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We are planning on doing the migration and I just wanted to check a few things before starting the process.

  1. I understand the limit is increased to allow 2 domain controllers on the network for 21 days; will anything be affected with the current network during the migration? i.e Will the DHCP server on the Source Server still function correctly or do I need to move this to my router to handle?

  2. I will have about 20 people still working whilst the migration takes place, is this advisable? Will it hurt anything?

  3. Does my source server become the primary domain controller whilst I am migrating?

There are probably a few more questions I will have but this will be a good starting point.

Thanks.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You have some misconceptions here. I'll try to answer your questions while dealing with those:

  1. SBS does not and never has limited you to a single domain controller. It limits you to a single copy of SBS being run on the network. While you are migrating, it allows you to have both of the SBS servers on the same network. After 21 days, your old SBS server will start shutting down every 1-2 hours. The 21 days allow you to do the migration at your old pace. The old server will still function properly, it is up to you to migrate roles like DHCP over to the new server when you are ready.

  2. The standard SBS migration process involves some downtime. You may schedule certain things to occur during off business hours (like Exchange migration and file server migration). Your other alternative is to use a different migration method. There's the swing method available at sbsmigration.com or the zero downtime method available at zerodowntimemigration.com. Both of those methods should provide for considerably less downtime. Both methods do cost some $$$ though

  3. There is no such thing as a primary domian controller. Those things went away with the introduction of Active Directory. We now have a multiple master setup. During the migration, your new SBS server will become an additional domain controller and all FSMO roles will be transferred to it. For more information, read up at Technet.

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Completely agree with most of Jason's post, just wanted to expand - SBS MUST be the FSMO Master DC - this is why you cannot have more than one SBS server on the domain at a time. As noted, MS does allow a grace period for migration, but the reason the source server will start shutting down is that immediately after you start the migration, the target server becomes the FSMO Master and the Source starts logging event log messages about the FSMO roles no longer being held. After 21 days (assuming you're fully patched), SBS starts shutting down. –  Multiverse IT Jul 25 '11 at 20:34
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As for downtime, the migration can be done with limited interruption, usually just a few minutes per user as the mailboxes as transferred. And of course, you're data needs to be moved as well, but if done during off-hours, this too can be minimal. –  Multiverse IT Jul 25 '11 at 20:34
    
Great comments, after reading through the 85 pages of migration notes I picked up on most of that. Thanks for the clarification though, still answered some questions I hadn't written down!! –  webnoob Jul 25 '11 at 22:49
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