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Migrating from a Peer-to-Peer Network to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network

Objective

Migrating from a peer-to-peer network to a network that is based on the Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 operating system offers a number of advantages to a small business, including increased employee productivity and network performance, additional data security features, and a centralized backup process that is easy to set up and that runs automatically.

This document shows you how to migrate client computers and data from a peer-to-peer network to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 network after you have added a computer running Windows Small Business Server 2003 to the network.

For information about the business value of Windows Small Business Server 2003, see the document titled “Windows Small Business Server 2003 Provides ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Return on Investment” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32920).

For information about how to set up a computer running Windows Small Business Server 2003, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32921.

For information about securing a Windows Small Business Server network, see the document titled “Securing Your Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=31372).

Terms and Definitions

Peer-to-Peer Network

In a peer-to-peer network, which is also called a workgroup, all computers on the network are peers. Each computer maintains its own list of valid user accounts and authenticates each user who tries to log on to that computer. Data is usually stored locally on each client computer.

Server-based Network

In a server-based network, the server computer maintains a master list of user accounts and authenticates each user who tries to log on to the server or to any of the client computers. Data is usually stored on the server, and it is accessible from any of the client computers.

Overview of Migrating from a Peer-to-Peer Network

This document assumes that you have already added a computer running Windows Small Business Server 2003 to a peer-to-peer network, that you have properly configured all network devices, and that you have completed the tasks in the To Do List, including the Connect to the Internet and Add Users and Computers tasks.

To migrate client computers and data that were part of a peer-to-peer network, you must perform the following steps, which involve administering the server and each of the client computers:

  • Step 1: Redirect My Documents Folders. Administer the server to redirect each user’s My Documents folder to the server.
  • Step 2: Join Computers to the Domain and Migrate Profiles. Administer each client computer to join it to the network and to migrate settings from local user accounts to domain user accounts.
  • Step 3: Import Existing E-mail into an Exchange Server Mailbox. Administer each client computer to import existing e-mail on the client computer into a user’s Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox.
  • Step 4: Move Shared Data to the Server. Administer the server and each client computer to move shared folders from the client computer either to shared folders on the server or to the intranet Web site.
  • Step 5: Educate Users. Inform users about the changes to the network and the way they should now interact with their computers and data.

If you have not yet transferred e-mail hosting to Exchange Server on the computer running Windows Small Business Server, complete the steps in Appendix A. If you decide to abandon the migration and revert to a peer-to-peer network, complete the steps in Appendix B.

Step 1: Redirect My Documents Folders

It is recommended that users store all of their data in their My Documents folder and that you redirect these folders to the server by using the Client Document Redirection feature. To move other data to the server, see “Step 4: Move Shared Data to the Server” later in this document. Redirecting the My Documents folder to the server results in the following benefits:

  • The Backup Configuration Wizard automatically backs up redirected My Documents folders and all subfolders stored on the server.
  • Users can recover previous versions of files stored in a redirected My Documents folder without help from an administrator.
  • Users can continue using their data even if they unplug from the network (for example, when they take a laptop out of the office). When users reconnect to the network, the Offline Files feature automatically synchronizes the data between the client computer and the network.
  • Users can access their data by logging on to any computer on the network.

To redirect each user’s My Documents folder to the server, use the Client Document Redirection feature of Windows Small Business Server, as explained in the following procedure. If you perform this step before you join client computers to the domain, you reduce the number of times you must restart the client computers.

ImportantImportant
The Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client uses personal folder files (.pst), which do not work properly when accessed across the network. If users store Outlook personal folder files in their My Documents folder, move the files to a local folder outside the My Documents folder before you join the client computers to the network or enable client document redirection. Note that Windows Small Business Server does not automatically back up files that are stored locally on client computers.
To redirect My Documents folders
  1. Log on to the computer running Windows Small Business Server using an account with administrator credentials.

  2. Click Start, and then click Server Management.

  3. In the details pane, click Users.

  4. In the console tree, click Configure My Documents Redirection.

  5. In the Client Document Redirection dialog box, click Redirect all My Documents folders to the default shared folder for users on the Small Business Server, and then click OK.

By completing this procedure, you move all users’ My Documents folders to the Users Shared Folders folder, which is located by default on the system drive of the server.

To move users’ documents to a different folder, you must first apply the appropriate permissions to the folder. Click More Information in the Client Document Redirection dialog box for the proper procedure.

noteNote
Disk quotas are enabled on the disk partition where the Users Shared Folders folder is located. By default, the quotas prevent users from storing more than 1 gigabyte (GB) of data in their My Documents folder. Disk quotas do not include Exchange mailboxes, but Exchange System Manager limits mailboxes to 200 megabytes (MB). For more information about changing disk quotas or mailbox limits, click Start, click Server Management, click Users, and then click Change Mailbox and Disk Quota Limits.

Step 2: Join Computers to the Domain and Migrate Profiles

In this step, use the Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard to join client computers that are running Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional to the Windows Small Business Server domain and to migrate local user profiles to the proper domain user accounts.

Before you continue with this step, create an account on the server for each computer and user. To preserve existing network shortcuts, create computer accounts that have the same names as the existing computers.

For information about joining client computers that are running earlier operating systems to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 network, see the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Administrator’s Companion, published by Microsoft Press, or see “Manage client computer running earlier versions of Windows” in Help and Support Center.

ImportantImportant
If your network has POP3 e-mail accounts that are not set up to work with Outlook and you have not already transferred e-mail hosting to Exchange, as discussed in Appendix A, you should use the Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes to download e-mail from the POP3 e-mail accounts into the appropriate Exchange mailboxes. Performing this action ensures that users continue to receive their e-mail after their client computers are joined to the network. If you have POP3 e-mail accounts hosted by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) after you transfer e-mail hosting to Exchange, use the Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes to download e-mail from these accounts.
  • To use the Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes, on the server click Start, and then click Server Management. In the console tree, click Internet and E-mail, click Manage POP3 E-mail, and then use the POP3 Connector Manager dialog box to create connections to the appropriate POP3 mailboxes.
    CautionCaution
    As a best practice, you should perform the following tasks before you join a client computer to the Windows Small Business Server network:
  • Export Outlook rules that you want to keep. Then, after you join the client computer to the domain, import the rules into Outlook. Outlook rules are deleted during the migration. See Outlook Help for more information about exporting and importing Outlook rules.
  • Back up user settings and data by using the Files And Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP or by copying user profiles. For more information, see “To copy a user profile” in Help and Support Center.
  • For the highest level of protection, back up each client computer before you join it to the network.
To join a computer to the Windows Small Business Server 2003 network and to migrate profiles
  1. Ensure that the client computer is connected to the internal network.

  2. To reduce the potential for errors during the configuration process, restart the client computer.

    noteNote
    The client computer must be configured to automatically obtain an IP address and Domain Name Service (DNS) server addresses using Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP). This procedure assumes that the computer running Windows Small Business Server hosts the only DHCP server on the network.
  3. Open Internet Explorer, navigate to http://YourServerName/connectcomputer, and then click Connect to the network now.

  4. Click Yes in the Security Warning dialog box.

  5. On the User Account and Password Information page, enter the user name and password of an account that you created by using the Add User Wizard.

  6. On the Assign users to this computer and migrate their profiles page, select the users who frequently use the computer, and click Add. Then use the Current User Settings box to migrate the user settings and data from a local user account to the network account, or choose None to use the default user profile settings.

    ImportantImportant
    Use the Assign users to this computer and migrate their profiles page to migrate all local profiles that you want to preserve. Although you can also migrate profiles manually, manual migration is more difficult and less reliable. For more information about migrating profiles manually, see “To copy a user profile” in Help and Support Center.
  7. On the Computer Name page, select the computer account that you created for the client computer.

  8. Click Finish.

    The client computer is added to the network. It might restart multiple times, depending on the applications that are installed on it.

  9. Log on to the client computer using the new network user account. The Client Setup Wizard dialog box appears.

  10. Click Start Now to install the applications and service packs assigned to the client computer.

Step 3: Import Existing E-mail into an Exchange Server Mailbox

If you choose to host e-mail in Exchange Server, you should import each user’s existing e-mail, contacts, and calendar information into their new Exchange Server mailbox. To transfer e-mail hosting to Exchange Server, see Appendix A of this document.

To import existing information into an Exchange Server mailbox, the existing information must be stored in an Outlook personal folders file (.pst), an account that uses Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP), an account that uses the Microsoft Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, or Microsoft Outlook Express.

To import information from an Outlook personal folders file, or Outlook Express, use the following procedure. To import information from an IMAP or Hotmail account, open the account in Outlook 2003, and manually move the items into the appropriate folder in the Exchange mailbox.

noteNote
By default, Exchange mailboxes have a size limit of 200 MB. If a user has more than 175 MB of e-mail, before you import that user’s e-mail, either increase the mailbox size limit in Exchange or import only a subset of the e-mail into Exchange. The total size of all mailboxes in Exchange cannot exceed 16 GB. To change mailbox limits, on the server click Start, click Server Management, click Users, click Change Mailbox and Disk Quota Limits, and follow the instructions there.
To import e-mail into Exchange Server
  1. On the client computer, open Outlook 2003.

    The first time Outlook opens, it configures itself to work with Exchange Server and it deletes any existing e-mail rules, but it leaves any existing personal folders files open.

  2. On the File menu, click Import and Export. The Import and Export Wizard appears.

    1. To import from an Outlook personal folders file, click Import from another program or file, choose Personal Folder File (.pst), and then follow the instructions in the wizard.
    2. To import from Outlook Express, click Import Internet Mail and Addresses,and then follow the instructions in the wizard.
      noteNote
      Outlook rules must be imported separately, and they require editing before they will work with the new Exchange mailbox. For more information, see Outlook Help.

Step 4: Move Shared Data to the Server

It is recommended that you move shared data from client computers to the server. If you store shared data on the server, the data is backed up along with the rest of the server, users are able to locate data more easily, and file-sharing performance usually increases.

If you move shared data to the server, either move the data into shared folders on the server or import the data into a site based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint® Services (http://companyweb). Below is a brief listing of some of the advantages of each solution.

Advantages of using a SharePoint site to store shared data:

  • SharePoint sites have a Web-based user interface that is highly integrated with Windows Small Business Server and Microsoft Office 2003.
  • Users can create alerts to notify them when new documents are posted or when faxes arrive.
  • Users can make use of Web-based discussions within documents.
  • Consultants can customize and enhance the SharePoint site using built-in tools or the Microsoft FrontPage® 2003 Web site creation and management tool.

Advantages of using shared folders to store shared data:

  • Shared folders are familiar to users.
  • Users can recover previous versions of files without help from an administrator.
  • Administrators can restore individual files from backup media.
  • There are no limitations on the size or types of files that can be stored in shared folders.

The next two sections discuss importing files to a SharePoint site and moving shared folders to the server.

noteNote
Shortcuts to locally stored files stop working after you move the files to the server. This includes shortcuts in My Network Places, My Recent Documents, and mapped network drives. Replace these shortcuts with shortcuts to the files on the server.

Import Files to the SharePoint Site

To move shared folders that contain documents or pictures smaller than 50 MB to a SharePoint site, use either of the following methods:

  • Log on to the computer running Windows Small Business Server. Click Start, and then click Server Management. In the console tree, click Internal Web Site, click Import Files, and then follow the instructions in the Import Files Wizard.
  • Alternatively, navigate to the SharePoint site from any computer, open the desired Document Library (such as General Documents), click Explorer View, and then drag files or folders into the document library.

Move Shared Folders to the Server

To move shared folders and locally stored data into a shared folder on the server, use the following procedures.

To create shared folders on the server
  1. Log on to the computer running Windows Small Business Server 2003 using an account with administrator credentials.

  2. Click Start, and then click Server Management.

  3. In the console tree, click Shares, and then click Add a Shared Folder in the Details Pane.

  4. On the Folder Path page, click Browse.

  5. In the Browse For Folder dialog box, select the folder to use as the root of the shared folders, or create a new folder by clicking Make New Folder. Click OK.

  6. On the Name, Description, and Settings page, enter the name of the shared folder and a description. To change the way the files in this shared folder are cached for offline use, click Change.

  7. On the Permissions page, click Use custom share and folder permissions, and then click Customize.

  8. On the Share Permissions tab, select Everyone, and then click Remove.

  9. Click Add, type Domain Users, and then click OK.

  10. Select the Full Control check box to disable shared folder permissions, and then click OK.

  11. Click the Security tab, adjust the NTFS folder permissions as necessary, taking into consideration the permissions of the shared folder on the client computer and the level of security that is appropriate for the data. The default permissions give Read access to members of the Users group and Full Control to members of the Administrators group, but you might want to give Write and possibly Modify access to the Users group if users should be able to add or delete files in the shared folder.

To move data from the client computer to the server
  1. Log on to the client computer.

  2. Use Windows Explorer to move the data from the client computer to the shared folder on the server.

  3. Once you have moved all of the data, remove the shared folder from the client computer by right-clicking the shared folder, clicking Sharing and Security (or Sharing on a computer running Windows 2000 Professional), and then clicking Do not share this folder. This prevents users from accidentally placing files in the shared folder on the client computer instead of on the server.

Step 5: Educate Users

Users interact with their computers differently on a Windows Small Business Server network than on a peer-to-peer network. Because of this, it is important to inform users about the changes they might experience. Use the following list of tasks as a starting point for educating users.

  • To log on to a client computer, use a network user account instead of a local user account. Fast User Switching is disabled on computers that belong to a domain.
  • Use Outlook 2003 for e-mail, contacts, and calendar functions. Users should not use other e-mail programs. Although other e-mail programs might continue to work, they will not receive e-mail that is delivered to a user’s Exchange mailbox.
  • Store all data in the My Documents folder and in shared folders on the server instead of on the desktop or in folders on the hard drive of the client computer. This enhances the security and backup reliability of the data.
  • Synchronize Offline Files, resolve conflicts, and make files and folders available offline. The entire My Documents folder is automatically made available offline when you use the Client Document Redirection feature and Offline Files.
  • Restore accidentally deleted files or access previous versions of files stored in the My Documents folder or in shared folders by using the Previous Versions feature.
  • Replace broken shortcuts to files that are now on the server, including shortcuts in My Network Places and in My Recent Documents.
  • Access files on the internal SharePoint site (http://companyweb), set alerts, and use the Help Desk (if appropriate). The SharePoint site provides new functionality and workflow methods that might be unfamiliar to users.
  • Send faxes using the Shared Fax service, if this feature is configured on the server.
  • Choose strong passwords. If password policies are enabled, users must choose strong passwords — a task that might require some training.

One source of information for users is the Information and Answers page, which they can access either with Remote Web Workplace or at http://YourServerName/clienthelp.

Related Links

See the following resources for further information:

  • For information about setting up Windows Small Business Server 2003, see “Windows Small Business Server 2003 Getting Started Guide” at the TechNet Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=31370).
  • For information about securing Windows Small Business Server, see “Securing Your Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=31372).
  • For information about the Backup Configuration Wizard, see “Backing Up and Restoring Windows Small Business Server 2003” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=49916).
  • For information about making private profiles public, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32922.
  • For information about copying user profiles, see “To copy a user profile” in Help and Support Center.
  • For information about smart-host authentication, see “Configure SMTP Outbound Security” in Exchange Server Help.
  • For the latest information about Windows Small Business Server 2003, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=22341.

Appendix A: Transferring E-mail Hosting To Exchange

Before Windows Small Business Server can host e-mail for your company, you must create Internet Domain Name System (DNS) records for the e-mail domain and enter the appropriate e-mail settings in the Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard.

You can perform this step at any time; however, after you transfer e-mail hosting to Exchange Server, users can access new e-mail using only Outlook or Remote Web Workplace. If you join computers to the domain before you transfer e-mail hosting to Exchange Server, you should use the Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes to ensure that users continue to receive their e-mail during the migration.

CautionCaution
By default, Exchange Server does not support delivering e-mail messages with unresolved recipients to a particular mailbox (often called a “catch all” or default mailbox). For more information, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32923. Also see “Store NDRs” in Exchange Server Help. To add multiple e-mail addresses (aliases) to a single user account, click Start, click Users, double-click the appropriate user, and then use the E-mail Addresses tab to add the appropriate e-mail addresses.

Create the Proper DNS Records

The computer running Windows Small Business Server cannot host Internet e-mail for your company until you create the proper Internet DNS records, either by asking your ISP to do so or by creating the Internet DNS records yourself. If your Web hosting provider, ISP, or registrar will create DNS records for you, ask them to create the following Internet DNS records:

  • A DNS “A” record with the host name mail.contoso.com, where contoso.com is the name of your e-mail domain. The “A” record points to the public Internet IP address either of the computer running Windows Small Business Server or of your external firewall device.
  • An “MX” record pointing to the “A” record.
  • A “PTR” record pointing to the “A” record. Only your ISP can create this record.

To create the appropriate DNS records yourself, use the domain management Web page provided by your Web hosting provider, ISP, or registrar. Create the Internet DNS records listed in Table 1, replacing contoso.com with the name of your Internet e-mail domain.

If you want to use DNS to route outgoing e-mail, you must ask your ISP to create a “PTR” record pointing to the “A” record you create. If your ISP will not create a PTR record for you, you must use the Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard to forward outgoing e-mail to a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) smart host at your ISP, as discussed in the “Run the Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard” section of this appendix.

Table 1   Example Internet DNS Records for Windows Small Business Server

 

Host Name Record Type Server/IP Address

mail.contoso.com.

A

Internet IP address of either:

  • the external firewall device, or
  • the network interface that is connected directly to the Internet on the computer running Windows Small Business Server

www.contoso.com.

CNAME

Either:

  • mail.contoso.com (assuming this is the host name of the A record that you create), or
  • the server name of the Web hosting provider

You must also create an MX record for the computer running Windows Small Business Server so that e-mail is properly delivered to the Exchange server. This record should have the following characteristics:

  • It should point to the host name listed on the A record you created in Table 1, for example, mail.contoso.com.
  • If you currently pay for e-mail virtual hosting (e-mail hosting using your own domain name instead of your ISP’s domain name), the MX record you create should have a priority number that is at least two numbers lower than the MX record pointing to your existing e-mail provider. The MX record with the lowest priority number is the primary MX record.

You should also add an MX record for the company from which you purchased backup MX record hosting services. The priority number of this record should be higher than the primary MX record, but lower than the MX record of the current e-mail provider. See Table 2 for an example of how the MX records should look:

Table 2 Example DNS MX Records    

 

Record Type Priority Server/IP Address

MX

7

mail.contoso.com (if this is the host name of the A record that you created)

MX

9

Server name of backup mail server

MX

10

Name of e-mail server of current e-mail provider, if present

It can take up to three days for the changes you make to propagate through the DNS system. After the changes propagate and the computer running Windows Small Business Server is reliably receiving e-mail for the domain, you can delete the current e-mail provider’s MX record (if present).

CautionCaution
To ensure that no e-mail is lost in the event of an extended network outage, you should pay a company to serve as a backup mail server by hosting a backup MX record for the domain. Most dynamic DNS companies and many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide this service for a low yearly rate. If your server or network connection fails, DNS routes e-mail to this backup server, which attempts to deliver the messages to your server at regular intervals until your server comes back online.
ImportantImportant
If your ISP does not provide you with a static IP address, you must use a dynamic DNS service. Dynamic DNS services use a small program installed on the computer running Windows Small Business Server 2003 or built in to the external firewall to update DNS when your Internet IP address changes. Without this service, e-mail and remote access would fail every time your Internet IP address changed.

Run the Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard

Before you can transfer e-mail hosting to the computer running Windows Small Business Server, click Start, click Internet and E-mail, and then click Connect to the Internet to run the Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard. Use the following recommendations as a guide for completing the wizard:

  • On the E-mail Domain Name page, type the domain name registered for the company’s e-mail, for example contoso.com.
  • On the E-mail Delivery Method page, choose the delivery method to use for outgoing e-mail:
    • If you have a dynamic IP address or if your ISP will not create a “PTR” DNS record for you, click Forward all e-mail to e-mail server at your ISP, and enter the SMTP smart host (or SMTP server) server name provided by your ISP. If your ISP requires SMTP authentication, see “Configure SMTP Outbound Security” in Exchange Server Help.
    • If your ISP does not provide a SMTP smart host for forwarding e-mail, but it will create the proper “PTR” record for your e-mail domain, click Use DNS To Route E-mail.
    • If your ISP does not support SMTP smart hosts and will not create a “PTR” record for your e-mail domain, evaluate Internet connection packages from your ISP that include these services, or consider purchasing mail-relay services from a dynamic DNS provider.
  • On the E-mail Retrieval Method page, click Use Exchange and E-mail is delivered directly to my server if Exchange receives e-mail directly from the Internet instead of from an upstream mail server.

Appendix B: Reverting to a Peer-to-Peer Network

It is important to know how to undo changes in case you decide to abandon the migration. The process of reverting to a peer-to-peer network varies depending on how much of the migration you complete. Use the following list as a guide:

  1. Change the MX records for the domain back to your ISP or e-mail provider. This process can take up to three days to propagate through the Internet.
  2. Disable client document redirection, if you enabled it. To do so, click Do not redirect My Documents folders in the Client Document Redirection dialog box. This copies users’ documents back to their client computers the next time the users log on.
  3. If you migrated shared data to the server, copy the files back to the client computers and recreate the appropriate shared folders.
  4. Export each user’s Exchange Server mailbox back into their Outlook personal folders file. To do so, open each user’s Exchange Server mailbox in Outlook and manually move the items into the appropriate Outlook personal folders file.
    Alternatively, on the File menu, click Import and Export, click Export to a file, and then use the Export to a File wizard to export the mailbox to a personal folders file.
  5. On each client computer, copy all domain user profiles to local user accounts. For more information, see “To copy a user profile” in Help and Support Center.
  6. Remove any client computer accounts from the server, and then join each client computer to the workgroup that they previously belonged to.
  7. Remove the computer running Windows Small Business Server from the network, and configure the network and all devices as they were before you added the server. This might include the following tasks:
    1. Turn on the DHCP server on the external router or firewall device if you turned it off previously. This ensures that DHCP works without conflicts.
    2. Ensure that client computers are plugged in to the appropriate network switch.
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