We have Windows SBS 2003 and Windows 2003/2008 servers in a domain running WSS 2.0 and WSS3.0. We would like to upgrade our domain to Windows 2012 and SharePoint 2013.

Can we have, without any issues, a couple SharePoint 2013 foundation installations on few different serves as completely separate sites without any issues (on top of main SharePoint 2013 farm that we are planning for)?

We would like to initially upgrade our domain infrastructure to Windows 2012 AD and have option of leaving existing SharePoint services (2.0 and 3.0) running in new AD?


There is a couple of things that you need to be aware of:

  1. Small Business Server has been discontinued
  2. You cannot have multiple SharePoint 2013 Foundation installations on the same server
  3. I don't think you can run WSS 2.0 or 3.0 on top of Windows 2012

It's hard to help with your exact situation but here is what you could do:

  1. Upgrade your domain to new Windows 2012
  2. Migrate your WSS 2.0/3.0 to a dedicated server running SharePoint 2013 Foundation (Hardware and software requirements for SharePoint 2013)

Please note: there is no direct upgrade path from 2.0 or 3.0 to 2013. You will have to purchase a 3rd party tool or upgrade manually.

When it comes to SharePoint 2013 you should also consider Office365 as an alternative to on-premises deployment.

  • thank you for your response. I understand SBS is discontinued and that is one reason for why we are deploying 2012. We have remote office in DC and we will install windows 2012 since they do some of their on data exchange we would like them to have their own SharePoint 2013 foundation so they can customize sites. Same situation for our service department. If we deploy those are we able to fully upgrade those to a SharePoint 2013 farm later? Feb 1 '13 at 17:03
  • Yes, you can upgrade from Foundation to Server. Since you do have remote offices try to see if Office365 is a viable alternative, as it does offer SharePoint but also Exchange (email) and Lync (VOIP and IM) in the package... Feb 2 '13 at 13:49

I would sit down and start by pulling out a spread sheet and start cataloguing your requirements. I would also take the time to do a full inventory of what you are running now. Then you can map this against the various products available, of which some I list below. Don't forget a skill analysis and map the gap and what that will take to ramp up on the new stuff as well or bring in a partner to help.

if your users are small O365 is a pretty big bargain. If you are using Exchange as part of the SBS deployment, you have to factor that into any move away from SBS. O364 gives you that for about $20 per user a month for up to 50 users, and it also includes licenses for MS Office use.

As for your AD, you can Join SBS to another domain or add a new server to the existing one however you can run 2012 functional level because all your servers of course wont be running server 2012. Also note that if you move domains, there is a tremendous amount of work to do to keep things working in SBS and it must hold all the FSMO roles.

If you want to take advantage of the new offerings I would look to migrate of SBS all together as @Toni has stated. Windows Server Essentials 2012 is for up to 50 users, but there is no Exchange component, MS expects you to signup for O365 for that. You can install Foundation on the product and run it, and there are scenarios where you may want both Essentials server and O365, and MS makes integration between them fairly painless.

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