Disclaimer: I will not make any profit from what i’m about to talk about.
On thing we have been doing a lot of over the past twelve months is server replacements. We had a lot of customers using Small Business Server 2000 for sometime and were looking at taking the step to the next version to take advantage of newer hardware and all the cool features of SBS (Remote Web Workplace, Outlook Web Access, SharePoint, etc,etc,etc)
At my old company this would have involved decomissioning the old server and replacing it with the new one. This meant a visit to each PC to point to the new domain. Someone had to recreate all the user accounts, passwords and email addresses. This isn’t too bad in a small setup but imagine a company that has 40+ users.
When i moved to the new company i decided that there must be an easier way of doing this.
Luckily since i read lots of SBS blogs i had heard about the Swing Migration technique and guy called Jeff Middleton. After doing some research i convinced the bean counters to lay out the cash and get me what i wanted!
I have to say it was money well spent.
The ability to migrate everything to the new server with minimal downtime and domain, user, mailboxes intact was fantastic. Also the fact that the only main PC configuration was for printers (which if you really wanted to you could script as well) made life so much easier
I would recommend you take a look at it as we thought it was worth every penny
One of the blogs where i first heard of this was on Sean Daniels blog
He quite rightly points out that you might also learn something too!
Also as he did when we first used it we had a few minor snags but since every installation is different that is to be expected.
On a final note i e-mailed Jeff to ask him a question and considering the time differences his responses were quick and useful!
So do yourself a favour and check it out!