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Migrating two Server 2003 servers to Server 2012 R2

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  • Migrating two Server 2003 servers to Server 2012 R2

    Hi folks,

    I've got a fairly ancient pair of servers and the hardware is on it's last legs. Ideally, I want to replace both devices with new hardware, and obviously upgrade the operating system at the same time.

    The boxes are as follows:- which has the following roles
    - Domain Controller
    - Exchange Server 2007
    - SQL Server 2005
    - DNS
    - DHCP which is just a file server

    Both boxes are running Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise

    I need to keep the exchange server name the same. I don't like the fact that Exchange and SQL are running on the same box.

    I've read various articles on about migrating from 2003 to 2012, and also about renaming Domain controllers, but I really don't know where to start with this.

    Can anyone offer any insight as to how they would attack this problem. My initial gut feeling was as follows:-

    1) Rename to
    2) Build a new '' box from scratch (this is straightforward because there's no application software on it)
    3) Copy all the data over from oldserver, shut it down and set it aside
    4) My theory now is to make the new Domain / DNS / DHCP server which I'm figuring will make phase 2 more straightforward.

    But where do I even begin with migrating the other box? I honestly don't know how to start.

    I'd like the new model to fit in with my Backup Exec licensing as well if possible.

    1 x Backup Exec Server licence
    2 x Applications and Database licenses
    1 x Windows Server licence

    So for a final layout, I'm thinking

    Box 1) Existing Backup Exec server / B2D array - leave this as it is
    Box 2) SQL Server - using one of the Application and Database licenses
    Box 3) Exchange Server - using the other application and Database license
    Box 4) File Server - using the Windows server licence

    I appreciate any advice you can offer.


    Last edited by stevelup; 12th March 2017, 13:03.

  • #2
    OK, I'll throw a few things out there...
    1. Ideally you wouldn't have Exchange on a DC and, as you mentioned, SQL and Exchange shouldn't be on the same box too.
    2. Have you considered VMs? Hyper-V on two beefy servers can get you a lot of workloads (easily 4 VMs and more if needed)
    3. I would also consider getting rid of Backup Exec. Go with an image based backup solution. IMO the built in backup with scripts and a NAS device synching to Amazon Glacier or Microsoft Azure would be a nice little solution and much better than Backup Exec.
    4. I would not reuse server names. Establish a naming convention and then for things like email use a DNS alias (CNAME).

    Network Consultant/Engineer
    Baltimore - Washington area and beyond


    • #3
      Many thanks - some good food for thought there. Apologies for the delay in responding, I didn't get an e-mail notification.


      • #4
        No prob. I'm a bit slow too.

        Network Consultant/Engineer
        Baltimore - Washington area and beyond