Thursday, 7 July 2011

Transitioning From SBS At the 75 User/Device Limit How-To

The link came via the SBS2K Yahoo List.

Chris Puckett of Microsoft provides an excellent big picture view of how one would go about removing SBS from the picture once a client has grown past the 75 user/device limit.

The post by Chris:

SBS 2011 Standard still has a 75 user limit, so if you're already approaching 75 it might make more sense to go to Windows Server.  You can migrate away from SBS 2008 by adding new server(s) running Windows Server 2008 R2 as domain controllers to the domain.  Then add Exchange Server 2007/2010 server to migrate your mail to and a Sharepoint Server for that data.

There is no single document for this scenario, but you can treat SBS 2008 as Windows 2008 DC and Exchange/IIS server. The steps would not be much different. The only caveat is once you move the FSMO roles you have 21 days to complete the rest of the migration process and you would have to take care of licensing requirements
A basic outline would be

  1. ADprep SBS 2008 with the 08 R2 schema.
  2. Join WS08R2 DC as a secondary domain controller in the SBS 2008 Domain
  3. Install Exchange 2k7/2k10 on same server or different server.
  4. Move mailboxes/public folders, address book generation etc to the new server.. (there should be a guide on migrating exchange 2007 to 2010 on technet)
  5. Migrate any IIS websites they wish to keep
  6. Migrate any data they wish to keep to the new server (Sharepoint)
  7. If folder redirection/roaming profiles configured move that stuff over to the new server by updating the user account/group policy settings.
  8. Move FSMO roles and GC to WS08R2 (Might want to wait a few days to make sure everything is remaining operational as you have 21 days from this point).
  9. Uninstall Exchange 2007 from SBS 2008
  10. DCPromo down SBS 2008
  11. Remove the SBS 2008 server from the network

We have not run into this situation with any of our clients yet, but there are a few that are growing at a rate that may place them in this situation in the next year or two.

The above gives us an idea of how to go about keeping the core SBS features, but there are a few others that need to be considered when transitioning away from SBS:

  1. Replacing the TS Gateway services setup to maintain remote connectivity to internal desktops and RDS services.
  2. Replacing the Remote Web Workplace/Access portal with the Win2K8 R2 RDWeb application along with customizing it to meet a similar functionality to RWW/RWA.
  3. Utilizing an MMC structure much like the SBS Native Tools to start with but possibly looking to System Center for an SBS Console like management experience.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Pete P said...

I have a customer approaching their 75 user limit that also wants to move to Office 365. I found the below for moving Exchange to the cloud in an SBS environment which I believe would need to be completed first, then transition away.

Seanpt said...

A few weeks ago I thought I was going to need this for an office. Then it turned out that they had 25 user accounts still in for people they had long ago fired. I cleared out those people and we are sitting pretty.

This is still a great resource and a great way to help show the value in the SBS bundled license. Sharepoint licensing and RDS licensing and Exchange licensing ... oh my.