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Upgrading SBS 2003

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  • Upgrading SBS 2003


    I have a Windows SBS 2003 R2 site and I am about to swap out the hardware.

    The site uses the Exchange and Sharepoint features of SBS and home directories

    There are about 20 active users and it is unlikely to grow although they do have a high turnover of staff so adding and deleting users is a regular task. I am convinced that the future for email is the cloud and possibly Sharepoint hosting however they have not got the bandwidth in their location yet and the costs per hosted exchange and sharepoint are still prohibitive.

    I was intending to do a fresh install of SBS2003, however this is now out of support and I am concerned that it won't be supported from a hardware compatibility perspective.

    My question therefore is , what version of SBS should I upgrade to ?

    I have this criteria

    It must be as easy to mange as SBS2003
    Users may migrate to the cloud in 2-3 years
    I will use the Swing Migration utility to migrate



  • #2
    Re: Upgrading SBS 2003

    SBS has been officially retired, the latest version was 2011 (Server 2008R2/Exchange 2010 platform). This is still available through retailers/ebay etc and is (IMHO) a very viable product. The swing migration kit covers 2003 to 2011 (

    If you are really planning to go "cloudy with a chance of PRISM", you can get Server 2012R2 Essentials, which is a lightweight server with cloud integration ( but does not have Exchange included.

    IMHO think very carefully about putting your critical business data into the cloud for a number of reasons:
    Security (data available only to you, Microsoft and Microsoft's friends the NSA, FBI, MI5, KGB, TLA...)
    Reliability (clouds have gone down and there is damn all you can do about it)
    Connectivity (cloud data assumes your users have constant, non-limited, high speed internet access at all times)
    Recoverability (I'm sure the cloud is backed up, but you are not in control, so recovering an old version of a file could well be difficult)
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      Re: Upgrading SBS 2003

      I am at this very moment doing a migration from SBS 2003 to 2011. The information we got from our HP supplier is that there are still plenty of copies of ROK (Re-Seller Option Kit, cos OEM isn't good enough for HP!) media in the channel, at least in the UK.

      I personally do not think the cloud is everyone's future despite what all the vendors want us to think, and there will come a day IMO when there will be a big enough outage to shake everyone's faith. For example, all of our customers who were ardent fans of Blackberry moved after their big outage.
      BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
      Cruachan's Blog