Scenario: Your Local Area Network (LAN) has 25 users and has been using Small Business Server (SBS 2003) for a while, you're considering to upgrade to SBS 2011.

Questions that you might ask:
  • Is it feasible and worth it to use the migration tool or start from scratch or new builds?
  • How many hours will it take to complete this project?
  • Will this cause interruptions and downtime?
  • What are the Pros and Cons?

With today’s technology more IT Pros are leaning towards finding the best strategy to use which will work well in their network when doing a complex migration. Be aware of the pros and cons and weigh up the consequences. If you’re a Network Administrator of the company, chances are you have noted all the configurations made in your SBS 2003 and it’s just a matter of preparing the big migration. Brainstorm your questions and freely document what you can and take your time. If you tend to be impulsive or procrastinate, try to make a well planned project. Before doing a migration multiple backups are important and a must have, make sure that you have reliable backups. If the migration goes wrong then it might cause irreversible problems. Preparation and lab practices are also important factors to be considered prior to any network migrations to ensure effective results.

Running different diagnostics tools to check for errors is essential –  SBS Best Practice Analyzer , Netdiag,  Microsoft Exchange Best Practice Analyzer , DCdiag and check Event Viewer for any errors. Microsoft has a few SBS resources that you may utilize free of charge.

Plan well, do this on a weekend or during non-business and not during normal business hours. Inform all employees in your company about the changes just in case there are issues that will come up after the project has been completed. Be up front with them to negate if there will negative outcomes.

Others have succeeded on doing both options because they were well prepared and planned. Do extensive research on using the migration tools if you are gearing towards this way. A great link here to read:  Windows Small Business Server Migration

You may use a Swing Migration if you do not choose to plan to do it from scratch. This is not free of charge but others have succeeded and might save you plenty of time between 12 hours versus > 24 hours of work. Please have a look: - Home

Be aware of the Pros and Cons:

Are there any batch scripts applied on your SBS 2003? How much customization has been made and documented? If Exchange Server is involved things may go wrong and you may not succeed using a migration tool. If you decide to use the migration tool, think of all the fixes that you’ll have to do, this might be very time consuming and considering the time that you’ll spend on the new rebuild may not be this much.

At the end of the day, the question will still remain on what’s best to do and viable – use the migration tool or start from scratch? Goodluck!

© 2012 2xg