I am moving our 2003 SBS server to a new machine, and upgrading it to 2008 R2 SBS standard.

I want to install the 2008 server as a second DC, leave both online for a week, to make sure the second server is operating correctly, then transfer roles from the 2003 to the 2008 server.

I have 15 CALs installed on the 2003 server.

What do I need to know to allow them both to function concurrently for a week license-wise?

I am not asking about anything technical in terms of the migration/install/decommission .



Both SBS 2003 and 2008 SBS require that they be the only SBS in the organisation and the domain. SBS 2008 and SBS 2003 also create their own domains, and do not permit you to join them as a member server of any other domains.

So I don't know if you were planning on having them running in the same domain or forest, but if you were, then that's not going to be possible, licensing wise or physically.

Given that first sentence (That they're only one SBS per organisation) I'd be guessing that it'd be a bit of a no-no.

Thirdly, 2008 CALs can be downgraded to 2003 CALs (but you forfiet the right to use the 2008 licenses), but 2003 licenses are not automatically upgraded to 2008 (unless you have Software Assurance) so you'll need new CALs there too. This is an exception if you're running SBS 2003 R2, but that expired halfway through 2009.

You'll find a lot of questions and answers regarding SBS licensing (which can be a minefield, especially with the premium edition) here.

  • First, thanks for the quick and informative reply. I've got software assurance for my 2003 license and CALs, so I have the 2008 Software in hand. So I MUST do an upgrade over the top of the existing server I guess. Would you suggest I do this and then move it to the other hardware as a backup and restore type of operation? I'm seeing that this is going to be fun ;) – brennanag Oct 21 '10 at 23:57
  • I would suggest doing the upgrade in-place of the 2003 box and then moving it (as you suggested) as 2008 is a bit more forgiving with its HCL. There are some snags to upgrading 2003 SBS to 2008 though, give me a min and I'll dig it up. – Mark Henderson Oct 22 '10 at 0:02
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    Turns out Microsoft have a migration guide. I strongly suggest you have a good read through. Check out this q/a here: serverfault.com/questions/55838/… – Mark Henderson Oct 22 '10 at 0:03
  • Much appreciated. I had already printed and prepped it for reading, but this helps a lot. thanks. – brennanag Oct 22 '10 at 0:20

For clarification: You can't do in in place upgrade from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and you also can't do an in place upgrade from a 32bit OS to a 64bit OS, you must perform a migration.

In addition, if you're using the Microsoft migration guide or the sbsmigration.com kit (and I would suggest that you use one or the other and not attempt this on your own) both SBS servers can be joined to the same domain for 21 days.

You'll need SBS 2008 CAL's of which you should have at least 5 that come with SBS 2008.



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