Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Time to Migrate to SBS 2008

Today is the official launch of Windows Essential Server Solutions, which to you and me really means Small Business Server 2008.  Here at Sirona Solutions we’ve been running the beta for some time, but not as our production server.  We’re now recommending SBS 2008 to potential new customers, so it’s definitely time to start using it on a daily basis.  So what’s holding us back?  Lack of disk space and memory… 

We run our production servers on a Dell PE2950 running VMWare ESX 3.5 and it’s been an excellent solution.  Unfortunately what was a very decent spec just over a year ago, is now not enough to add a fourth virtual server. All eight memory slots are full (8 x 1Gb) and to upgrade it you have to remove the lot. Eight lots of 2Gb is expensive enough, but looking forward perhaps the even more expensive option of 4 x 4Gb would be better, leaving four slots free for further expansion. As for the disk space, I’m hoping VMWare support are going to be able to help me clear up some files to enough room.

Once we get past the problem of upgrading the server, the business of actually migrating comes up. Microsoft have released the official migration document and Jamie Burgess has a few useful pointers on his blog too. VMWare has the great feature of Snapshots which allow you to take a point-in-time image which you can revert back to in seconds. I’ve used this in previous major software changes and it’s like having the undo feature in Word and the value is even greater in a migration scenario.

Vijay has posted some good notes on his experience of upgrading and I’ll be sure to do the same when we move over. Has anyone else already done the deed?

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