Windows Server 2008 R2 Migration Tools

The Windows Server 2008 R2 Migration Tools are a set of tools available to simplify migration of various roles, features and other server data to a new server running Windows Server 2008 R2.

As described on the Migration Tools TechNet documentation, the following can be migrated using these tools:

Roles

Active Directory Domain Services and DNS
DHCP Server
File Services
Print Services

 

Features

BranchCache

 

Settings and Data

Data and Shares
IP Configuration
Local Users and Groups

 

Installation

Start by installing the Windows Server Migration Tools feature from the Add feature wizard in Server Manager on the destination server running Windows Server 2008 R2:

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You can find the new feature on the Start-menu in Administrative tools:

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After the “Windows Server Migration Tools” PowerShell prompt are opened, go to C:WindowsSystem32ServerMigrationTools.
Type SmigDeploy.exe /? to list the description and usage of this command.

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Example usage

In this example well migrate a DHCP Server running on a Windows Server 2003 machine. To create a deployment package for Windows Server 2003 32-bit, execute the following command:

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When the package folder are successfully create, copy the folder to the source DHCP Server:

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The only requirement on the source Windows Server 2003 server are Windows PowerShell (and thereby .NET Framework 2.0).

Start SmigDeploy.exe from the SMT_ws03_x86 folder to fire up Windows PowerShell with the Windows Server Migration Tools snapin.

Available cmdlets for this snapin:

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Execute the cmdlet Get-SmigServerFeature to get the set of all Windows features that can be migrated from the local server:

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The cmdlet returns the DHCP Server as a feature available for migration:

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Here we got the DHCP Leases on the source DHCP Server, which are to be migrated to the Windows Server 2008 R2 server:

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To export the DHCP Server configuration and database, run the Export-SmigServerSetting cmdlet with the following parameters (you will be prompted for a password to protect the exported file):

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The export was successful, and we can see the exported *.mig-file:

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Copy the *.mig file to the target DHCP Server.
To import the DHCP Server configuration and database, run the Import-SmigServerSetting cmdlet with the following parameters (you will be prompted for the password  for the exported file):

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The DHCP Server feature was not installed on the Windows Server 2008 R2 server, but the Import-SmigServerSetting takes care of this automatically:

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The import was successful:

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After starting the DHCP Server service we can open the DHCP Server management console and verify that the migration was successful:

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This concludes this post regarding the new Migration Tools, and I must say I really like this new feature, especially the fact that its leveraging Windows PowerShell. I would recommend you to play around with this in a lab environment to get to know it`s usage.

Update 25.08.2009: As stated in the documentation on Technet, the DHCP-service on the source server must be stopped (Stop-Service DHCPserver) prior to the export. Thanks to Max for pointing this out.
Update 15.01.2011: Note that the destination DHCP-server must be authorized. Thanks to Blazej for pointing this out.

Exchange ActiveSync relationships and server migrations

Ever wondered what happens with ActiveSync relationships on mobile devices when you replace the Exchange server published to the internet?

1. If you move a mailbox from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2003 or to Exchange 2007 RTM, you have to recreate the partnership manually.

2. If you move mailbox to Exchange 2007 SP1, there is no need to re-create the partnership manually.

3. Please note the certificate should be the same. Otherwise, you will encounter issues with certificate in Exchange ActiveSync.

For more information on how to re-create the partnership manually, see this article on the Exchange Teams blog.

In previous versions of Microsoft Exchange Server, if you moved your mailbox to an upgraded server (such as Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2007 RTM) re-creating the partnership was required. However, if you move your mailbox to an Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1, the new Sync State Upgrade feature is built into Move Mailbox and will allow you to continue synchronizing your device without resetting your partnership.

For more information on the Move-Mailbox cmdlet, see this article on TechNet.

In Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1), if you move a mailbox to which a mobile device is synchronized using Exchange ActiveSync, the sync state of the mailbox is updated automatically during the move. You do not need to perform any additional steps, and the user does not need to again sync the device after a mailbox move.

Although you don't move mailboxes, if you add a CAS server and users use the CAS server to maintain their Exchange ActiveSync access, you need to note the following:

In order for your users to continue to synchronize their mobile devices via Exchange ActiveSync with their mailboxes hosted on Exchange 2003 mailbox servers, you will need to ensure that Integrated Windows Authentication is enabled on all of the Exchange ActiveSync virtual directories (Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync) on Exchange 2003 mailbox servers.

For more information on how Exchange 2003 mailboxes are maintained after the Exchange 2007 CAS role are introduced in the environment, please see this article on the Exchange Teams blog.

Bug in Exchange 2010 beta

 

As I didnt explore the GUI before making my post about the new beta of Exchange Server 2010 I didnt notice there is a bug which leads to an error message when using the Exchange Management Console. It displays a few moments after opening the EMC, as well as when trying to click on an item in the navigation tree.

The error looks like this:

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Microsoft Exchange
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Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message : The WinRM client received an HTTP server error status (500), but the remote service did not include any other information about the cause of the failure. It was running command ‘Discover-ExchangeServer -UseWIA $true’.
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OK  
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I made a post regarding this at the Exchange Server 2010 forums at Microsoft, and Erik Szewczyk gave a quick reply stating this:

“To fix the error open up the IIS Management console and disable anonymous authentication on the PowerShell virtual directory. This is a bug that should be addressed in later builds”

This worked like a charm. In addition when opening the EMC I would recommend you to click on the “Gather Organizational Information” on the right side. It will provide a really nice overview of the Organization, Servers and Recipients:

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Exchange Server 2010 beta available

As stated on many blogs and websites today, a beta version of Exchange Server 2010 are now available from this link on the Microsoft Download Center.

Exchange Server 2010 Documentation are available on TechNet.

Among the things that can be found there are “Whats New in Exchange Server 2010”, “Exchange 2010 System Requirements” and “Exchange 2010 Prerequisites”.

Also check out the Exchange Server TechCenter which are updated with new Exchange 2010 content, as well as the new Exchange Server 2010 forum.

For those of you who are interested in Exchange Server I would recommend to attend the following E-Learning from Microsoft: Collection 6899: Exploring Features of Exchange Server 2010

I installed the beta version on a virtual machine running on Hyper-V tonight. You can see some screenshots below.

Installation

I started by promoting the server (running Windows Server 2008 x64 Enterprise) as a Domain Controller in a new domain (for testing purposes).
I then installed the prerequisites and started setup.exe:

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Administrative tools

After installation the following appeared on the Start-menu:

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The structure of the Exchange Management Console are the same as in Exchange Server 2007:

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The same are true for the Exchange Management Shell:

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Compared to Exchange Server 2007, who got 394 PowerShell cmdlets for administration, Exchange Server 2010 got as many as 638:

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Outlook Web Access

The Outlook Web Access are also improved:

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The “Options” page:

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New “Phone” features (Text Messaging):

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When logged on as an Exchange administrator, its possible to choose to manage “My Organization” instead of “Myself”. Here Mailboxes, Groups, and External Contacts can be managed.

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Reporting:

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The beta version really looks exciting, and I`ll post follow-up posts when I explore new features. Stay tuned!

Shared Address Space in Exchange 2007

In some scenarios there might be a need to configure a so called “Shared Address Space” in Exchange. E.g. a POP3-connector software might be configured to download messages from a POP3-server and deliver them to specific Exchange mailboxes.
If the Exchange users also want to have the external domain as “Reply to”-addresses and/or added as SMTP-addresses on their mailboxes, the domain must be added as an Accepted Domain in the Exchange Organization. When configuring this, it`s important to configure the domain as the correct type of domain:

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If configured as the default type “Authoritative Domain”, Exchange think it is the only messaging system being responsible for that domain. This would result in Non Delivery Reports if users tries to send messages to users in the affecting domain, who does not reside in the local domain. In the “Shared Address Space”-scenario, the correct type of domain is “External Relay Domain”. When choosing this, Exchange will first check the local domain to try to locate recipient address. If not found, the message will be routed through the Send-connector closest to the remote domain (usually the internet-connector with the address space *).

This article on TechNet explains the scenario in further detail.

Exchange Circular Logging in SBS 2008

While studying for exam 70-653 (SBS 2008, Configuring) I got aware of the fact that Circular Logging in Exchange 2007 are enabled by default in Small Business Server 2008. When the “Configure server backup”-wizard are run,  Circular Logging are automatically disabled afterwards.

For those using a 3rd party backup software this means that Circular Logging must be manually disabled. This is a real gotcha which should be stated clearer for SBS admins in my opinion.

Like Ive configured in one scenario, backup are set up on a separate server using 3rd party backup software. Still the “Windows SBS Console” shows a warning stating that “Backup is not configured”. I contacted Microsoft support asking if it is possible to disable this warning, which it turned out to not be. I think there should be an option for choosing that the integrated Windows Server backup (which cant backup to tape drives like NTBackup did) will not be used in the “Configure server backup”-wizard, in addition to giving the option whether to disable Circular Logging.

Hopefully this will be implemented in a future SBS Service Pack :)