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Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

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  • Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

    Hi guys (and gals),

    One of the few older configurations in our AD network is our file server, a Windows Server 2003R2 box, x86. All files are stored via direct-attached Powervault SCSI RAID boxes; there are two MD1000 boxes attached to the system, comprising our drive letters with all shares located on them, both of which are very large. File serving is this system's only role.

    Working in the public sector, I have a limited budget. I am not going to get funds to buy a second file server to migrate to. I will probably have a time frame of about 48 hours from start to finish to upgrade the server I have (during which I do not need to have the server live to the network), and I know that I cannot migrate an x86 box straight to Server 2008R2. I am trying to plan ahead of this event (which will hopefully occur during the winter holidays).

    I am looking for advice on the best way to migrate this system to 08R2, while keeping all my shares and privileges intact. Any advice you can give would be sincerely appreciated. While I have been a sysadmin for some time, feel free to treat me like a newbie on this one; simple is good.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

    More information needed on e.g. AD and roles held by the server.
    I presume since you have the SCSI DAS using a PC as a temporary server is not an option?

    Telling your boss things like "Hell, No" will not make you popular but you are going to be under major pressure to do it in 48 hours -- for self defence if nothing else, doing some work during the holidays (school?) may be better for you
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

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

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    • #3
      Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
      More information needed on e.g. AD and roles held by the server.
      I presume since you have the SCSI DAS using a PC as a temporary server is not an option?

      Telling your boss things like "Hell, No" will not make you popular but you are going to be under major pressure to do it in 48 hours -- for self defence if nothing else, doing some work during the holidays (school?) may be better for you
      The rest of our AD roles are handled by other systems. All but two AD controllers are virtualized through VSphere, with the remaining two (primary and secondary AD) running on their own hardware. The server in question is a file server only; if it were downed, we would not lose DHCP, DNS, etc, but any user without Offline Files on would lose access to documents for the time of the server outage.

      I might be able to gain an additional day's time to make this work beyond 48 hours, but that would be it. As you suggested, due to the SCSI DAS, using a PC server would be extremely difficult; I'd need a system that could support the SCSI controllers I'm working with; our older systems don't support PCIe, our newer ones are low-profile only.

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      • #4
        Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

        here's some thinking out of the box (pun only partly intended)

        pull the guts out of the new low-profile workstations. set it up on the bench.
        configure it exactly the same as the existing server (but not connected to the network)
        you can probably export a list of file shares from the server (file migration wizard springs to mind)


        shut down the server on, say, the thursday night at 10pm, pull the scsi card and put it in the workstation.
        plug it back in and get it working.

        then you're free on Friday to do the installation of 2008 on the server, and late friday night, pull the card back out of the pc-guts, get it installed on the server, and then re-run the file migration wizard.

        It's a big complex.. but may help. It also gives you a testing point - if it IS all crap when it's not working on friday, you can shut the workstation-guts down, and put the server back on lkine very quickly
        Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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        • #5
          Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

          TehCamel, thanks for your reply.

          Have you used MS' File Server Migration Tool before? How easy is it to back up all of the share/privilege information with it?

          I've done some research on it, knowing that it's probably going to be a go-to tool in this situation, but as I have no experience with it, I'm wondering how well it has worked for others. I've had great experiences with some Microsoft migration utilities and/or management tools --and others look great until you're in the middle, scratching your head.

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          • #6
            Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

            I'm not 100% sure, but I think the File Server Migration Toolkit requires the source and target to both be online as it uses DFS.

            Have you seen this kb before? I haven't used this process on WS08 R2 but I've used it quite a bit on W2K3 and it worked pretty slick. It may be worth a look.
            http://support.microsoft.com/kb/125996

            Also if you're only using NTFS based permissions you could dump all the sharenames and paths to a text file and script their creation on the other server.

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            • #7
              Re: Migration plan advice - 2003 to 2008R2

              Originally posted by ScottMcD View Post
              I'm not 100% sure, but I think the File Server Migration Toolkit requires the source and target to both be online as it uses DFS.

              Have you seen this kb before? I haven't used this process on WS08 R2 but I've used it quite a bit on W2K3 and it worked pretty slick. It may be worth a look.
              http://support.microsoft.com/kb/125996

              Also if you're only using NTFS based permissions you could dump all the sharenames and paths to a text file and script their creation on the other server.
              That was my first worry with FSMT, Scott. Everything seemed like it did a real replication that required [equal] storage on both servers. Even on the off chance I could get another server, I wouldn't be able to replicate the storage; it would just give me a chance to prep the OS on a new system prior to hooking the PowerVaults up to it instead of the old server.

              I haven't seen that KB before. It looks too simple and too good to be true, as if I could disconnect the Powervaults (just to be safe), reload the system, import the old registry keys (assuming I named the server the same, which I would), shut down, reconnect the PowerVaults, and be right back up. Let me ask this, though: does that work for only root shares? We have all of our users' document folders redirected to home folders in some of our shares, and my biggest concern would be about having to recreate those privileges user-by-user.

              I am only using NTFS permissions on this server, there's nothing special as we don't have any UNIX environment other than a single Macintosh lab; those Mac systems are bound to Active Directory, so user home folders may have a few Spotlight caches, but nothing out of the ordinary.

              Tomorrow, I'll look at the registry keys.

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