Thursday, 20 December 2007

SBS + ShadowProtect + Swing Migration = A Good Combination

*Ack* ... hit the enter key once too many and it published! :( The original mistake post has been deleted.

One of the opportunities that a Swing Migration ( provides for us is the ability to clean up Active Directory (AD).

There are many times where the only real way to clean up a mess made in AD previously is to utilize Jeff Middleton's Swing method.

We have a client that has had their SBS 2K3 Premium installation in place for a number of years now. Their AD has a lot of GP settings that need to be purged along with some OU and group restructuring.

To facilitate a successful Swing Migration, we are going to utilize ShadowProtect IT Edition to image the original SBS box to new hardware along with a couple of the workstations to similar hardware here in the shop.

We can then proceed with the Swing Migration on their "production" environment to make sure that we do not hit any unforeseen problems. This method will also give us a good idea of how the workstations and the user's profiles will react to AD cleanup and the Swing.

For this kind of sensitive operation we prefer to work with actual hardware versus virtualizing everything. This gives us the opportunity to see if existing hardware and software drivers or OS installations will have a play on the success or failure of the Swing Migration.

We intend to utilize this method from now on to run through the Swing Migration before hand. We can then make sure we are not hit with any surprises on our more complex SBS setups that require tweaking before reinserting the new SBS hardware or the reinstall of the existing SBS hardware back into the production environment.

For the more sensitive or not so stable SBS environments where new hardware and/or upgraded SBS OSs are going to happen, utilizing this method will save us from having to clean up the production environment during the actual Swing process! We can leave the production environment alone until we come back with the new SBS box to copy newer data and shut down the existing SBS box.

Swing Migration Terminology references in this post are particular to the Swing Method. Out of respect for Jeff and his hard work, we suggest the you head over to his (Duet TechPro subscription page) site and sign up for a subscription. If you belong to a Microsoft User Group, check and see if your group is authorized for a Group discount before purchasing your subscription. If it is not, then talk to your group leaders about getting on the list. It will save you $45.00 on your first purchase or subsequent subscription renewal!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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