SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 Migration – 50Gb of Public Folders to Migrate took a week to migrate!

Having nearly completed yet another SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 Migration after the longest week of my life so far, I was amazed at how slowly the Public Folder Replica Move actually took to push 50Gb of data between the two servers.

Starting the project on a Monday and having the SBS 2011 server built by Monday afternoon (built virtually using Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server on a new HP ProLiant ML350 G6), I started to move the Exchange Mailboxes and then the Public Folder Replicas to the SBS 2011 server.  The network was originally running on a 10/100 Switch but I upgraded it to a Gigabit Switch on the Tuesday morning so that I had the maximum speed available and both servers had Gigabit cards in them.

At the end of the Tuesday, there were still dozens of Public Folders listed in the Public Folder Instances list in the Exchange System Manager, so I checked the SMTP Virtual Server Settings to see if there were any settings configured that might slow the process down and discovered several settings that would restrict the flow of emails.  The initial setting that I noticed was the “Limit session size to (KB):” setting.  This was limited to 40Mb and as some of the emails in the Public Folders were in the region of 30-40Mb in size, the session size was going to severely impact the flow of mail so I changed it to 1024000 (about 1Gb).

The other setting that I changed was the “Connection Timeout” value on the General Tab.  This was set to timeout after 10 minutes, so I increased the timeout to 2 hours, so that this wouldn’t cause any delays either.

I wasn’t unduly concerned at this point about problems with inbound mail and spammers clogging up the system as I had already installed a SAN/UCC SSL certificate (minimum 5 Domain Names) bought from and had re-pointed port 25 to the SBS 2011 server.

So having made as many changes to the network and SMTP Virtual Server Settings (also restarting the Simple Mail Transport Service) I created a new Receive Connector on the SBS 2011 server to only receive mail from the IP Address of the SBS 2003 server and set the Maximum Message Size Limit to 50Mb and let the two servers talk to each other.

Sometime overnight on the Saturday after starting the migration, the whole 50Gb of Public Folders had migrated across to the SBS 2011 server and all the Public Folder Instances had disappeared!  A whole 5½ days later.

At one point during the PF Replication, I calculated that it was moving at about 500Mb per hour, so all in all, it was going to take in the region of 100 hours to move the entire database.

So – if you are planning a migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 and you have a large Public Folder Database, don’t expect the migration to complete quickly.  Assuming the worst – a Public Folder Database with 75Gb of data in it, I would expect it to take about a week and a half just to push the data to the new server.

Happy migrating!


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.

SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 Migration #3 Under Way and Going Well

I’m now mid-way through my 3rd SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 migration and having used the following article for ALL the migrations, have had nothing but success so far.

The current migration and my last migration are both being done on HP ML110 G6 servers, which initially caused a few headaches trying to install SBS 2011 from the DVD onto the internal HDD’s because once I had installed the relevant RAID controller drivers, the installation refused to continue, but this was solved and I wrote about this here:

The process is very simple, but by far the slowest part of the migration I have come across so far is making sure the SBS 2003 server is patched within an inch of it’s life.

I spent almost 8 hours yesterday installing SBS 2003 SP1, Exchange 2003 SP2 and numerous other patches onto the soon-to-be-retired SBS 2003 server, which didn’t seem to have a processor in the box it was going that slowly.

Today the SBS 2011 install was much quicker and the majority of the migration has been completed, with just the data, shares and user accounts to be moved, then it’s remove Exchange 2003 from the SBS 2003 server and then DCPROMO the box, reboot it and then put it out of it’s misery 🙂

Once that is out of the way – it’s SSL certificate time from and then the job is complete in the 3 days that I have estimated it will take.

If you are planning your own SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 migration, then Demazter’s guide comes tried and tested by me and I would highly recommend it.

If you are not brave enough to tackle it yourself – then please get in touch and I can help you complete it remotely.


Installing SBS 2011 on an HP Proliant ML110 G6 / ML150 G6 / DL360 G7 Server Woes Resolved

If you have been trying to install SBS 2011 on an HP ProLiant ML110 G6, ML150 G6 or DL360 G7 server and have struggled as HP don’t support SBS 2011 on their Easy Set-up CD (apart from the DL360 G7) and booting from the SBS 2011 DVD-ROM and adding the Windows 2008 R2 RAID Controller Drivers doesn’t get you any further, then the solution to your problems is here!

Get hold of an 8Gb USB Memory Stick and download the following software:

(To be able to install / use the software you will need a Windows 7 64-Bit PC).

Rip an .ISO image of the SBS 2011 DVD onto your Windows 7 64-Bit computer, then install / run the software from the link above. Create the bootable USB Memory Stick using the .ISO image you created earlier and when completed, boot the server from the USB stick, add the RAID Controller Drivers ( and you will be able to continue to install SBS 2011.

If, like me, you are in the middle of migrating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2011, then you may want to consider using the following migration guide which takes you painlessly through the entire process: