SBS 2003 Hardware Migration/Upgrade

This weekend I had the opportunity to upgrade the hardware for one customer. The special thing about this upgrade is that the customer is running SBS 2003; and the goal was to replace the SBS 2003 server.

SBS is Microsoft's Small Business Server, which is created for small companies that have from one to 75 computers. It puts EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, on a single server. This includes Active Directory, Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Services, file shares, printer shares, applications, etc. etc.

There is also a premium edition that throws in SQL Server and ISA Server.

Before we go any further, I am not setting myself up as an SBS expert. I'm not. I've got a number of customers who use SBS, so I support it. SBS (and the forthcoming EBS - Essential Business Server) is based on standard Windows Servers tools; but they add a HUGE number of extra wizards and SBS specific extensions. In some places, it really looks like a completely different product.

Those customizations lead to some situations that are not normally recommended. for example, running Exchange Server on a domain controller is not a recommended configuration. RUnning Exchange Server and Windows SharePoint Services on the same server is not a recommended configuration. Running SQL Server and Exchange Server on the same server is not a recommended configuration. Etc. You get the picture.

This leads to some interesting ... challenges ... when it comes time to upgrade the hardware on an SBS server. Because along with those customizations - there are restrictions too. The SBS Server must host all the FSMO roles in the domain. The SBS domain must have no trusts with any other domain. By default you cannot install SBS into an existing domain. Etc.

The one thing that makes the hardware upgrade possible is that the restrictions that are LICENSING restrictions give you seven days - and after those seven days, the servers shut down.

Microsoft does provide some guidance for Migrating Windows Small Business Server to New Hardware [], but it misses some very crucial steps. Also, SBS MVP Jeff Middleton sells a very complete toolkit for doing an SBS Migration [], which I recommend if you have no idea where to begin this process.

However, if you want to try to do it on your own, read the white paper above, the references below, and my additional notes below that. :-)

A couple of other key resources:

In the Migrating Windows Small Business Server to New Hardware white paper, Microsoft lists 11 steps:

1.  Evaluate the current status of the source server.
2.  Install Windows SBS 2003 and join the domain.
3.  Transfer Exchange Server 2003 settings and folders.
4.  Migrate shared folders and data folders.
5.  Install and configure the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
6.  Configure Windows SBS 2003 settings.
7.  Migrate Internet Information Services (IIS) Web sites.
8.  Install and migrate Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
9.  Migrate Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server settings.
10.  Migrate Microsoft SQL Server™ databases.
11.  Remove the source server from the network.

Let's talk about a couple of things that have been left from those steps...
In Step 2, "Install Windows SBS 2003 and join the domain", one of the sub-steps is "Continue Windows SBS 2003 Setup". However, once you get there, setup complains! It says "This server has a trust relationship with <active directory domain name>" - even though you don't have any trusts! And then setup aborts.

To work around this, you have to suppress the trust check in the setup process. This requires a little command-line work:

i) open a command prompt
ii) cd %temp%
iii) identify the sitnnnn.tmp folder, where nnnn is a random number
iv) cd sitnnnn.tmp
v) open setup.sdb in notepad
vi) find the SECOND occurence of the word "trust" and put a semicolon (";") as the first character of that line
vii) save the file and exit notepad
viii) setup.exe

In Step 3, "Transfer Exchange Server 2003 settings and folders", the process described to move public folders and system folders is not complete. Using the PFMIGRATE.WSF tool is the proper (and much easier) way to make this happen. See KB 822895. Also, while I recommend you review KB 884453 for additional information, the process described there for moving public folders is just wrong.

In Step 5, "Install and configure the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)", I recommend you use the process described in KB 325473 instead of the save/restore mechanism shown in the white paper.

In the Microsoft steps, there is no discussion about migrating printers - I recommend PrintMig 3.1 - see the reference above.

There is also no discussion about migration of SSL certificates. Check out How to back up a server certificate in Internet Information Services 5.0 (KB 232136) and How to Import a Server Certificate for Use in Internet Information Services 5.0 (KB 232137). These articles also apply to IIS 6.0.

Do not forget to review and update login scripts!

The migration whitepaper also glosses over the necessary items to shut down the old server. That will be the subject for a future article.

Finally, the patch include in KB 943494 allows you to extend the 7-day license limit to 21-days, before you are required to turn the old server off.

Until next time...

As always, if there are items you would like me to talk about, please drop me a line and let me know!

Published Sunday, May 18, 2008 3:40 PM by michael
Filed under: ,


Monday, January 12, 2009 8:23 AM by Michael's meanderings...

# SBS 2003 Hardware Upgrade

In May of 2008, I wrote the article SBS 2003 Hardware Migration/Upgrade . Since then, I&#39;ve been asked