Upgrade to SBS 2003 [Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Hiya – Harryb here – co-author and publisher for the above title. I like to hold virtual book readings – so here ya go – its the upgrade TO the SBS 2003 product conversation. 🙂


It’s a fact of life that not all SBS 2003 installations are fresh. One key planning area for SBSers is upgrades and migrations. Tavis Patterson from Michigan contributed the following real world planning insights at my request.

Couple of things that I can come up with regarding advanced planning topics on a couple of installs.

1. A non profit that is only about 7 people in the HQ wanted to upgrade to SBS 2003. They had SBS 4.5 and were using Outlook Express with POP3 for email. On our proposal we submitted that we would transfer the domain to no-ip as they were using a dynamic IP DSL account. Also we would be using SMTP straight to the server for the benefits of email. All of this was approved by the on site technical contact and the executive director of the non profit. Little did we know that in the middle of the migration when we called to start the transfer of the DNS information we found out that they had about a 100 people using their domain name for paid email access on their public web site hosting agency along with about a dozen different servers and various mailing list programs as well. Needless to say the web site company was not wanting to change the DNS registration and we didn’t want to accept the risk as well. This was all news to us as we didn’t expect anything of this magnitude for a small office. Perhaps a little more due diligence would have found the problem or perhaps not.

So what was the resolution? We implemented the POP3 Connector and
instead of using mail.xxx.org for the address for VPN and RWW we
used xxx.redirectme.org (a no-ip.com domain). They can’t have the


y SECTIONBrelsford1 SBS 2003Consuting BestDeploymentPrac


benefits of SMTP mail now but this did get us to where we needed to be and the more important thing is that the nonprofit is very happy with the results.

2. In doing an SBS 4.5 migration lately the biggest factor that has to be understood in planning is where do I cut off the use of the whitepaper that Microsoft publishes for migrating from 4.5 to 2003. We have found that at about 10 users and below just throw the whitepaper away and start from scratch. It’s much easier to recreate users and start fresh than follow every little detail of things such as ADMT when those smaller offices never have enforced group policies or group security and just want to access their “company data”. As a solution provider those advanced topics come much after the install and well into a maintenance plan.

Just a couple of items that I’ve seen lately.


Tavis Patterson TAZ Networks



Jeff Middleton writes extensively about upgrades in the migration chapter of this book (Chapter 14).


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