How Swing Migration Works

Swing Migration is a process to accomplish either a version upgrade or server replacement migration without giving up the domain, or the server name, or the Exchange Information Store in the process, all while working offline with an open time line.
You get a clean server installation retains all the critical Active Directory domain information and predictable results. It's the most transparent method for bringing all versions of SBS, NT4, Win2K, or Win2003-based domains as upgrades to SBS 2003. This methodology works for non-SBS projects as well. You can learn a process flexible enough for most any project in any production environment regardless of the hardware changes involved.
Swing Migration solves technical issues, business interruption, and scheduling challenges. Construction is performed almost entirely offline, with an open-ended timeline. No repairs are needed if a problem halts the upgrade. Swing migration minimizes the preparations and changes to the production server, and that server remains in operation during the upgrade. Only during the final transition do you move the data and Exchange Stores to the fully constructed new server, which you then slide into service to replace the previous server. The domain accounts remain unchanged, you can keep the server name, and alternate paths in the process use the previous hardware. These upgrades have predictable outcomes; they are safe even for entry level technicians.
What is shown below is a diagram of the process, and further below is a simple outline of the process.

  • [TempDC] Clean install a Windows 2003 Server (using SBS media) as a workgroup server only.
  • Manually join it to the existing SBS domain, preparing this server as a Temp DC.
  • Install DNS, perform DCpromo and designate as a Global Catalog Server.
  • Replicate DNS and AD then shutdown and disconnect
  • Seize all FSMO roles
  • Purge the Active Directory metabase and DNS of all previous Domain Controllers, Exchange and DNS Server references
  • [FinalDC] Clean install Windows 2003 Server just as before, reuse the original SBS Server name and IP. This server will look just like the previous SBS for name, IP, AD, and UNC/URL paths.
  • Install DNS, perform DCpromo, designate as Global Catalog Server.
  • Replicate DNS and AD.
  • Seize all FSMO roles, purge the Temp DC from DNS and AD
  • Finish normal SBS Setup using this Server
  • Complete the balance of migration of Exchange, all Data, and shared resources
  • If desired, perform a migration of the intact Exchange Information Store as a direct mount of the previous Information Store as if it were an offline restore. Reconnect mailboxes.
  • Perform a direct substitution of the new server for the old SBS
  • Deploy Applications as normal for SBS.