Help with replacing a server

I need some good fairly easy to follow information on how to replace a server. I am replaceing a win 2k small business server (domain server) that supports 10 clients with a new win 2003 dell server. I need to replace user accounts, network folders and likley will have to keep the internal ip adresses the same in order to keep 2 mission critical legacy programs working (legacy programs have no documentation available but they work fine).

Uhhh

No offense, but it does not sound like you are suited for this kind of task.

Get someone that knows what to do and follow what they are doing. If this is mission critical / business critical things, I'd be weary. I'm not trying to discourage you, but how you worded the question "fairly easy to follow information on how to replace a server" there will be "no fairly easy to follow information" for something like this, it will be somewhat complicated, and then you throw in that it is a server that already have live information such as critical programs and already has active directory running / file shares / etc.,

Look up 2000 for 2003 migration guides for a start

Secondly, see how everything is backed up already and then work from that.

You will need to do ALOT of preplanning for this kind of project, just don't pull the server right off.

Have you thought about just making the current server a secondary controller adding to the redundancy of the network? Maybe make a cluster? etc.,

-fin

MS has a lot of stuff on going from 2k to 2k3.

Not sure why you need to replace the user accounts. In that case, why not just start over. Just build a new 2k3 domain and be done with it. Then hope the legacy app doesn't use some NTLM v1 or something.

"No offense, but it does not sound like you are suited for this kind of task. "

You are correct. I am a .NET programmer, not a server admin. However for various reasons (good and bad) I am the assigned the job.

"You will need to do ALOT of preplanning for this kind of project, just don't pull the server right off. "

Yeah, I don't plan on doing that. I was thinking of setting up the server disconnected from the network. Transferring data, using the exact IP addresses, domain names, and installing programs. Then I would turn off the main server and connect the new server. See what breaks and what doesn't and put the old server back in case that nothing works.

"Have you thought about just making the current server a secondary controller adding to the redundancy of the network? Maybe make a cluster? etc., "

I was thinking of that too, but the goal is to completely remove the old server, so I want to make sure that if it is set up as a secondary controller that it could be reset to be a primary controller after the old server is removed.

As far as I know you can't have a secondary domain controller with an SBS already as a domain controller, so you couldn't just do a seemless dcpromo and remove the old one.

I'd do what you're planning to do and just set it up separately and manually mirror the settings, since there's only ten users. Then pull a current (or just a new one) desktop over and join it to the domain and test everything, including the legacy apps and see what else needs to be addressed.

If you have to migrate Exchange over too, then you'll have to read up on doing that with concern to if it's different versions.

Since this is a live situation, then you should probably spend the work week getting as close to perfect as you can, then do the actual migration of clients over on the weekend.

You will miss something, so all you can really do is miss as little as possible and address those areas Monday morning. It's a tough job and should really be done by someone with experience, so take your time, it's only really mission critical after you make the final transition, so test test test with everything that gets done during the week on the new server.

thanks for your input.

"It's a tough job and should really be done by someone with experience"

LOL! Then how will I learn?

"...so take your time"

Of course I will, they are paying me by the hour.

"LOL! Then how will I learn?"

Good point, I never practice what I preach. I'm always sticking my nose into things I've never done before. But the nice thing for me is I'm the only IT guy, so first of all if something does go wrong, they have no idea what happened, and second they can't fire me after I break something, they have to at least wait until I fix it. Good luck, by the way depending upon the actual set-up is, if they are using SBS to its full potential, then there are a lot of areas you're going to have to cover. I seem to remember a migration kit made by a third party that might be exactly what you're looking for. If I run acrossed it I'll post the link here.

edit

here's the link

http://www.sbsmigration.com/

Symantec makes a piece of software called active state or something like that.

Basically it allows you to clone\ghost os from one machine to another with disimilar hardware.

Why are you upgrading to 2k3? It will probably break those apps. Id buy a new server, make it a dc, demote the other one (make sure you transfer the FSMO roles) then demote the other to a standalone box.

Jeff Middleton
SBS migration.com
works well, but is not simple.
If you have to do this, this is the way to do it.
I've used it and it works well. This is definatly non trivial
Rob

Also any mission critical apps shouldn't be run on a dc.

The biggest issue is the firewall that we use. It is an old firebox 700. It works perfect now, but it's so old that I can't even find the admin software or user manual. I need to make sure that I keep the network settings on the new server (names, IP addresses etc) exactly the same or so that the firewall will allow access to the interwebs. I ran ipconfig /all and saved that info planning to set those values on the new server. Do you think that will be enough?

There are only a few apps otherwise and they are thin client that connect to sql server. So I will just back up the sql DBs to a client computer (3 or 4 gigs total size) then restore them on the new server.

start with the physical first.

do you have enough power for the server?

will it fit in the rack? have the tools?

have the cooling for it?

don't just plug this server into an outlet and hope that it doesn't take down the etire rack or room.

stephen

The network folders can be done with a program called Secure Copy from Scriptlogic. We use it when we migrate servers. It copies all user account permissions on file folders.

I wouldn't pay for software to migrate permissions. Just back it up and restore it to the other server. I guess i'm just cheap.