Looking to replace an old Windows SBS 2008 server
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Thread: Looking to replace an old Windows SBS 2008 server

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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Looking to replace an old Windows SBS 2008 server

    Hey all,

    The senior center I volunteer at is looking to replace their old Dell server that is running Windows SBS 2008. I know very little about Windows server OS offerings and wanted to get some advice on what they should get. Currently their server is the domain controller for less than 20 clients. They are using the server to server each user's home and desktops to make backing up easier. They are also using it to run quick books the only other thing is it runs an Access data base that is used by their time clock system. I not sure the current specifications but I would like they to stay with Dell as they have a good business relationship. Looking for any and all advise.

    Thanks,
    Mike
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    They should call Dell and get advice from them as to what they can upgrade to. If it is truly acting as a file server only, the data files can be copied over to the new server, map a new drive to the new server from the workstations and they are back in business.

    Dave
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    CyberShanks's Avatar
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    My guess would be domain controller, file, print, exchange email, dhcp, maybe other services since its SBS. Micro$oft doesn't do SBS any longer either, only way to do it would be to get full server license, exchange server license and adequate cals for both, then migrate to the new servers. I'm doing this for a small business in my area and I'm changing them over to VMware essentials on a new HP with 3 virtual servers on it.

    Jim


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    I haven't touched SBS in a while (thank GOODNESS!), but I remember that there was a specific limitation to it that could cause issues around upgrades. I would suggest looking into how to install a new server with a newer OS and migrate everything to it. If my memory isn't completely spent, there was some sort of restriction on adding a second machine to the domain, making it a Domain Controller, then promoting it to Primary after removing the old one... Or something.

    There's a very, very specific way that you have to handle the upgrade / migration process. The comment earlier about asking Dell may, or may not, yield good information in this specific area.
    ---

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    felixm22's Avatar
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    After 3 failed attempts to chat with someone at Dell I finally found someone. their chat system is crapy at best and their agents must be helping multiple customers at the same time because the guy I finally got to reply took forever with his responses. He was helpful and tried to do a quote for me until I gave him the service tag off of the old server. Turns out that we have a specific account rep and that is the only guy I can talk to. So now I waiting to get a call back from him.

    While I was chatting I did uninstall sickmantec backup that was running a sql instance that was one of the main contributors to the high ram usage. It blows my mind that a windows box can suck up such ram doing nothing. On an 8GB linux box I could run 4 linux vm's doing a different of things.
    John Deere 318, 50in deck, 54in blade w/ power angle

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    Hiya,

    SBS, now that's a product I haven't had to deal with in a long time. I was one of 4 technical leads at MS back in the 90's that had to deal with all the problematic issues that our support centers had installing the first version of SBS on NT 4.0.

    First off as it's a non-profit, they should have the papers to apply to MS for special low cost licensing for full products. If they have a MS contract now, ask them.

    Secondly there is an upgrade path away from SBS to retail versions of Server/SQL/MSEx. You will most likely need to open a support incident with MS support when you bring the other server online as SBS doesn't recognize the normal domain controler promotion/demotion commands as it's designed to be the one lone directory services/DNS device. The SQL install should be easy, just remember to be at the same service pack level on the instances and have a bare metal back up of the data tables and stored procedures and use the same DBO/managed service account or configuration. The same with MSEx, you will need to update client config but moving the mailboxes to the new MSEx server shouldn't be too big of a deal. (Your going to want to compact them first though)

    Another aspect of SBS that's different from a "normal" MS domain DS is that the client systems are created by a special scripted install that configures them for the SBS environment. You will need to take care that you migrate user data to a off-line store during the upgrade to make sure you don't lose any critical data.

    If you want to talk more about the weird world of SBS, give me a shout.
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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Hey guys thanks for all of the help and advise. There should not be any issue with MS exchange as they don't use it, they use email. They are only open on week days so it should be fairly easy to do the migration over a weekend so that way nothing is lost from users being logged in at the same time.

    I was hoping that I would be able to set up the new server as the domain controller then recreate the users accounts then just copy the user files from the old server to the new one. Is this possible? I know it is not how it would have to be done in a proper environment but this place has been with out help for so long that are all sharing login accounts and passwords. There are only about 20-25 user accounts to create so I don't think it would be to bad and I would like to start from scratch any way.

    Please keep the advise coming as I'm a mac and linux guy.
    John Deere 318, 50in deck, 54in blade w/ power angle

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    tomd999's Avatar
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    Hiya,

    Normally in a Windows domain MS DS is a federated service, when you add a new server to the domain and enable directory services, the AD objects are replicated as part of the DS configuration. SBS is a bit different but following this technet guide and a copy of Server 2012 or 2012r2 essentials you should be fine.

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...(v=ws.11).aspx

    Server Essentials overview/whitepapers: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/serv...r2-essentials/

    Word of caution about re-creating domain user accounts. Each AD user object has a unique GUID, this GUID is what identifies the unique user and also plays a part in setting permissions on objects that user creates. (files) If you delete a user object and re-create it, the user will no longer be the owner of any files or folders they created with the old user account and you will need to use administrator access to take ownership of those objects and reassign permissions and ownership to the now new user. Most of the time this works however there is always the danger of data loss.
    Last edited by tomd999; 06-07-2016 at 06:58 PM.
    2010 3320 Cab
    Loaded R3's, 300CX w/3rd SCV
    61" HD-Tooth Bar, 72" HD-bolt-on edge, Frontier Forx
    "A" front hitch, Mid-PTO, Air ride seat, Horn, Back-up alarm, Rear work lights, External mirrors, Auto cruise
    60HD broom. 366 Blade, 59 blower, i-Match
    Looking for: Rear Wheel Weight Set

    Stuff for Sale:
    New 200CX/H130 Masts 25/2720-2032R
    New Jamison Bryce adapter, cart and chute

    “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself” Mark Twain

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