Here’s a response I provided to a recent post asking how to move an SBS server to new hardware. In this instance, the user wanted to both upgrade from SBS2000 to SBS2003, and they also wanted to move to new hardware:
There’s more than one way to do a migration (moving SBS2000/2003 to new hardware), and a lot of things add into the mix — like how many users you have on youre server, any specific applications, etc.
If it were me, given your scenario, I would SKIP any thoughts of upgrading to SBS2003 first on your current server, before migrating. Since your
current server is working fine, and you have new equipment, I might suggest taking a look at Jeff Middleton’s SwingMigration approach at www.sbsmigration.com .
1. Your current server remains up and running thorughout the process, until the very end. That means minimal impact to your users
2. You install SBS2003 fresh on your new server. Shoot, install it 2 or 3 times to get a feel for it, test out your recovery process, etc.
3. Then once you are ready, you do a final swing, move over your Exchange database, and all user data files, etc.
4. The advantage is that there’s virtually no impact to your users, or to their workstations. Literally you turn the workstations on, and sign in like
you did before. Users won’t know anything has happened!
Now, the “gotcha” for all of this is two simple things:
1. You need another computer to act as an interim server. I simply used a spare laptop with 768mb of memory, for this process.
2. You’ve got to plow through all of Jeff’s manuals, documentations and notes. 😉 Not that the process is hard, buy Jeff goes into a lot of detail so
you are not only aware of what’s going on at each step of the migration, but also — if you run into any problems, he’s already addressed them!
My first swing migration was an SBS server with 20 users, and except for one printer and one shared folder permission I forgot to restore, it was completely painless to the end users. I migrated the server over a weekend. When the users came in the next week, they logged in and started working.