Upgrades to SBS Next

Ask the Performance Team : WS2008: Upgrade Paths, Resource Limits & Registry Values:

 However, cross-platform upgrades (x86 to x64 or vice-versa) are not supported.

Let me restate this table another way for the SBS crowd …..

If you are currently running SBS 2003 (RTM, SP1, R2 or SP2)

You CANNOT inplace upgrade to

SBS next version.

There will be a migration path from 32bit to 64bit.  The reason that we have to migrate and cannot inplace is that Exchange 2007 is running 64bit only and that’s why the 64bit requirement is needed.

P.S.  You know how you can’t go from XP 32bit to XP 64bit without wiping and starting over?  The same rules apply here.  It’s a different file structure.  SBS 2003 is 32bit.  SBS next is 64bit only.  Thus there’s a barrier and one cannot do an inplace upgrade.  Bottom line it has to be a clean install.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit  But don’t panic, there will be a roadmap.  And in fact we’ll be better off as inplace upgrades leave behind legacy permission issues.  But just get your mind in the mindset that there’s no implace in our future.

6 Thoughts on “Upgrades to SBS Next

  1. I understand what they are saying, but I still do not understand why this would be the case, if the hardware is x64.

    If we have a x86 SBS running on x64 hardware, couldn’t an in-place upgrade work? No big deal, I generally prefer migration upgrades, but I am just trying to make sure I have a firm grasp on it so I can explain to people when they ask me.

    I’ll probably wake up in the morning and slap my head and think, “Of course they wouldn’t want to do that. There are a bunch of obvious problems!” Lord knows I do THAT all the time.


  2. Yep, woke up going “Duh, how the hell could you possibly do that silly.”

    Figures, I just need to sleep on things more so they can settle in.

  3. Where this might suck is when the customer has x64 bit hardware on their 32 bit SBS. What is the migration path when you have to format and reinstall the only existing server.

  4. Well you could ofcourse put a tempdc in virtual pc (or so) on your laptop and then build the new box from scratch 🙂

  5. In reply to Bill:
    There are a lot of ways to get an existing install moved somewhere else so that you can use that hardware again and still retain data. Acronis True Image will take an image of the drives that can be mounted from a network share or USB device once you’ve got SBS Next installed. Or you could use the VMWare utility to convert the install into a virtual image and load it up on different hardware (which wouldn’t have to be very good even, you can just run it on a workstation using the free VMWare Server software). Sure this is more work, but it’s really only one or two extra steps that don’t take that long.

  6. Jonathan on February 7, 2008 at 7:23 pm said:

    Disallowing in place upgrades is fine as long as Microsoft provides some decent documentation on the migration process. I recall the official SBS 2000 -> SBS 2003 migration paper which Microsoft published is suboptimal, to put it lightly.

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