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We're planning to migrate from SBS 2003 to 2011 in a month or so, and I want to try out the upgrade process before I do it on the real server. I haven't bought the 2011 licence yet, but noticed that there is a trial version at Technet. Is the trial version complete enough to try out a migration?

I also don't have a spare 2003 licence, is there a trial version of 2003 still availible? And in that case, is it upgradeable? If not, any other way of trying it out? I suppose I could use the existing licence, but that isn't really ok, is it? I'm not good enough at legalese to understand the EULAs, maybe it is considered fair use (if there is such a thing)?

Any good advice in general in trying these things? I intend to do it virtually since I don't have heaps of spare hardware, but that shouldn't be an issue, right?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The trial version is (as far as I am aware) just a time limited version of the full version of SBS, so that should be ok.

You can't use your exisiting licence of SBS to install it again in a test environment and I can't find a trial version of SBS 2003 anywhere. One option you may want to consider is purchasing a Technet or MSDN subscription, which will give you access to the media and licences for Windows OS's for Testing and Development purposes. They are not that cheap, but may be useful for you for future work too.

Doing this virtual should be ok, but do bear in mind that SBS 2011 has quit significant memory requirements and will not let you install it if these are not met.

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Thanks! I'll have to try to get the company to shell out the money for a TechNet subscription then I guess :) Unless... I do have a 2003 standard trial cd lying about - are that sort of upgrades possible? – carlpett Mar 15 '11 at 8:10

Your technet editions of SBS are identical to the fully purchased legal versions, so they should be exactly the same as if you had purchased them off the shelf. The only difference is their license agreement.,

So as Sam said, you should be fine upgrading this way.

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