Active Directory Migration from SBS 2008 or 2011 to Windows Server 2016Alex Fields
There are three basic options for migrating Active Directory from Small Business Server–(1) you can move into Windows Server Essentials or (2) Windows Server Standard. Furthermore, (3) you can move to Windows Server Standard, and enable the Essentials Experience role afterward, which is what I typically recommend if you are interested in the Essentials features.
The steps for a migration are covered in this guide–for any of these configurations. Note: Whether or not you plan to use the Essentials Experience role on Windows Server Standard, you would begin by completing the steps under Part 1. Otherwise, if you are just installing Windows Server Essentials edition, and not Standard edition, you can start at Part 2. If you do not care to have the Essentials Experience, and just want to move to Standard, you would skip Part 2.
Before you begin
- Make sure your firewall is setup to allow DNS traffic outbound from the old (source) as well as the new (destination) server
- Make sure you’ve reviewed recent event logs and checked out the health of your source domain controller using DCDIAG
- Your source server should be up to date with all critical & security patches
- Windows Server installation should already be completed on the destination server
- Static IP address should be configured on the destination server
Summary of the steps in this process
- Migrate to Windows Server Standard as your new Domain Controller, without the Essentials Experience role
- Migrate to Windows Server Essentials or Essentials Experience as your new Domain Controller (Optional)
- Update DHCP scope options / DNS
- Transfer FMSO roles to the new server
Step 1. Migrate to Windows Server Standard as your new Domain Controller, without the Essentials Experience role
To begin, simply add the Active Directory Domain Services role to your Windows Server Standard Server. From Server Manager Dashboard, Add roles and features.
Once that is completed, again from Server Manager, find the tasks button in the upper right, and choose Promote this server to a domain controller.
Be sure to select the option to join an existing domain, and provide necessary domain administrative credentials.
Warning: If you are deploying this server as a virtual machine, it is recommended that you store the AD database & SYSVOL files on a non-system volume (e.g. E:\ instead of C:\). Otherwise, you can accept the defaults, ignoring warnings about DNS delegation, etc. and proceeding to the end of the wizard.
After the wizard is completed with its tasks, you can reboot the destination server. There is one more setting to check. On both source & destination servers, from the Control Panel > Network Connections, verify your TCP/IP settings and ensure that both servers are listed for DNS server addresses.
You should also run DCDIAG and repadmin /replsummary to verify the health of the new domain controller.
Step 2. Migrate to Windows Server Essentials or Essentials Experience as your new Domain Controller (Optional)
In order to do this migration, you will need to install Windows Server Essentials or Essentials Experience in “migration mode”–which means you do not manually join your new server to the domain prior to running the Essentials setup–installing/configuring Essentials will do that for you. However, if you already installed Windows Server Standard and ran through the steps in Part 1 above, you can now add the Essentials Experience role using Add roles and features from Server Manager:
After the installation is finished, you have a task to complete in Server Manager: Configure Windows Server Essentials.
It will detect that you are installing it as a domain controller and complete a series of configuration tasks for you in the background–good time for a coffee or tea break.
Note: if you just wanted to install Essentials Experience as a member server, you would join Windows Server Standard to the domain first, then add the Essentials Experience role and run the configuration second. It will detect that you are installing it as a member server, and the configuration will still be automatic. It is now supported to run the “Essentials goodies” such as integrations with Microsoft Online services, in either case.
Step 3. Update DHCP scope options / DNS
Since the old server is going away, you will want clients to stop referring to it for name lookups. If anything is statically configured to reference this computer for DNS, be sure to update those devices. For client connections that receive these settings automatically via DHCP, you can adjust the settings from the DHCP console > IPv4 > Server Options. Remove the old server’s IP, and be sure the new server is listed–if not, then add it now. Also check out the Scope Options in case there are settings in there as well.
On the source server, check the Properties on the DNS server object, and go to the Forwarders tab–make sure the old server is also not being referenced in here. Remove it if so.
Step 4. Transfer FMSO roles to the new server
The easiest way to do this, by far, is PowerShell. From the destination server, open a PowerShell session (Run as Administrator), and type the following command:
Move-ADDirectoryServerOperationMasterRole -Identity “DestinationServerName” –OperationMasterRole 0,1,2,3,4
Replace “DestinationServerName” with the name of your new server.
At this point, you are basically done with migrating the Active Directory & DNS roles to the new server. It is a good idea to run DCDIAG and Best Practice Analyzers (BPA) to verify your setup, on each of the roles you have installed in Server Manager.
Please note: after you complete the rest of your migration (Email, Companyweb, DHCP, files, remote access, etc.), then you will need to remove Active Directory and DNS from the source server. That process will be covered later.