This article discusses using virtualization as a simple and low-risk backup method for migrating Windows SBS. A virtualized migration can be done in four stages.
In Stage 2, you go through the normal migration process migrating the virtualized SBS and leaving the physical SBS untouched.
In Stage 3, after reaching the point where your SBS2003 is nearly complete, you can repurpose your physical SBS2003 server for line of business (LOB) applications or for other purposes. Repurposing the physical SBS2003 server involves reformatting the system partition on the physical server. Because you created a backup of the pre-migrated SBS2003 in Stage 1, you will be able to load this image as a virtual machine any time you need to access the pre-migration SBS2003 server.
In Stage 4, you complete the migration. SBS2008 is running on a new server, LOB applications are running on the old server, and the virtual host server is freed up and ready for a new assignment.
i'm currently looking at doing this, the only concern i have is how exchange is handled as the production machine will still be running while the transition is happening, so the 2008 server may be a week out of date. what is the best process to bring exchange into line
That's a good question. I was thinking of exporting mailboxes from Exchange 2007 as PST and importing into Exchange 2003 using ExMerge but I'm no expert on this process. I'll post on a newsgroup and see what the experts say and follow up here.
exmerge was how i was thinking of doing it, didn't think i could forklift the exchange 2k3 database and throw it at 2k7.
one other issue that has popped up with this is that of activation if your using oem installs
I had the same situation a week ago (upgrade from SBS2003 to SBS2008 on same hardware), the only difference was that i was using Citrix XenConvert & Xen Server. However, when i booted virtualized SBS2003 i could not log in due to the fact that XenConvert cannot virtualize open files, services and so on... It then corrupted AD and had to do it "old fashioned way", from existing SBS2003 to temporary SBS2003 on another server and then from temporary server back to SBS2008 on primary server.
My question is, can disk2vhd tool succesfully convert AD and other running services, so that they boot with no problems in virtualized environment. If so, i wish i had this info one week ago. It would save me 20 hours of mailbox moving :(
i used vmware p2v and it worked a treat, currently in the process of doing the migration this week, no issues with AD at all (so far). Have had general issues however based on source server. Mainly annoying more than showstopper stuff.. however i wouldn't be too happy to do this process in a live production environment. Fair chance of making a rod to beat your own back with. The server goes into customer site this saturday.
Great concept. We have used a virtualized Exchange environment since moving our Exchange 5.5 to a VM, then taking that VM, a copy of AD and a new VM for Windows 2003 / Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition on a dedicated workstation running VMware Workstaiton, and we went through the migration until we got it right. The production migration, after the full backup was superb.
Regarding migrations (P2V) -- please go the cold migration path. If you are using vmware p2v (now called Vmware Enterprise Converter unless you have the earlier Standalone Converter licenses), you download two images and you can make a bootable ISO that your physical server can boot from during a maintenance window on your Exchange server. Once you tell the converter where to place the converted 'virtual disks', you will be able to walk away (Yes, I monitored it for a few trials, but it was four hours for us over a 100MB WAN connection to new corp HQ). Previous attempts to use P2V as a hot backup or to use the Windows NTBACKUP mechanisms doesn't give you the same 100% solid result the P2V off the bootable ISO does.
We will be migration SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and the first software on the new server will be VMware. The only corporate email server (after we decommission SBS 2003) will be Windows SBS 2008 and additional Server 2008 Standard licenses. Microsoft Applications on Virtual Windows Operating Systems on VMware is great for small offices with Open Licenses and large enterprises with EA agreements.
Given the rise of people running servers virtually, I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the possibilities of the final destination being a *virtual* SBS 2008 server (the intention in our company).
Does anyone know the implications of this? We were hoping to have one Hyper-V server with the SBS 2003 and SBS 2008 servers running on it. Presumably the 'migration' method mentioned is a swing migration?
you have to be careful because SBS 2003 is not supported on virtual environments as you can verify with the virtualization support wizard: windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx
This means that any issue that may arise will not be supported by CTS unless support policy aren't changed.
...well "until" policies aren't changed ...lol