Step 1: Inventory

Before I get rid of my servers, I need to make sure I know exactly what they are doing now, whether I still need those functions going forward, and how I’m going to replace the needed functionality.

Easy stuff first …

  • The Kaseya server does only one thing: it runs the software I use to manage my clients’ systems. Putting this in the cloud will be the hardest part of all, so I’m going to leave it until Phase Two of the project.
  • The backup and disaster recovery server also does only one thing: it backs up my Small Business Server, stores a copy of all the data, and sends a copy to a data center in the cloud. Once I’ve put my SBS to bed, I’ll no longer need the backup server.

Now the harder part. I need to make a list of all the things that the SBS does. I compiled the list by examining what software was installed on the server (through Add/Remove Programs) and by reviewing the list of services that were running.

  • Active Directory controller – no longer needed; will convert from domain to workgroup
    • Note that being a one-person business makes the question of managing user rights much easier!
  • Exchange server – will switch to hosted e-mail
    • Must remember to identify all e-mail addresses and aliases currently in use
    • Need to make sure I have a good method for accessing mail on Windows Mobile 6.1 device
  • File server
    • Working files: the data I use on a regular basis – will need to find a way to keep these synchronized between my desktop and tablet; also need them backed up off-site
    • Archive files: data I haven’t used in a long time – can store these on an external USB drive; don’t need to be synched but do need to be backed up off-site after a purge
    • Reference library: things I’ve downloaded from the Internet – can store these on an external USB drive; don’t need them backed up off-site
  • Application and web server
    • Antivirus – will switch to cloud-managed desktop antivirus
    • UPS – no longer needed
  • DHCP server – will move to firewall
  • DNS server – will move to DNS provided by ISP or OpenDNS
  • SQL server
    • SBS monitoring – no longer needed
    • SharePoint v. 2 – no longer needed
    • SharePoint v. 3 – no longer needed (but could be moved to hosted SharePoint)
    • Microsoft Outlook with Business Contact Manager – never used, not needed

I will also note a few things that SBS servers often do, but that mine doesn’t:

  • Print server – I already have only a local printer that can be shared on the network
  • Remote access server – I have little need for remote access to my desktop, and I already have special remote control software anyway

Next step: plan the sequence of migration events to prevent any disruption in services.

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