Archive for the ‘Windows 2000’ Category

Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration.

My first tip Migration Tip #1 – Source Server Health can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/migration-tip-1-source-server-health/

My second tip Migration Tip #2 – The Practice Run can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/migration-tip-2-%e2%80%93-the-practice-run/

My third tip Migration Tip #3 – Preparing for Live Migration can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/migration-tip-3-preparing-for-live-migration/

My fourth top Migration Tip #4 – The Migration can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/migration-tip-4-the-migration/

My fifth tip is based around testing and clearing up after the migration.  You’ve done all the hardwork, it would be a real shame to get this far and to encounter problems when you start to remove the old system.

Check over your work, do some test shutdowns of the old system.  Making sure that all users, data and systems are all operational during the shutdown.  Even go as far as to turn the system off for a week before you actually remove it from the network.  Making sure you tell your users that you are doing this and that any glitches you want to know about.  Believe me, all too often they will put up with a glitch and won’t tell you about it, until it’s too late.  You need to make it very clear that no matter how small you need to know about it during this “down” time.  It’s easier to resolve when the system is available than it is when it’s no longer part of your network.

There may be additional tasks you will need to perform once the old system is decomissioned.  These could include (but are not limited to):

  • Backups, check you are backing up the data/system in it’s new location.
  • Data flow, check that any dataflow in, out and around your network/systems have been updated to accomodate the changes you have made.  for example if it’s an Exchange migration, make sure that the firewall rules that control mailflow have been updated.  If it’s a SQL Database, make sure that any scripts/log shipping/etc have been modified. 
  • Check any internal/external DNS entries have been modified if required.  If migrating to the cloud these will be external changes, if internal migrations then they will be internal changes.
  • Check that any systems that interact with what has been migrated are still functioning, MFD’s, Fax Machines, NAS  devices etc etc.  The list is endless and only you will know what devices/systems you have in place.  Check them all.
  • Check with your users that they are happy that all of what they need access to is working and functioning as they expect it to.
  • Update your network documentation, do this now, whilst it’s still fresh in your mind.

Finally, once all that has been completed and you are happy that everything is working, decomission the old system.  Making sure of course you take a final backup before you do so.  Make sure you follow the correct procedure for removing the system you are migrating away from.  Don’t just turn it off and take it away.  Not following the correct procedure, can and will effect your network and any future migrations.

This is my final migration tip, I hope you have found them useful.  Please watch out for my next migration guide which will be available in the next few weeks which is Migrating Small Business Server 2008 to Small Business Server 2011.

If you are planning on a migration and are not comfortable with the process then Demazter IT Services can assist you. Please contact me on glen@demazter.co.uk.

All versions of Microsoft Exchange and Small Business Server require the use of an SSL Certificate. Whilst they will quite happily use a self-signed certificate a commercial certificate can save a lot of time and hassle, purchase Exchange/SBS SSL Certificates at an excellent price from: http://www.exchangecertificates.com

Advertisements

Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration.

My first tip Migration Tip #1 – Source Server Health can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/migration-tip-1-source-server-health/

My second tip Migration Tip #2 – The Practice Run can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/migration-tip-2-%e2%80%93-the-practice-run/

So, we now have a healthy source server and you have practice until the match sticks snap what next?

My third tip is about making sure you are prepared for the task ahead. Any type of migration needs to be taken seriously, it is a business critical operation you are about to embark on. If you are in any doubt about it at all, now is the time to say so, and if necessary call in help.

If you are happy with the process and confident you are able to complete the steps to achieve your goal then the next thing we need to do is plan a time to do it.

Most migrations are not time limited other than SBS to SBS migrations that have a limit of 21 days where both SBS servers can co-exist at the same time.

Make people aware of what you are doing, involve them, explain that you are expecting to have teething problems but would prefer if they collated them and then passed them to you when you ask for them. The last thing you want is to try trouble shooting whilst trying to complete a migration.

Find out if there is anything business critical happening (a big bid/contract etc that needs to be out just when you take the mail system offline) that could be delayed by the work you are carrying out, and if so, delay your migration. Talk to absolutely every member of staff. Manage Expectation.

In reality, if you get it bang on, the end users shouldn’t even notice and I would say 99% of the migrations I have done this has been the case. But there is always the odd one.

Have a recovery plan, know how to back out of what you are doing if it does go pear shaped. If you need to lock and migrate huge amounts of data then make sure you plan this stage of the migration for when people aren’t going to be using the system as heavily.

Document what you are doing, make notes of which stage you have got to and what action you have just taken.  This might seem like a waste of time, but take it from someone who has picked up a few failed migrations from people just like yourself, it’s not.  Knowing exactly what stage you are at will help a consultant very quickly get to grips with the situation and this means a faster resolution.

And, most importantly of all, make sure you have backups! Take more than one, take one off-site, and do it different ways. I like to have a backup on either removable storage so I can access it quickly but also on tape just to be sure.

Watch out for tip Migration Tip #4 – The Migration

If you are planning on a migration and are not comfortable with the process then Demazter IT Services can assist you. Please contact me on glen@demazter.co.uk.

All versions of Microsoft Exchange and Small Business Server require the use of an SSL Certificate. Whilst they will quite happily use a self-signed certificate a commercial certificate can save a lot of time and hassle, purchase Exchange/SBS SSL Certificates at an excellent price from: http://www.exchangecertificates.com/

Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration.

My first tip Migration Tip #1 – Source Server Health can be found here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/migration-tip-1-source-server-health/

My second tip is about making sure you are familiar with the technology you are migrating to.

For many people, migrating to a new technology will be the first and only time they perform this task. So, it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the setup process before you do it for real.  With the use of virtualisation technologies we can install and test new products without the need for new hardware and without the possible impact on our live environment.

There are a number of virtualisation products that will allow you to do this on your desktop/laptop computer. You need to consider that most new products (if not all) will be based on x64 bit architecture. This does limit the virtualisation technologies that you can use on the desktop. Some of my favourites are listed below.

VMWare Workstation, this is a paid product but worth its weight in gold: http://store.vmware.com/store/vmwde/en_IE/pd/productID.166452200/Currency.GBP/?src=PaidSearch_Google_PersonalDesktop_WKSN_EMEA_UK_EN_Brand
VMWare Server, this is free for use and technically should only be used on a Server Operating System, but it does work on Desktop OS for testing purposes: http://www.vmware.com/products/server/overview.html
Virtual Box: http://www.sun.com/software/products/virtualbox/get.jsp

Whichever technology you use, virtualisation will allow you to install the new software in a test environment, and keep installing it until you are happy with the process. Run through it 2, 3 even 4 times. Make sure you are familiar with the screens and what answers you are going to provide to the wizards. Take notes, even write a step-by-step of what you encountered and when you encountered it. Remember, the more you do now when you are in a safe “sandbox” environment, the easier and less pressurised the real thing will be. Don’t pay too much attention to the actual data you are entering as some of this will change when you do a migration as opposed to a new installation.

For the actual Migration Pick a migration guide for your technologies, it’s always best to use one that’s recommended by others and they have had good success with.  You will find my migration guides here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/category/migration-guides/ I use my guides in my own migrations and update them with any changes as often as possible.  Read the guide thoroughly before you start the migration.   It’s easier to get answers when you are not under pressure to fix things.

If you have the time and the inclination I would also suggest that you convert your physical source server to a virtual one. This will allow you to do a test migration with your actual source server. There are many tools for performing the capture and they depend on the virtualisation technology you are using and whether you want a free or paid product. Some examples of methods that can be used to convert physical machines to virtual ones can be found here: http://4sysops.com/archives/p2v-for-vmware-six-ways-to-convert-physical-to-virtual/

Doing a virtual migration with a virtual copy of your actual source server is a great way to identify any problems you may encounter during the real live migration. You then have the opportunity to rectify these issues and then try the migration again. Once you are happy the migration has worked you are then in a position to do the live backup. I would be doing 3 to 4 virtual migrations just to be absolutely sure.

Watch out for tip Migration Tip #3 – Preparing for Live Migration in the next day or two.

If you are planning on a migration and are not comfortable with the process then Demazter IT Services can assist you. Please contact me on glen@demazter.co.uk.

All versions of Microsoft Exchange and Small Business Server require the use of an SSL Certificate. Whilst they will quite happily use a self-signed certificate a commercial certificate can save a lot of time and hassle, purchase Exchange/SBS SSL Certificates at an excellent price from: http://www.exchangecertificates.com/

Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration.

My first tip is around source server preparation.

No migration is an easy migration, there is always potential for something to go wrong. All we can do is try to minimize this risk.

The biggest risk comes from the system we already have in place, the integrity of this system is paramount in ensuring a successful migration.

Making sure your source system is healthy and configured correctly will go a long way to ensuring you have a smooth migration.

Use analyzers and health check tools that are available from the vendor. Microsoft, for example, have a number of best practice analyzer tools. These can be used to identify any problems the system may have and provide advice on how to resolve them. Some of the ones I use regularly are listed below:

Small Business Server 2003 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=3874527a-de19-49bb-800f-352f3b6f2922&displaylang=en
Small Business Server 2008 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=86a1aa32-9814-484e-bd43-3e42aec7f731&displaylang=en
Exchange Server BPA (not for Exchange 2007 or 2010, the built in BPA should be used): http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=dbab201f-4bee-4943-ac22-e2ddbd258df3&displaylang=en
Internet Security and Acceleration Server BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d22ec2b9-4cd3-4bb6-91ec-0829e5f84063
SQL Server 2005 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=da0531e4-e94c-4991-82fa-f0e3fbd05e63&displaylang=en

In a Microsoft migration I will use tools like DCDIAG, NETDIAG, REPLMON and REPADMIN to check for errors, even if it’s a single server. You would be surprised how easy it is to misconfigure a single server. Further details on the usage of these tools can be found here:

DCDIAG: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773199(WS.10).aspx
NETDIAG: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782085(WS.10).aspx
REPLMON: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772954(WS.10).aspx
REPADMIN: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755360(WS.10).aspx

Make sure the source system is up-to-date. All updates, service packs etc need to be applied. This may seem like a waste of time on a system that you are soon to be migrating out of your network but really it isn’t. New products from the same vendor normally rely on the source system being up-to-date. I have been known to spend hours installing service packs and updates on a source server.

It’s worth spending the time getting this part of the migration perfect. There are no timescales in play here you can take your time, once you start migrating there are pressures at play that will make the slightest hiccup seem like your whole world is imploding. I would consider this part of the migration process the most important, and therefore if you are not comfortable with this process, hire someone who is. Buying in consulting services to make sure the server is health can save you a lot of money.

Watch out for tip Migration Tip #2 – The Practice Run in the next day or two.

If you are planning on a migration and are not comfortable with the process then Demazter IT Services can assist you. Please contact me on glen@demazter.co.uk.

All versions of Microsoft Exchange and Small Business Server require the use of an SSL Certificate. Whilst they will quite happily use a self signed certificate a commercial certificate can save a lot of time and hassle, purchase Exchange/SBS SSL Certificates at an excellent price from: http://www.exchangecertificates.com/

Microsoft introduced Windows Update back in the days of Windows 98. This was a facility to get regular updates for Windows, both security updates, minor bug updates, driver updates and service packs. Since then the product has evolved. With Windows Vista and Windows 7 it’s integrated as a service into the operating system. (more…)

If your simply here to find out if this is possible then take it from me the answer is most definitely NO! Well not if you want a “proper” SBS installation anyway.  I tried this virtually with a clean installation of Windows 2000 and ALL updates, so it was a completely vanilla installation with nothing else that could possibly interfere.  So if that’s all you needed then you are done.  If you want to find out what I went through then read on.

Just to re-iterate It did not work, and I tried it 13 times!!!  Please DO NOT follow the steps in this Blog without reading the whole process first!

There are other blogs out there that will tell you that you have to do the SBS2008 installation manually if you want this to succeed.  I was able to get SBS 2008 to join to the domain, transfer all the FSMO roles and it seemed to have a working installation of Exchange 2007 (although because I was doing this virtually and my main aim was to see if I could actually complete the migration I didn’t thoroughly test Exchange) none of the other features that make moving to SBS2008 worthwhile were available.

Sure I had the option of running through the SBS Repair guide and performing all the tasks one by one to repair each and every function of SBS2008 but is it worth it? How long do we think that might have taken?  And would it have ever worked properly once it was done?

Warning Signs!

I should have known from the start when I couldn’t even use Windows 2000 to create the answerfile required to put the SBS2008 installation into Migration mode that I was off to a bad start.  But being as stubborn as I am I persisted, using my Windows 7 host to create the answer by running the SBSAFG.EXE from the SBS DVD.

So I preped my 2000 domain by raising it’s functionality to Native Mode and then run sourcetool.exe from the SBS DVD, the AD preparation ran through OK as I would have expected but it failed to launch the answerfile tool.  Warning sign number 2!!

So I now had my answerfile and I have booted my new VM with the SBS DVD and the answerfile, all seems to go well, it detects the answerfile (as I would expect) runs through the wizard, right up until the last screen when the wizard stops responding and you get the usual would you like to search for a solution online dialogue box.  On I think it was attempt 10 I did try this but it didn’t do me any good!

That was just the beginning!

After the crashed out SBS Migration wizard we are presented with a SBS2008 desktop.  The server isn’t a Domain Controller, no Sharepoint configured; Exchange appears to be installed and looks like it is configurable using the Exchange Management Console.  IIS hasn’t been configured as per an SBS installation, OWA doesn’t work.  And I also cannot get into the SBS Console.

First things first, regardless of all the “broken” items if SBS needs to be a Domain Controller and it MUST hold all 5 FSMO roles along with the Global Catalog role.  To achieve this we need to run DCPROMO.  Select advanced mode and check to install DNS during installation.  You can try this or you can take it from me that it will fail and move on to the next step.

DCPROMO will fail without some intervention.  To make it work run DCPROMO only this time once you have clicked advanced mode and moved to the next screen do the following:

  • Start > Run > CMD <click OK>
  • type CD\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 <press ENTER>
  • type COPY NTDS.DIT SBSNTDS.DIT <press ENTER>
  • make sure you get “1 file copied”
  • type EXIT <press ENTER>

Now you can complete the DCPROMO wizard.  Once finished and the server has been restarted log back in and transfer the 5 FSMO roles as per: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801

You will also need to make the server a Global Catalog server.  To do this open Active Directory Sites and Services, expand the SBS2008 Servername and right click on NTDS Settings, check the box to make it a Global Catalog.

That was the easy bit!!

Now we need to get into the nitty gritty.  If you launch Active Directory Users and Computers you will notice that we are missing the SBS specific Organisation Unit MyBusiness and all its sub OU’s

If you open Group Policy Management Console you will notice that none of the SBS Specific Group Policies exist.

You will also find if you try to run the SBS Console (where EVERYTHING in SBS should be configured) it will also fail to launch.

To repair the SBS Console got Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features, select Small Business Server and click Change.  On the dialog box select Repair (you will need the 2nd SBS DVD)

You will then need to run through each procedure in the SBS Repair Guide which can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd430085(WS.10).aspx 

Is it worth it??

My opinion NO! Because when you have done this which could take a day or two will it work as it should? I don’t know because after 2 days and 13 failed migration attempts (and believe me I tried everything I could think of, even a repair install of SBS2008 of the top of the failed migration) I decided it wasn’t even worth contemplating.

The way to complete the migration is to either do an in-place upgrade of your Windows 2000 Domain Controller to Windows 2003 or if you would rather not do this install a temporary Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 Server and make this a Domain Controller.

This will allow you to demote the Windows 2000 server, leave your domain in tact and then migrate from Windows 2003 to SBS2008 as per my guide here: https://demazter.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/migrate-windows-2003-with-exchange-to-small-business-server-2008/