Saturday, February 04, 2006

My First Swing Migration

This weekend was my first Swing Migration. I have to say that I'm impressed with the process. It's kind of nice not to have to touch all the clients after a migration.

We had a few minor snags, and didn't optomize the process as much as we could have, but we got through it and things are in good working shape again. If you haven't checked out the Swing Migration process, you should, it's worth the time, and along the way during the migration, you might actually learn something: I did.

So what problems did we have? Well, the first problem was we hit a replication problem from the production SBS server to the temporary DC. It must have been something in the steps that we missed, because after fighting for 5 hours to try to get it to work, we started over with a restored VPC image of the Temporary DC and things went much according to plan. In Jeff's first version of his documents he says to watch the event log to tell when replication is done. In speaking with Jeff and actually doing it myself, we discovered to use the command net share from a command prompt to look for the SYSVOL and NETLOGON shares to appear, some rebooting may be required. We can probably also blame the slow replication on the old server, it was fairly slow and had some hardware issues slowing it down even more! (Yes, it was definitely time to migrate!)

Once we got past this hurdle, it was smooth sailing, the replication from the temporary DC to the new SBS server was a snap! Following that install of SBS, followed by the SP1 and the premium CD, then the Todo list, Trend Micro AV.

Last but not least, we had the Exchange Fork-Lift and data migration. In order to leave the previous SBS server exactly intact, we decided to move the data through other means than the network, that being a USB disk. We copied the MDBDATA folder from the old server to the USB disk in 10 minutes, then there must have been only USB 1.0 on the new server (odd yes) but it took upwards of an hour!!! Once that was done, we copied the files over and the mount failed!!!.

Luckily, reading Jeff's documentation we realized that we needed to have the databases and log files in exactly the same position as they were on the old production server. Fixing this the store mounted immediately.

Finally (and still currently pending) is the restore of the use data to the new server from the same USB disk. Of course we have to do this around the Seattle SeaHawks in the SUPERBOWL!!!!, but that's ok, the restore will probably take 9 hours!

Let me tell you what I find most impressive about this process.

  • On the first reboot of the new production SBS server, we checked out the eventlogs, only to see a failure of the Folder Redirection. After the installation of all the SBS 2003 parts, this error went away, and the folder of the server was actually already redirected, exactly as it was in the old domain!

  • After we finished the ForkLift of Exchange, we quickly browsed to https://localhost/exchange and logged in as a user of the system, the mailbox already contained over 6000 email messages! How is that for cool!

So there you have it. If you've got the extra hardware for a Swing Migration, you should definately give it a shot, if you're having trouble, just check out the You Can Swing That - SBS Migration website for updated documentation.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

Wonder if you could give me a hand in a problem I am having using the swing migration method.

I have got the TempDC set up and want to replicate it on the new SBS sever. When I run the dcPromo I can't seem to log onto the tempDC, what is funny is that I can browse the tempDC from explorer and ping it etc.

Could it be a SBS License problem?

Sean Daniel said...

Hi, I'm Sean. :)

You're probably looking for the Swing Migration Website.

Try posting your comment there.