SBS 2003 and used by SBS 2008 during install.
Said file will include your domain administrator password in clear text.

> i've been working on this for like a week and really made no progress
> help please

If you are truly migrating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and want to
maintain your domain / Exchange config / SharePoint site(s) / SQL
databases / etc., you probably have a lot more ahead of you than you

I will say, that the migration document is laid out very well in a
"Step-by-Step" "How-To" type document that helps you avoid the gotchas
that will trip you up.

I will also say that I would not attempt to do any of this until you are
at the very least familiar with / understand, if not comfortable with,
the concepts in the migration document.

No offense intended, but if you are uncomfortable with what is in the
migration document, this may not be a do-it-yourself project and you may
be far better off hiring someone to do this particular project for you.

If, after reading the migration document, you are comfortable and have a
good back up (and aren't afraid to use it) then go for it.

Grant. . . .

P.S. If you want to, feel free to email me off newsgroup and I'll
answer more questions.

P.P.S. Have some reading material with you, there will be *lots* of
"Blue Bar Time" (TM).
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