David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  
How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking.  If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. 

I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work.  So here is what you need:

  1. Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server).
  2. 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary)
  3. System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V (http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx)
  4. You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy.

The process in outline is below.  If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book)

  • Take a full system backup before starting
  • Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks
  • Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk
  • Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC (see here for details)
  • Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it
  • Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks.  To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here.  Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration.
  • Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM.  Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available.
  • Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked
  • Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that points to the other new disk, again as a pass-through volume.  This will be the SBS 2008 boot disk and can be booted with or without Hyper-V later
  • Perform the Migration as per my book (not yet published) or Whitepaper
  • Start migration process, including creating the answer file.
  • Create a VFD with the answer file on it and boot SBS 2008 to start the migration
  • Finish the migration to the point where the SBS 2003 box is downgraded
  • Turn off SBS 2003 VM and store, recycle or dispose of disks
  • Choose to either make the machine book natively boot to the SBS 2008 partition (in the bios) or continue to use Hyper-V

 

That is it. Much simpler than a swing if your box is good enough to run Hyper-V server.  If you intend on keeping SBS 2008 running under Hyper-V, have a look at this Technet article.

 

ttfn

 

David


Posted Sat, Jan 10 2009 5:33 PM by David Overton

Comments

Brian Meehan wrote re: How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration
on Mon, Jan 12 2009 2:46 AM

This sounds really intriguing, but what about the original SBS 2003 disks under Hyper-V? Doesn't it complain about hardware mismatches? Or worse, fail to boot?

Otherwise, I think it's an awesome solution!

David Overton wrote re: How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration
on Mon, Jan 12 2009 7:53 AM

Brian,

The hardware is the same.  There is some reconfiguring and loading of drivers that happens, but to date when I've done this (about 4-5 times now) it has always booted.  It loads new drivers for network, disk etc, but it has worked.

Of course, as they say, your miileage may vary - this is not guaranteed!

David

Brian Patton wrote re: How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration
on Wed, Jan 21 2009 11:10 PM

I have an additional 2003 DC running on my network and wanted to repurpose the existing SBS 2003 hardware with SBS 2008.

My approach was to use VMware Converter and VMware Server 2 on the 2003 DC to virtualise the SBS 2003 machine. Then I installed Server 2008 with Hyper-V on the old SBS 2003 hardware and proceeded with the migration as per the SBS_Migration.doc installing SBS 2008 in a Hyper-V VM.

Naturally I could have just installed SBS 2008 to the physical hardware but wanted to try out SBS 2008 in Hyper-V.

The one thing I wasn't sure of that made me choose Server 2008 over Hyper-V Server as a host for the SBS 2008 VM was the need to use software RAID mirrors for the OS and VM partitions which I couldn't determine whether Hyper-V Server supports?

I'm very happy with the performance in general of SBS 2008 under Hyper-V. I look forward to Hyper-V R2 to complete the simplicity of backups.

Jamie wrote re: How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration
on Sat, Apr 18 2009 1:47 AM

Hi David -

Fantastic post and great thinking on the migration.  I've been planning out my upgrade strategy and decided to test this approach, but I've hit a snag.  When I attempt to offline the SBS 2003 OS disk in Hyper-V, diskpart complains that it can't take the disk offline because it is system parition.  Any thoughts or direction?

Thanks

Jamie

David Overton wrote re: How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration
on Sun, Apr 19 2009 1:07 AM

Jamie,

Did you install Hyper-V onto the SBS 2003 disk?  if so, you will need to copy the install to another disk - it is not good enough to have it as a partition.

Thanks

David

Add a Comment

(optional)  
(optional)
(required)  
Remember Me?

(c)David Overton 2006-18