What is the current, state-of-the-art, best method to migrate from one sbs2003 platform to another?

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Randy Spangler, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Long subject line, huh?

    I have, coming down the pike, at least three large equipment upgrades. Two
    are running SBS 2003 and one is running SBS 2000. I will be upgrading to a
    brand new SBS 2003 server, but I need to migrate between 30 and 60 users,
    settings, AD, Exchange, et al from the old server to the new one. I would
    like the new server to have the users and groups in a format that is Server
    Manager compliant.

    One thought is to do an AD migration and then run the update user wizard to
    give them the SBS treatment.

    The idea of adding 60 users to a new domain and then joining 60 workstations
    to the domain and then futzing around to get 60 profiles back to the one
    from before ("where is my grandson's picture on my desktop, and where did my
    printers go?") makes me weak ;-)

    Any solutions would be GREATLY appreciated!

    Randy Spangler, Dec 29, 2004
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  2. The swing migration is least disruptive for users. In short you use active
    directory replication to a temporary server, then active directory
    replication back to your new hardware with the same computer name as the old
    hardware being replaced. Users and their computers don't even know it
    happened because the sbs server name does not even change.

    the particulars can be acquired from www.sbsmigration.com
    Steve Bruce, mct, Dec 29, 2004
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  3. actually, taking the drives out of the current system and throwing them into
    the new, restarting a few times in DSRM, and when it's all settled starting
    the server normally is less disruptive.

    search this group for 'dsrm' and you'll probably get a few hits that will
    SuperGumby [SBS MVP], Dec 29, 2004
  4. Randy Spangler

    MikeR Guest

    Gotta agree...it's exactly what I did. I only had to start in DSRM twice and
    the second time was "just in case". There was a really good point that
    someone here had made less than a month ago regarding changing the NIC/NICS
    to loopback adapters as a holding place for the new NICs. If I had thought
    about that it would have saved me a few minutes. Still the whole process
    took only a few hours and that's including putting the new server in the
    rack and cleaning up.

    One thing to add is that what made it especially great for me was that I was
    using a software mirror and all I had to do was pluck the mirror from the
    system and transplant it which gave me a nice fallback if something didn't
    work. Last note...if you don't do the loopback thing don't worry when you
    bring the new server up and configure the ip's and it tells you that another
    NIC is already using that ip...blah blah...
    You know that the old one isn't going to be enabled ever again. I am kindof
    a neat freak so I went ahead and deleted the old NIC's from the registry.
    MikeR, Dec 29, 2004
  5. Hi Randy,

    I think you have the best answers presented, depending upon the scenario.
    For the situtation where you are doing only a hardware upgrade, it's
    certainly reasonable to do the shift of the complete OS installation to the
    new platform by following the concepts that SG and Mike outlined.

    With regard to the SBS 2000 based installation, doing the move via the Swing
    Migration process described at my website is probably the best answer.

    If the SBS 2003 installs you have in mind are clean and running reliably,
    then you have no reason to do anything more than necessary, and that's to
    just get the installation transfered. However, if those servers were
    installed by an in-place upgrade previously, you may well find the advantage
    of doing a Swing Migration useful in order to clean-up those installations
    as you migrate. If not, do the forklift of the installations to the new

    - Jeff Middleton
    Jeff Middleton [SBS-MVP], Dec 30, 2004
  6. The DSRM does not seem to be the ticket if I want to install a fresh version
    of SBS and then copy all of the settings from old to new. Am I resigned to
    'swinging it'?

    Randy Spangler, Jan 1, 2005
  7. If you want a clean install of the server, keeping the old AD and moving the
    majority of the configuration over as a clean configuration that looks the
    same as the previous as far as the users and workstations are concerned so
    that your work is only at that server, yes, that's the case for Swing
    Migration. The Swing It!! Kit gives you the process to accomplish this.
    Swing Migration is not painful. It takes about 2-3 hours longer than what is
    required to complete a scratch install of an SBS server with all the normal
    follow-up of 3rd party apps and such. However, at that point, you are
    basically done....nothing to do at the workstations other than deploy newer
    versions of Outlook or whatever, if that applies. There's no impact to the
    workstations, no complications with the user profiles or preferences. In
    most cases, I don't even touch the workstations if there are no updates to
    go to them.

    The only thing I'm clarifying is that if you want a clean install of the
    server, but keeping the most transparent result as far the entire domain,
    all accounts, all namespace, same Exchange Information Store, same shares,
    etc....that's what Swing Migration is. No method MS has documented compares
    to it. To get a better chart of comparison, go to www.SBSmigration.com to
    the Migration Projects section, then scroll down to the table comparing
    Swing to ADMT Method. Swing Migration accomplishes the process of
    transparent server construction offline (if you are adding new hardware), it
    also allows same hardware upgrades keeing the same domain, you can do this
    coming from any previous Windows domain including NT4.x / SBS 4.x / W2k /
    SBS2k / Win2003 / SBS 2003.....and, you can accomplish this as a technical
    into transition out of SBS from a different Windows platform, or into SBS
    from a different platform. You can even use this to come from Enterprise or
    an NFR version into SBS where you have properly licensed the new SBS domain,
    but technical blocks prevent a in-place upgrade to preserve the AD itself.
    These are all unique values to the method. It means you can learn one
    approach, and use it in practically any situation involving server
    replacement, or version upgrade.

    The Swing It!! Kit includes about 150 pages of reference documentation, it's
    a project outline, and you will also receive a number of tools in the kit
    that perform tasks to both accomplish the Swing quickly, and validate domain
    accounts and workstation configurations as well. A frequent comment I
    receive is that the documentation is worth the price as a
    training/educational read, and the tools alone are worth the cost of the
    kit. The kit includes unlimited continuing use by the same technician, and
    that includes using the tools for what the do even without a migration

    If you review the sort of things Supergumby discusses in his earlier post,
    you see that the technical side of migration can be quite complex. The
    reason I created this kit was to provide a proven migration process, well
    documented, clearly written....far better than anything I could possibly
    type one post at a time. I have tried to explain concepts in migration via
    this NG for 5 yrs, and ultimately there is just no way to fully document
    that complete process that way. I chose to provide this kit as an option for
    people who want a complete plan, and the decision to sell it was driven
    purely by the idea that if I didn't commit to support it personally, it
    wouldn't be nearly as valuable. To support it and still make a living, I
    have to make an income in the process....something all the IT Pros I've
    spoken to in the last 6 mos. have supported. The cost of the Technician Kit
    is $200, and at that price with the elimination of complications to the
    workstations, and the ability to do a migration without working on the
    weekend to do it....your customer will have no trouble with you covering
    your cost on the project to acquire the kit because it saves them
    money....you do less work in the long run. I established the kit with
    unlimited use for the technician because I believe that every IT Pro
    deserves to keep and reuse this skill to make a living into the future. I
    will upgrade the value of the kits over time with new tools, and revisions
    of the documentation to address future changes to the SBS product, Service
    Packs, and bug fix issues. This makes it possible for you to buy a new kit
    in the future if you want that has new value to you, and you decide when
    you want to invest in it.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions you have either here in the NG, or
    directly at .
    Jeff Middleton [SBS-MVP], Jan 1, 2005
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