We recently took two clients from Windows Small Business Server 2003 and 2008 respectively to the new 2011 version of the product using the published migration instructions provided by Microsoft.
We have to say that the process was, on the whole, painless and simple to perform.
Unlike previous versions of SBS that would not allow another SBS server to exist on the same network, 2011 will co-exist with your old SBS server for 21 days in “migration mode” allowing you to take your time performing the migration steps.
During the upgrade process, the two servers operate in harmony with each other sharing the Exchange mail delivery responsibly and Active Directory functions.
Clear and concise steps are provided for the migration of Exchange Mailboxes, user data files, and Sharepoint sites.
Once all the data are moved, server roles are transferred and an orderly demotion and subsequent removal of your old SBS server is performed.
The net result is a seamless upgrade with minimal user impact and no loss of user profile data, customizations or calendar and appointment functionality.
In fact, the most painful step of the entire migration was re-issuing the new self signed certificate for remote access by smartphones and laptops. But even this process was simple and clear.
In short, if you are running an old version of Small Business Server such as 2003, there are many benefits to the 2011 upgrade.
- Incredible improvements in Exchange functionality
- HTML email on android and windows mobile devices
- Very robust Outlook Web Access (OWA) e-mail client
- Web-based access to network file shares
- Vastly improved administrator functions and consolidated tools for security and update management