Re: Swing Migration from SBS 2003 to new SBS 2003 box

Yes, please don't listen to me on that! <G>


Gregg Hill wrote:

Some people would have charged $200 just for that reply!

Al Mucci, if you made it all the way to this point, I have this advice to
add. **You would be a fool not to buy the kit.** Not only does it enable
you to easily do a swing migration, but it has cool tools that allow
rebuilding shares and permissions, duplicating printers, etc.

Once you have done a few swings, you will no longer charge by the hour for
migrations, because you would lose money. If a typical migration used to
take you 15 hours at $100/hour, you made $1500. Now, you can do the
migration in half the time (or less), but you still charge the same
amount, priced as a project.

You can swing from a plain old NT4 non-Exchange domain to a 2003
non-Exchange domain, from NT4 to 2003 with Exchange, from an older SBS to
SBS 2003, from the same version of SBS to new hardware, from one version
to another on the same hardware or new hardware, etc.

I have done several swings in a lab to get used to the process.
Personally, my only production swing so far (because I have so few
clients, and the one who wants to migrate keeps backing out) was from an
NT4 non-Exchange domain to a 2003 domain. I did it for a friend of mine
who had started to do it the old way and found himself facing 50
workstations to change, and his client already upset about the delay.
Four months into his project, he called me in to do it "my" way, and it
took me three days of part time work, with about 20 hours of actual work,
and a big chunk of that was undoing stuff he had screwed up. When the
swing was done, I had to go to two workstations, and only because they
had static IP addresses using the ISP DNS servers. I flipped them to
dynamic IP, rebooted, and that was it. NO other workstations had to be
So you get to choose whether you want to take 15 hours and make $1500 each
time, or take 8 hours or less and make $1500 each time. Do the math.

Jeff, your product is awesome, but please don't listen to Charlie Russel
and raise the price!

Gregg Hill

"Jeff Middleton [SBS-MVP]" <jeff@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

I wanted to jump in to comment about the recommendations you are
receiving to your request. is my website, the
documentation being discussed is my product, and the unique aspect of
this conversation as I read it is that I see you could conceivably feel
like you are being pushed in a direction you aren't interested in going.
Therefore, I want to offer some additional detail to what has already
been posted. First, you posted a request for Swing Migration, but perhaps
you didn't
that this is a term than had no meaning relative to SBS deployments and
replacement until 2 yrs ago when it became de facto a moniker for the
process that I fully documented for the first time. Up to that time,
Microsoft offered nothing like this in the form of documentation, nor
they then or will they now provide you support in doing a "Swing

You could gain a little perspective on this topic if you simply go to
and search for SBS Migration and Jeff Middleton as author. You will find
that I have been talking about this process in the public newsgroups
going back 5 yrs. I have been pushing MS to embrace this idea for that
long, and always without success. You might note that I became an MVP in
1999 primarily because of the time I spent posting answers to questions
in the newsgroups on many topics, not the least of which was migration
and DR strategies.

When MS released SBS 2003, they documented the following migration

In-Place Upgrade
Clean Install/OEM Install (related concepts)
ADMT Migration

After reviewing how that worked and the impact of it, I decided that I
write a whitepaper on how to do an SBS migration by a different and more
sensible manner, what is now well known as Swing Migration. I accumulated
own experience, combined it with authoritative KB references from my
research and sent it to MS for technical review, comment, and the request
that they publish it _for free_ as an MVP whitepaper. After they reviewed
it, they commented back to me favorably about the concept and thanked me
declined to publish it. The reasoning in a very short summary is that
they did not want to support the process I had outlined, even though
that was not
a comment about the viability of the process. In fact, in general, if you
ask someone knowledgeable within MS about the process they will likely
you it's a pretty cool concept, and pretty neat that I actually included
reference to all the MS Kbs I researched to document the process. In
other words, they thought it was neat that I could frame the concept
based upon a
wide range of documents that have nothing to do with SBS, nothing to do
domain migration, Exchange migration, websites, etc....and yet build a
cohesive strategy document that is repeatable for people worldwide with
widest variety of systems and situations.

The curious point is that like any project of this scale, sometimes
things don't go right, and sometimes things are in bad condition before
you even get started. Therefore, part of the logic of MS in their
decision not to support publishing a completed documentation outline is
that they already had documented how they would encourage folks to
approach this topic. So at this point, I next took the manuscript to a
friend who is a book
publisher, and the original draft of the process was published in a book
with 15 chapters, including two that I wrote. One is on Disaster
Recovery, the other is on Swing Migration. That is where the name came
into existance,
when I called it that and explained it that way.

Mind you, many people who are sharp and studious have developed a lot of
same concepts in their own trial and error testing over the years, but
yet to find anyone who found that to be trivial. I also haven't met
anyone who compiled it into a unified, start to finish, all referenced
project guide like I have. I'm not saying I invented something nobody
else could think of, but I did try to put it into common use by writing
original methodology and combining it with well defined tasks outlined
by MS KBs to encourage people to have trust in the work.

So having added my two chapters to the work of 13 other people, if you
can justify $45 at Amazon, you can have a good book, an original draft
of the process, and my best regards. It's not like I didn't realize that
I was making that information available for a pretty cheap prices. In
fact, here's
a real kick: I don't make a dime if you buy the book. But it's out there
you, and most people can afford a book if they really appreciate that it
could be useful to them.

Books available from SMB Nation Press - Learn more from SMB Nation Press
"Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Advanced Best Practices"

The next thing I did was to recognize that Swing Migration is a process
is far more complex than most people realize. Why? Because it covers a
lot of ground, and it deals with not only building a new server, it
deals with left over issues from the old server and domain. Having
already submitted the draft to the book publisher, I was suddently
overrun by requests from people who wanted me to provide support for this
case they had problems. So now I'm facing the problem of having done all
this original research, documented a process that isn't supported by MS,
now I'm supposed to support it. Now I ask you, should I do that for free?
There's a point at which I have to eat and pay my own bills, and it's not
like I'm trying to be unfair.

You can go to my website and see right there a step outline of what we
are talking about:

You can see a complete outline of many aspects of what it can and can't
and you will not find that information anywhere on the MS website....all
that is what I introduced to explain why this can work.

In order to give people confidence in this process, and to assure them
I'm totally serious about giving the best support I can, I created a
to allow people to order the Kit and pay for a lifetime license to use
the materials including the custom script tools I have written. You buy
it one time, and you are personally licensed to use this forever on as
many servers, domains, customers and projects that you want. I expect
you will bill for that. I expect you will make a lot of money from using
this process
because it is ridiculously better than what MS is offering you as a
I provide with the purchase of the $200 Technician Kit a 90 day period
during which you can obtain unlimited tech support toward completion of
first project by email. That's direct support, unique to your project,
and I
don't constrain the scope of that to "one SBS to one SBS". In fact, I
have provided support to people with a couple of Exchange Servers, and
as many as
5-6 DCs. I've assisted people moving entire business operations to
another location where a swing of new servers was involved, and I didn't
change them
anything above the cost of the $200 Kit because I nevers saw questions
them that seemed to me to be outside the scope of replacing one or more
servers in exactly the manner and outline that I had already covered in
my documentation.

I want to make sure you understand that my scope of project support is
if I've covered in my documentation, I'm supporting to the best of my
ability when you contact me. You might want to double-check your
of what MS provides as support when you pay them $245 for a support
call. They cover one ISSUE, not the PROJECT. There's a pretty big

The vast majority of people who value their time realize that once they
at the Migration Projects page on my website, and do the math, they will
find that they probably save as much time on the first project and as
much headache for their customers that the Kit pays for itself before you
that job. From there, it's just more income for you to keep on earning
and skill for you to keep developing from your experience.

I am not offended if anyone decides that it's not worth $200 to have
unlimited tech support for presales, project planning, and full
transition to a new server deployment that works transparently at this
level. If that seems not to be worth it to you, I encourage you to go
take a glance at the
book instead.

The reason you will find so many people endorsing the use of this process
because it works, I support it, I continue to improve it, and it's a good
value for you, your customer and even for MS that I'm helping people
learn their way through the first job they take. Some people come back
and subscribe to obtain all of the scenario documentation I've written
and am continuing to update. Many people will never use the MS documented
approaches again.

Rather than just taking the word of a couple of people on this list, MVPs
not, go search google for, or even "sbs migration" and
if you don't find a lot of honest endorsements for this all over.

The Technician Kit includes the 200 pgs of documentation discussed on the
website, plus an additional 200 pages of reference information specific
to this type of project. it's intended to provide the only references you
I hope I will have a chance to help you learn this process so that you
can spend your time billing customers for the skill you will have
learned, rather than spending time trying to research what is already
demonstrated by people using my documentation to be a great solution to
Supporting people who want to learn Swing Migration is pretty much my
full time job, and I enjoy the opportunity it has afforded me to make a
lot of people happy and more successful in their business. I really am
offering an
alternative to MS methodology, and I put my time and reputation behind
I do.

- Jeff Middleton SBS-MVP


"Al Mucci" <AlMucci@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Do you have any articles/how to guides on this process? I have an SBS
running Exchange and I would like to setup a temp server, copy the AD
to it, bring down the original, bring up the new server with the SAME
NAME as the
old server.

If there are any other ways of doing this, I would like to know.

Any help is appreciated.