SBS 2003 Physical to SBS 2011 Virtual Migration completed

I have just completed a migration from SBS 2003 as a physical server to SBS 2011 as a Virtual Server running on Microsoft Hyper-V and the entire process went without a hitch.

As usual, the article that I followed was Demazter’s excellent migration article.

I did have some fun working out how to create and load up the SBS migration file needed on the SBS 2011 server to tell the installation that it is a migration, not a clean install. After some head scratching, I created a Virtual Floppy Disk file, loaded it onto an existing Virtual Server, copied the SBS Answer File to the Virtual Floppy Disk, dismounted it, re-configured the SBS 2011 Virtual Server to also load the Virtual Floppy Disk and that was ll that was needed.

Again, the entire process took 3 days – which so far every other migration I have performed has taken. The longest / slowest part is the migration of Exchange Mailboxes and data, but once that is done, the rest is much quicker.

So, if you are wondering if you can migrate to SBS 2011 in a Virtual Server environment, I can happily confirm that it can.


12 Responses

  1. Hello,

    We have SBS 2003 in physical server and we have purchased new Dell server to Migrate it to Win2k8 R2 Enterprise server.

    We have only 1 License for Win2k8 Enterprise server, can we still Install the Win2k8 server in virtual server environment or do you suggest it? We also have to install Exchange 2010 on new DC.

    Can you please suggest!

  2. Thanks a lot Alan. But again I have a question:

    For each virtual machine’ server O/S we must need another license for Windows server 2008 R2?

    Isn’t it?

    • No – Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise comes with 4 Virtual Server Licenses – so you don’t need to buy anything else 🙂

      • Did you mean- We can install another 4 Windows server 2008 Enterprise server O/S on those 4 virtual servers under one physical server O/S, when we have one License of the server?

        Is it necessary to install one server on physical hardware without using virtual technology?

      • Short answer is yes.

        “Is it necessary to install one server on physical hardware without using virtual technology?” – don’t understand your question.

  3. Short answer is yes.– Thanks a lot for clearing my doubts- It means – I will provide same (product key Key of original O/S) for all 4 virtual server O/S. I did not know that….Great!

    I hope there will be no violation of license then. I think I do not understand Virtual technology better. Can you please give link of any of your post that describes how to install O/S in Win2k8 Server or similar?

    Thanks a Lot again…

  4. Did you install IIS on new server before you migrated the exchange server? How will IIS migration work if you need to migrate from Server 2003 to Server 2008?

    Please let me know

  5. Can you please let me know on above query Alan?



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