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1597 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 239858 8-Aug-2018 11:56
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Hi
For a small (approx 10-15 users) company,
running SBS2011 : exchange email , SQL based program , file storage (say approx 20GB)

What are the general options for moving the whole lot into the cloud.

Basically, management want everything in the cloud, so that it can be accessed from home, and most importantly if their Office has an power
outage , critical staffers can just go home & continue working : ie no outage issues .

 

one possible option is to move their server to a datacenter and remotely access that server, either via VPN or TS (adding a TS Server) 
or host everything online , on hosted servers : requiring everything to be resetup.

So in general, what are the practical options for moving their small operation completely into the Cloud .
ie , what options should I be looking into, or what options wont be practical costwise & in usability given the smallish size of the business.
Cheers


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566 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2069786 8-Aug-2018 12:14
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Move the email, files etc off to Office 365.

 

Stick your SQL app on a small dedicated server (ideally "managed" for small Biz so you have the support, updates etc) or up on Azure if you want to stick with Microsoft account and manage it yourself.

 

Yep will require a bit of "resetup" however better now than when your SBS carks it.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2069816 8-Aug-2018 12:46
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We do quite a few of these each month. Standard procedure for a SBS2011 would be:

 

 

 

  • Provision a VM on one of our machines with Server 2012 R2 or 2016 depending on requirements
  • Setup a site to site VM from the datacenter to the business location
  • Add it to the domain (if there is one)
  • Migrate the exchange email to O365
  • Take over FSMO roles and make the new server primary DC
  • Migrate over files / SQL
  • Update group policy and DNS with new records

 

 

Ideally you wouldn't be running everything on one server, but we do see it with smaller businesses. You'd probably be best co-locating a server in a datacenter and using SPLA licensing to split it into 2 VMs (one for DC, one for files / SQL). It's not the most straightforward task, and just dumping the SBS2011 server into a datacenter on a public IP is highly not advised, so you'd be best to get an IT provider or Cloud provider skilled in such migrations... we see the pain that occurs when a migration like this goes wrong!






 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2069856 8-Aug-2018 13:03
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What CamH mentioned is one of the ideal, long-term solution, it's also involves the most work, and is not what most companies do.

The usual first step is to virtualize your physical servers, and using a host server. The host server can be Azure, but there are many other companies also. From a cost stand-point, your servers go from a CAPEX, capital expense to an OPEX operating expense, which your CFO / accountant will like.

To virtulalize your servers, you'll use either VMWare or Hyper-V. I'd recommend Hyper-V since it's less expensive.

While this sounds complex, it's pretty simple, and has the advantage of ease of "up-sizing", and better disaster recovery. You can alos create proof-of-concept servers, user acceptance servers, and testing servers, deverlopment machines on the fly, and only pay for them when they are turned on.

For example, once virtualized you can add disk space on the fly, and add CPU's and RAM with only a reboot. Of course adding hardware increases your monthy subscription.

Also once virtualized you can move your servers to other providers, if you're not happy with your current one.

http://techgenix.com/beginners-guide-microsoft-hyper-v/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/capture-image-resource

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/prepare-for-upload-vhd-image

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  Reply # 2070057 8-Aug-2018 14:40
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The gentlemen above make some good suggestions.  Unless you know that you are using Group Policies, and are very keen on central management of printers in the office (i.e the workstations are printing via server-based print queues and you are really keen to keep these), I would look at Azure SQL instances https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/sql-database/ for your SQL database which would likely mean you can do without the Virtual Server.

 

I recommend doing things in stages

 

  • Migrate email to Office 365 using MigrationWiz, which will take a major workload off the server.  Disable the Exchange services when no longer needed.  Remaining workloads on the server will run notably better!
  • Migrate files to OneDrive for Business on the same Office 365 Business Premium subscription (unless you need the E3 plan's features).  Note we have had lots of issues with syncing files in the past, but the newer version of OneDrive looks pretty stable and now allows you to do selective sync of certain folders.
  • Move the SQL application to Azure SQL (or if not possible, a small VM on Azure or similar).

Happy to provide some on site assistance on a commercial basis, of course, if you need it.





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Geek
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  Reply # 2087995 12-Sep-2018 09:02
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Dynamic:

 

The gentlemen above make some good suggestions.  Unless you know that you are using Group Policies, and are very keen on central management of printers in the office (i.e the workstations are printing via server-based print queues and you are really keen to keep these), I would look at Azure SQL instances https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/sql-database/ for your SQL database which would likely mean you can do without the Virtual Server.

 

I recommend doing things in stages

 

  • Migrate email to Office 365 using MigrationWiz, which will take a major workload off the server.  Disable the Exchange services when no longer needed.  Remaining workloads on the server will run notably better!
  • Migrate files to OneDrive for Business on the same Office 365 Business Premium subscription (unless you need the E3 plan's features).  Note we have had lots of issues with syncing files in the past, but the newer version of OneDrive looks pretty stable and now allows you to do selective sync of certain folders.
  • Move the SQL application to Azure SQL (or if not possible, a small VM on Azure or similar).

Happy to provide some on site assistance on a commercial basis, of course, if you need it.

 

 

As above, you can go Serverless (forgets to mention Azure AD for user auth above so marks off there). I do wonder how big the SQL instance is with SBS2011 as to whether Azure SQL is cost-efficient for the need, and whether the application using it would play nice with it.

 

If you spin a server up in Azure and join to domain, make sure to spend time looking for the SBS Group Policies and sites in IIS as they can be annoying.

 

Can someone confirm whether SBS2011 is nice when moving the FSMO roles or do you have to seize? Been a while since I've done a decomm.


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  Reply # 2088043 12-Sep-2018 09:38
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Jogre: Can someone confirm whether SBS2011 is nice when moving the FSMO roles or do you have to seize? Been a while since I've done a decomm.

 

SBS must have the FSMO roles, if I remember correctly, or it starts throwing its toys out of the cot and shutting down every hour or two.  There are techniques for preventing the SBS service running which stops that auto-shutdown if you need a little longer than the 7 (or is it 21 days?) grace period to finish the decommissioning.





"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2093061 19-Sep-2018 11:19
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1101:

 

Hi
For a small (approx 10-15 users) company,
running SBS2011 : exchange email , SQL based program , file storage (say approx 20GB)

What are the general options for moving the whole lot into the cloud.

Basically, management want everything in the cloud, so that it can be accessed from home, and most importantly if their Office has an power
outage , critical staffers can just go home & continue working : ie no outage issues .

 

one possible option is to move their server to a datacenter and remotely access that server, either via VPN or TS (adding a TS Server) 
or host everything online , on hosted servers : requiring everything to be resetup.

So in general, what are the practical options for moving their small operation completely into the Cloud .
ie , what options should I be looking into, or what options wont be practical costwise & in usability given the smallish size of the business.
Cheers

 

 

 

 

I'm doing something similar for a 20 user client. Design very briefly:

 

 - Current config: SBS 2008 with SQL based LoB apps

 

Destination:

 

 - Emails in Office 365
 - Azure AD Domain Services on the back of the O365 accounts
 - Unifi Security Gateway, UFB connection, VPN to Azure
 - Synology NAS for remaining file shares
 - Synology backs up the O365 emails
 - Synology syncs the file share to OneDrive as a backup
 - LoB application is migrated to a cloud version
 - Server is gone :)

 

There is some fun and games with the LoB application and some permissions, as the workstations will be removed from the SBS domain and rejoined to the domain hosted by Azure (NOT azure AD joined)

 

This way the GPO functionality will be retained, but the lack of the print server is a pain, I will have to create a powershell script to remove the local printers and attach them using an IP address. Also I will use ProfWiz to retain the existing profiles in the new domain.


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