I am having trouble with my current Windows 2003 server where MOSS 2007 is installed. My 'farm' is a single box with everything installed on it, MOSS and SQL. We have grown and this current setup needs to change.

I need to move MOSS to a Windows 2008 R2 server. Reading around on how to migrate to a new machine and there is a lot of articles out there. At the end I need to shut down this box completely because of the issues we are having with it. My question is, why can't I:

  1. Migrate the dbs to a new server (stsadm)
  2. Add a new server (2008 R2) into the SharePoint farm
  3. Transfer services to the new server (2008 R2)????
    • stop services on the current 2003 box and start them on the new 2008 r2
    • use conf wizard to have CA on the new 2008 machine
  4. Shut down this troublesome 2003 box.
  • can an in-place upgrade of the 2003 box to 2008 r2 be another option?
    – Singa
    May 24, 2011 at 3:15
  • This would be risky. If this machine is already giving problems anyway I would want to "re-pave" it completely, not upgrade the OS. It would also result in substantial downtime. Microsoft recommend a clean install if possible.
    – SPDoctor
    May 28, 2011 at 8:15

2 Answers 2


I can think of a couple of problems with this.

First you will need to make sure that your SharePoint 2007 farm is patched to the latest version to ensure it is supported on Windows Server 2008 R2. Also, you may need to slipstream the latest service pack in order to install on Windows Server 2008 R2.

You will be creating a new SQL Server machine and moving your content and configuration databases to this new server. You will probably do these one at a time because they will be briefly unavailable.

Then you will add another server as a second web front-end server in the farm. Perhaps this will all be on a single new machine, and that should work too. Now your old machine is just one of two web front-ends. Depending on whether you have load balancing it might only be the old machine serving pages. The snag is that it is not supported to have web front-ends in the farm running different OS versions. So initially you will need to install Windows Server 2003 on the new server and upgrade it later. Then change your DNS to point to the new server. When you are confident everything is working okay you can shutdown the old server. Finally, upgrade the new server to Windows 2008.

Given that you are going to have to do an OS upgrade on the new server anyway, I don't think all this is worth the effort. I think you would be better off accepting a limited period of read-only access on the old server, while backing up and restoring the databases to the new server and then switching DNS.


Microsoft have a technet article that details how to do exactly what you are asking: Migrate a stand-alone installation to a server farm installation

If this is a critical production farm that can only have minimal down time, I would actually go down the path of building a brand new completely separate SharePoint farm on Windows 2K8 R2 with a nice new SQL Server and get that all configured and verified along side your existing farm.

I'd then do a trial run of migrating one content database to the new farm and do a few rounds of testing and fine tuning the process until you have it right.

Then once you are happy with the process schedule an outage and migrate all your existing content database and DNS over to the new farm.

The downside to this approach is that you will have to re-configure the new farm from scratch. But in my opinion there is far less risk of destroying your existing production environment by trying to upgrade it. You'll have a completely separate farm running along side production that you can test away on without effecting production.

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