You see curveballs, I see choices.

On August 19, 2010, in Rants, by

With Vail and Aurora, Microsoft Throws a Curveball to Small Businesses:

“So Aurora may seem like the obvious choice for most small businesses. And that’s true, except for one wrinkle: Aurora can’t be added to existing domains. If you go the Aurora route, you can do so only for new domains. Vail, which operates outside of domain management, is in this way a better choice for in-place, departmental storage, as well as those smallest of small businesses.”

Paul, dude, I do not get why you are so stuck on this.  Aurora is “just” active directory.  When you keep saying it can’t be added to existing domains you are missing that it’s “just” AD.  Now then if you are thinking that this might be a good fit for SBS 2003 upgrades that never moved to SBS 2008 because they were smaller and didn’t need the beef of 2008, you are probably right.

Now .. I think what Paul is thinking is that you can’t do an inplace upgrade from SBS 2003 to Aurora and he’s right.  You can’t.  Aurora is a 64bit based OS and honey, there ain’t no inplace upgrade from a 32bit OS.  And you also can’t just expect that Exchange 2003 is just going to magically leap from SBS 2003 into the cloud.  Ever looked at a BPOS migration from an existing Exchange deployment?  It needs someone helping the business to migrate  ..again.. you’ll be following a checklist of some sort to be determined to get information and users off of a SBS 2003 to an Aurora domain.  Also it has to be the primary domain controller and hold the FSMO roles (so does SBS remember).  You could have additional DCs in an aurora domain as long as they didn’t hold the FSMO roles.  Somewhere I think I saw it said that the answer file would need to be utilized to deal with the ‘join domain’ thing but I can’t find the cite now.

Furthermore there has always been the long running argument regarding whether or not at the less than 10 user level if a clean domain is the way to go anyway and just redesign the network when a hardware chance out occurs.  You WILL need to have a router that does DHCP rather than be on the SBS box.  You will be reconfiguring.. so you may just want to rebuild the network especially if you didn’t set up the old one in the first place.  But this “you can only do Aurora for new domains’ is not acknowledging that with SBS 2008 now we’re dealing with moving from ‘a’ box to another ‘a’ box and it’s not easy moving ANYTHING let alone reconfiguring workstations and what not. 

There’s no wrinkles here, no curveballs, just choices and full employment for Jeff Middleton and his domain design advice should you be as confused as Paul is.


One Response to You see curveballs, I see choices.

  1. Richard says:

    It’s a shame that Microsoft have never done a decent branch office solution, though. You’d think they’d come up with a way of using SBS technology for a small branch office, perhaps by letting us add the SBS domain to the central forest for management.