Some notes from today’s Microsoft Partner Program webcast on SBS2008 migration…

Solutions Pathway

Microsoft is providing an easy way to figure out what the licensing scenarios may be for you:
Shows you supported scenarios and the discount that will be applied.

Preparing the network for migration

Migration highlights:

  • 21-day grace period to complete the migration
  • Answer file generator must be used
  • Migrate without taking down servers
  • Destination server joins the existing domain (replica DC)
  • Uninterrupted mail flow between both servers
  • No need to touch client workstations

Migration should be able to take place during business hours even!

Pre-migration tasks:

  • Perform a virus scan
  • Configure a full backup of the source server (include boot and system partitions, and system state)
  • Make sure you have any 3rd-party backup software that you might need available
  • Verify the backup (restore random files)
  • Exchange Server:  Verify database integrity, Delete unnecessary mail, Archive old mail (for speed of migration)
  • Remove junk documents:  SharePoint, Shared folders, Former employees’ profile folders
  • SBS 2003 Best Practice Analyzer (SBS BPA) checks:
    • Exchange Server
    • Update service
    • Network configuration
    • WSS
    • SQL Server
  • Windows support tools
    • Netdiag (Help isolate network/connectivity issues)
    • Dcdiag (analyze state of DC’s)
    • Repadmin (replication)
  • Make sure source server has the latest service packs (SBS2003SP1, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Exchange Server 2003 SP2, WSS 2.0) – anything critical/recommended

Next, we need to raise the functional level of the domain and forest.  First, remove any Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 domain controllers.  Then, raise the functional level of both the Active Directory Domain and the Active Directory Forest.

Next, make sure that we you can migrate any line-of-business applications.  Make sure LOBs are supported on Windows Server 2008, supported in 64-bit, Kernel-Mode software is signed.

Verify network settings:

  • SBS2008 requires a separate router/firewall device at the edge of the network
  • If necessary, you need to change the way your routing/network works so the SBS2003 server is running in a single NIC mode (it cannot be the router)
  • On the router, verify that the network uses a private IP address range (,,
  • Specify IP addresses in the answer file

The migration wizard will turn off DHCP on the source server during migration.

Run the Migration Perparation Tool (in the Tools folder of the SBS2008 DVD) on the SBS2003 server.  It will do the following:

  • Runs Adprep.exe and extends the Active Directory Domain Services.
  • Installs a QFE extending the migration time limit (requires reboot).
  • Prepares Source Server to migrate Exchange Server 2003.
  • In order to run the tool, you must be a memeber of the Enterprise Admins group, the Schema Admins groups, and the Domain Admins group.
  • Since this requires a reboot, you may want to run it in advance.

When you are migrating, mail flow is enabled between both Exchange servers.  No need to worry about where the mail ends up as you’re migrating mailboxes.

SBS2008 has new group policies and logon scripts, so you need to make sure you remove them before you do the migration.  Then put any logon scripts back in place on the new server after testing.

Automating the Installation

To perform a migration, you must create an answer file using SBSAfg.exe found in the Tools folder of the SBS2008 DVD.

Allows you to optionally enable unattended mode for the installation.

Make sure that the time zone information matches between the servers.

Source server information:

  • Domain administrator account
  • Password
  • Source server name
  • Source domain name
  • Source server IP address
  • Default gateway
  • Checkbox to indicate whether DHCP is running on the Source Server

Destination server information:

  • Server name
  • IP address

Put the sbsanswerfile.xml file in the root directory of any removable media, such as a flash drive, before starting installation.

Tasks performed in migration mode:

  • Installs and configures SBS2008
  • Joins the destination server to the existing domain
  • Extends the migration grace period to 21 days
  • Transfers FSMOs to the new server
  • Destination server becomes the global catalog server
  • Destination becomes the site licensing server
  • Installs and configures the DHCP service on the destination server

Note that the migration performs PERMANENT changes on the source server.

Migrating settings and data

After installation, click the “Start the Migration Wizard” link.  This wizard walks you through the following steps.

  • Change where to store data on the Destination Server (Exchange Server, WSS, shared files, Windows Update Repository)
  • Configure the network
    • Run the Connect to the Internet Wizard (configures all of the outbound Internet access)
    • Run the Internet Address Management Wizard (configures the inbound mail/web access)
  • Migrate network settings
    • Migrate DNS forwarders
    • Migrate Mobile Users group
    • Gives you instructions for how to migrate your SSL certificate from your old server
  • Migrate Exchange Server mailboxes/settings (document in the wizard walks you through the steps, using the Exchange native tools – not an SBS wizard)
    • Remove Internet connectors
    • Remove POP3 connectors
    • Move mailboxes
    • Move offline address book
    • Move Exchange Server public folders
    • Have users close Outlook and reopen it after the mailbox is moved, and Outlook will automatically update itself to point to the new server.
    • Mail will continue to flow while you are migrating Exchange Server data and settings.
  • Remove legacy Group Policy objects and logon scripts
    • Modified logon scripts should be renamed
    • Logon scripts only apply to accounts added by the Add User Wizard
    • Delete all Small Business Server GPOs
    • Remove WMI filters
  • Migrate users’ shared folders and users’ folder redirection settings (will open a document on how you perform the migration)
    • Identify shared folders on source server
    • Document share permission on source server
    • Create new shares on destination server
    • Configure security settings on new server
  • Migrate the internal web site (document outlines the migration documentation)
  • Migrate fax data (there is an automated Migration Fax Wizard available)
  • Migrate groups
    • They are copied during initial migration
    • Must assign Created value using ADSIedit
  • Migrate user accounts
    • Create custom user roles on the destination server
    • Use the Change User Role Wizard
    • Map permitted computers to user accounts

You will need to do the following steps to “decommission” the old server within 21 days:

  • Uninstall Exchange Server 2003
    • Uninstall Exchange before demoting the Source Server
    • Removed references in AD DS
  • Demote the Source Server
    • Run dcpromo
    • Remove Source Server form AD DS
  • What should you do with the Source Server
    • Reformat it
    • Install a server operating system – it can’t be running SBS2003 anymore
    • Set it up for use as additional server
    • Note that once it doesn’t have the roles, it will shut itself down because it is out of licensing compliance

Read more posts from John R. Pattison about Windows Small Business Server 2008