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SBS 2003 migration to Server 2012 with Exchange 2013

    Question

  • Hello,

    I have searched around the forums trying to find detailed information regarding migration from sbs 2003 to server 2012 with Exchange 2013. One topic covered the migration without exchange but I need the migration with exchange.

    Since the server 2012 operating system and exchange 2013 is so new, there is not a lot of step by step resources with gotchas and best practices out there to guide in the migration as of yet. But does anyone have experience in backups? I would like to image the current server and load it onto a lab box to prepare for a smooth transition when it comes real time. The lab box will not be connected to the actual network with the users, printers, and internet, will that cause any issues during or after migration?


    Thank You,

    smg.tech

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:59 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    The answer to your question might be disappointing but is simple, you CAN'T do a direct migration from SBS 2003 to Exchange 2013. This isn't possible now and will NOT be in the future, Exchange 2013 cannot be installed in the same AD domain with Exchange 2003. See the Exchange 2013 System Requirements: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

    The only option you have if you want to migrate is first migrate exchange to Exchange 2010 and then migrate later to Exchange 2013. Only caveat at this moment is you need Exchange 2010 SP3 to co-exist or migrate from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013. Exchange 2010 SP3 is not yet available, it is expected first quarter of 2013.

    Another thing to look after if you want to first use Exchange 2010, at this time Exchange 2010 is not supported at Windows Server 2012. This is also expected in Exchange 2010 SP3.

    So only real option at this time if you want to go to Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 is to start from scratch

    Last before you are going to install Exchange 2013 please read these gotchas: http://theessentialexchange.com/blogs/michael/archive/2013/01/06/exchange-server-2013-gotchas.aspx


    Regards Ronny
    -------------
    Visit my Blog or follow me on Twitter

    • Marked as answer by smg.tech Friday, January 18, 2013 1:35 AM
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:04 AM
  • Hi,

    Having the latest Microsoft software isn't always the best choice, because most third party software developers haven't make there software available yet for windows server 2012. So please make sure all your software products are available for server 2012. Also for you backup solution some big vendor haven't have a product available yet. Even Microsofts own product data protection manager is only just available.

    About imaging software, you could use disk2vhd as Susan brings in, otherwise there is an open source product http://clonezilla.org/ you might try. I have not used this before because we are a Acronis partner so we may use there products.

    About things you aren't able to migrate, as far as I know you can migrate anything there are even profile migration tools, but some will keep settings refering to an old server or domain so best in starting from scratch is building new profiles and only move data.

    About Public folders, these are available in Exchange 2013 only they are completly rebuilt not an separated database but a special Mailbox type. They aren't available from OWA at the moment so only via outlook. See this 2 part article about Public Folders in exchange 2013: http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/planning-architecture/exchange-2013-preview-public-folders-part1.html

    Also keep in mind Outlook 2003 cannot talk with Exchange 2013 so you need at least Outlook 2007.


    Regards Ronny
    -------------
    Visit my Blog or follow me on Twitter

    • Marked as answer by smg.tech Friday, January 18, 2013 1:35 AM
    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:12 AM

All replies

  • I don't think there's any way to do this yet. There's currently not even a way to have Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013 coexisting - we need to wait for Exchange 2010 SP3 for that - so I think the chances of having a direct migration route for Exchange 2010 are probably zero.

    There's very little documented yet. In fact the general feeling on the web is that Exchange 2013 was released before it was ready. I would suspect that you are going to have to do this is two phase, first to upgrade to Exchange 2010 (and the appropriate version of Windows), then apply SP3 (when it comes out), then upgrade to 2013.

    SBS 2003 is so old now, and it's no surprise that all Microsoft's effort is going into an upgrade path from 2007/2010. So I'll be very surprised if they provide a path from 2003.

    Jim

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:54 AM
  • Hi,

    The answer to your question might be disappointing but is simple, you CAN'T do a direct migration from SBS 2003 to Exchange 2013. This isn't possible now and will NOT be in the future, Exchange 2013 cannot be installed in the same AD domain with Exchange 2003. See the Exchange 2013 System Requirements: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

    The only option you have if you want to migrate is first migrate exchange to Exchange 2010 and then migrate later to Exchange 2013. Only caveat at this moment is you need Exchange 2010 SP3 to co-exist or migrate from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013. Exchange 2010 SP3 is not yet available, it is expected first quarter of 2013.

    Another thing to look after if you want to first use Exchange 2010, at this time Exchange 2010 is not supported at Windows Server 2012. This is also expected in Exchange 2010 SP3.

    So only real option at this time if you want to go to Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 is to start from scratch

    Last before you are going to install Exchange 2013 please read these gotchas: http://theessentialexchange.com/blogs/michael/archive/2013/01/06/exchange-server-2013-gotchas.aspx


    Regards Ronny
    -------------
    Visit my Blog or follow me on Twitter

    • Marked as answer by smg.tech Friday, January 18, 2013 1:35 AM
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:04 AM
  • Thank you for your reply. Going greenfield/scratch sounds nice because we will be on a new slate but the work required to transfer all 11 workstations (documents, favorites, programs settings) over to the new domain would be huge. I will have to migrate to 2008 R2 with exchange 2010 first as y'all say. So since that is the case does anyone know of any image software that I can use to make a backup image of the SBS 2003 server so I can do a test migration in a non production lab environment? Ive done a search and can't seem to find anything that states a backup program works with SBS.

    Thank You for your help!

    smg.tech

    • Proposed as answer by Consider IT WA Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:12 PM
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:08 PM
  • Shadow Protect, Acronis, or Macrium Reflect all have HIR and should work with SBS.

    Steve

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:13 PM
  • Any reason you are moving to server 2012 and Exchange 2013? and not to SBS 2011? as 11 workstations give loads of room to grow up to the 75 user/device limit with SBS? the licensing would be much cheaper.

    Gareth | IT Support Norwich

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 5:13 PM
  • disk2vhd in hyperV
     
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 10:18 PM
    Moderator
  • TTC-Gareth: Well we have already bought Server 2012 and Exchange 2013. The reason why we chose those is because they are the latest versions which should be able to last us for another 7 or more years until needing to upgrade (also meaning it should be in a better position to handle any new software/hardware technology that comes out by nature of being the latest), Microsoft has discontinued SBS for the future, and since we are paying such a high price already we might as well pay for the latest and greatest.

    Compukirk: I have looked at those and I know those will work for my needs and I would also like to add EASUS Todo Backup to that list. But what I am looking for is a solution that is either free or in the $25 range. $200, $700, and $900 is just too much (I wont be using it for incremental backups so there is no need to pay for all those features). I just need a solution that will image the server and transfer it to dissimilar hardware.

    Also, I am considering starting from scratch with Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 (I know I would have to transfer each individual users workstation files and settings to the new domain but it is doable. The only thing is that I do not know what information I may not be able to be transferred to the new server. Like will people still be able to access the calendar in the public folder? And from the great information in the page that ronnypot referred to it sounded like the public folder is gone all together.

    Thank You,

    smg.tech



    • Edited by smg.tech Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:53 AM
    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:33 AM
  • Susan, I am not familiar with disk2vhd in hyperV. Are you recommending this as a way to create an image that can run in hyperV instead of using another backup solution? Would the current SBS Server be affected in the process or does the disk2vhd just take a image or clone of your current hard drive and turn it into a VHD? HyperV is new to me as well so I am not sure but maybe if that is what your suggesting I could theoretically have SBS 2003 on the new server in a HyperV environment and do the initial lab run and final migration there. Then just remove hyperV after the migration. Not sure though of the gotchas being in a virtual environment.

    Thank You,

    smg.tech

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 3:45 AM
  • Disk2vhd:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx

    Run it on your SBS 2003.  It makes VHDs that you pop into a HyperV.

    I wouldn't do physical deployment but HyperV.  It gives you soooooo many more options.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Having the latest Microsoft software isn't always the best choice, because most third party software developers haven't make there software available yet for windows server 2012. So please make sure all your software products are available for server 2012. Also for you backup solution some big vendor haven't have a product available yet. Even Microsofts own product data protection manager is only just available.

    About imaging software, you could use disk2vhd as Susan brings in, otherwise there is an open source product http://clonezilla.org/ you might try. I have not used this before because we are a Acronis partner so we may use there products.

    About things you aren't able to migrate, as far as I know you can migrate anything there are even profile migration tools, but some will keep settings refering to an old server or domain so best in starting from scratch is building new profiles and only move data.

    About Public folders, these are available in Exchange 2013 only they are completly rebuilt not an separated database but a special Mailbox type. They aren't available from OWA at the moment so only via outlook. See this 2 part article about Public Folders in exchange 2013: http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/planning-architecture/exchange-2013-preview-public-folders-part1.html

    Also keep in mind Outlook 2003 cannot talk with Exchange 2013 so you need at least Outlook 2007.


    Regards Ronny
    -------------
    Visit my Blog or follow me on Twitter

    • Marked as answer by smg.tech Friday, January 18, 2013 1:35 AM
    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:12 AM
  • Ronny, will I be able to access the user data if I  start from scratch and make a new Profile? or will I not have admin rights on the new domain?
    Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:33 AM
  • Update to the backup software and if anyone is going down this same path:

    1.) I went with Todo Backup Server by EaseUS they had a deal for $50 off and then I started looking at their incremental backup after the migration is complete. I saw they already support server 2012 so I went with it. The backup went well. Surely the recovery to dissimilar hardware will too once the lab box is finished being built.

    2.) I looked into disk2vhd and it looks great but I don't want to reformat the physical server. Repurposing the physical SBS2003 server involves reformatting the system partition on the physical server which I do not want to do.

    Repurposing the physical SBS2003 server involves reformatting the system partition on the physical server.


    3.) Thank You all for all the great replys!

    smg.tech

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:52 PM
  • I'm in pretty much the same situation as the original poster.  I've made a VHD of the original SBS 2003 server, copied it to the new hardware, and it runs fine in Hyper-V, though it sounds like starting from scratch might be easier.  We have Macs in the mix and I don't think having those connected to AD has any advantage, so rebuilding profiles for those won't be an issue.  I imagine the Mac's built-in Exchange 2007 connectivity support will work with Exchange 2013, right? Getting rid of Entourage will be nice. The Exchange accounts I can probably export all the data to individual PSTs and then import those into the new Exchange 2013 accounts. 

    I've already got the classic ASP based website with Access database connections back online in IIS 8. That wasn't easy, but this was a huge help: http://digitallibraryworld.com/?p=6

    If/when I make a new forest and domain, it will have to be a different name as the SBS 2003 domain right?  And that will mean entering new settings on all of the Exchange ActiveSync mobile devices? 

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:22 PM
  • AdamZ1977,

    From what I understand even with the same name starting from scratch with a new forest you will have to reconfigure every device and pc/mac to connect to the new domain no matter if you name it the same as the previous domain.

    Thanks,

    smg.tech

    Sunday, February 03, 2013 2:47 AM