Upgrade from Windows 2000 Server to 2003 Server?

By acidosmosis
Jul 15, 2003
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  1. I was recently asked by the owner here at the ISP that I work for about the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading from Windows 2000 Server to Windows 2003 Server.

    The immediate response I gave is that it may be wise to wait another year before upgrading because at the current time we have no use for the added features that 2003 offers to be cost effective enough to warrant a systemwide change such as this. Our operating only consists of a few computers performing different server operations and under 10 computers in the office. All that we do is provide a service to customers, being the Internet, webhosting (soon -- using SSH instead of FTP), and our own little internal network operations such as a Platypus database.

    You can't always convince someone with your word especially in this business. We all know you NEVER take the word of one techie. You consult professionals if at all possible. Even then those professionals are themselves techies so it is best to consult more than one.

    I did a little research and this is what I came up with.



    Article: "Big businesses can postpone Windows 2003 Server uprade." http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=9238

    "Analysts agree that there is norush for users to migrate to Microsoft's new Windows 2003 Server operating system and many can refrain from upgrading for at least another year".

    Just as I had suggested -- wait another year.



    I was then told by the owner here that he received a package for $300/year consisting of multiple 2000 Server, 2003 Server, Microsoft Office, and other program licenses along with the actual program in a package. I am not 100% sure what the package was called though -- something like Windows 2003 Server Power Pack or something similiar.

    So naturally I said if this pack was only $300 a year and you receive all these licenses and programs in the package then go for it. After all we will need a few more Windows licenses soon so I say go for this pack and spend $300 instead of spending lots of money on JUST licenses.



    Useful Links on this Subject:
    Weighing Your Options: Deploy Windows 2000 Now or Wait for Windows Server 2003?
    Big business can postpone Windows 2003 Server upgrade


    Any input on this is welcome.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    The benefits are, for the most part, pretty much superfluous, if you are at the level that you have to ask a question like that here.

    Windows 2000 is now in service pack 4 which is fairly mature.

    However, there are lots of updated in Windows 2003 server.

    In terms of the sort of controls I think you are using, its pretty much just the same.

    I did upgrade my home server to that, but that machine is also a workstation as well, and it added better games and media compatibility.

    Certainly, I don't see any real need to upgrade our servers at work to Windows 2003 Server. Maybe next year. Its a big job that when its a domain controller and you have lots of users.

    Stay Windows 2000 and try to master that. Maybe wait till next year.
  3. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,574

    If it was entirely up to me I would say stay with Windows 2000. That was where I stood from the start when he asked me about it because it just seemed to be the right decision.

    Though, the package that he bought has all this software in it I would say hey go for it. That is, as long as we are able to implement 2003 Server without any downtime whatsoever. If the other techie feels competent to do so then I say go ahead.

    Between me and you though I know he doesn't know what he is doing but that is none of my concern because he is now the only admin and it isn't like the owner would listen to me if I said NO DONT DO THIS. ;-). It will be nice when I am in that position. Then I can really do some things to make this company progress.

    Anyway you basically said what I was thinking. I guess now it is up to the owner to decide what he wants to do once I restate what I had said before. I also printed out a few articles on the subject for him to read. Well see what happens :D
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Windows 2003 is not so radically different.

    And, furthermore, I would like to add that a lot of this domain controller, DNS server, proxy server stuff sounds a lot more impressive than it actually is. Like many things in this life, its pretty easy when you know how. My advice is to let them decide and then put everything in into learning that platform with us much energy and dedication as possible. Good luck, my friend.
  5. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    sounds to me like the owner has allready made up his mind. He probably is attracted to the idea of being able to tell customers that you are using the latest state fo the art server OS.
  6. cromrell

    cromrell Newcomer, in training Posts: 52

    We just recently upgraded our network from winNT to win2000.
    I realize that we were probablly behind the ball some, but when it comes to servers and your ability to do business...

    I like a new toy as much as the next guy, but of course recommend for SP1, and make sure the admin has a good backup/restore procedure if you end up with problems.

    Sounds like an intersting licensing structure "power pack". I'd recommend looking for limitations (can it upgrade to next server OS, can you add CAL if the company grows beyond 10 PCs, etc). Microsoft isnt' know for giving their software away w/o expecting more in return.
  7. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,574

    Your not the only one upgrading from NT to 2000. Microsoft wont be support NT soon so companies are moving away from NT to 2000 server and 2003 server. There will be a large movement of upgrades to come over the next year.

    Phant: I know what you mean about things not being what they are hyped up to be. Which is yet another reason I say stick with 2000 for now.

    A large part of my decision to say stick with 2000 is that the other techie who has admin right now doesnt know what he is doing. If he does not backup everything before moving to 2003 server and something goes wrong (because of his lack of knowledge), it will cost us around $10,000 to fix.

    Cromrell, your right. The owner has always liked having the latest technology to impress customers which is really the sole reason we support V92. Though you can't get much through to him that the latest technology isnt always the best, or the right decision.
  8. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop Newcomer, in training Posts: 202

    An upgrade from NT4 is more epic than 2000. Win2k and 2k3 have essentially the same file system.

    There are benefits though. You get volume shadow copy with 2003. You also get remote administration terminal services installed already (remote desktop). IIS 6 is a hefty upgrade from previous versions. There is some more configurability with kerberos that helps with creating intranets. Security is incredibly improved out-of-the-box. The Everyone group no longer holds sway o'er your filesystem.

    While it may still be a bit green, i've seen it grow from pre-release .net server on msdn to it's current incarnation. To me, the security enhancements alone warrant upgrade from 2000. If you look at the bulk of required security patches that have come out since 2003 hit the markets they are for all NT5 platforms. Often even the desktops.

    I manage upwards of 30 windows servers now. Almost all of them are 2003. The DC is getting upgraded in January. If you can't afford it, or if you have really planned and managed your servers well I don't think it's crucial to upgrade. However, if at all possible by all means do! That's what I think anyway.
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Its becoming more important to look to Windows 2003 server because Microsoft will eventually stop supporting 2000 server as fully.

    For right now, I would go for Windows 2003 on new servers, but not upgrade unless there is some real call for it.

    If you have to reinstall a server, you might consider trying it.

    If its something that is directly internet facing, you might also consider it because of added security benefits with 2003.

    But your bosses are buying into a lot of MS hype if they think that 2003 will make things go more smoothly or better for some magical reason.
  10. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop Newcomer, in training Posts: 202

    Indeed. If you have a properly running 2000 domain there aren't going to be any majorly noticeable enhancements. The biggest enhancements are in the server products. Exchange 2003, ISA 2004, among others have really functional improvements.
  11. mamoun

    mamoun Newcomer, in training

    our network consiste of 12 domain controller and domain on windows 2000 server , so we are planing to upgrade form win2000 to win2003 i need to know the following information:

    - if our domain is in mix mode i mean windows 2000 server and 2003
    - what is hardware and software trubleshooting coulde ocure
    - what is the best way to migration.
    - migration steps
  12. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    I only have a small home-network with 4 PCs (3x W2K, 1xW98), and that works perfectly.
    I will be installing my new PC today. Normally I would put Windows 2000 Pro/SP4 on it.
    I also have W2K Server and W2K Advanced Server. Is there any benefit in installing a Server version rather than W2K Pro?
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Bump...............
     
  14. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop Newcomer, in training Posts: 202

    mamoun: 'Mixed mode' as far as windows is concerned is only for NT4/NT5 domains. For instance, in Mixed mode you can have an NT4 domain controller (PDC). With Native mode you can ONLY have 2000/2003 DCs, but you can still have NT4 member servers.

    If you are going to upgrade your DCs to 2003 you should look at doing them before your member servers. I have a Native 2000 domain with almost all 2003 servers and I constantly get Kerberos errors. From what i've seen this is because of the version of kerberos that 2003 uses vs 2000. This error doesn't keep my domain from functioning properly though. Well with the exception of some intranet authentication stuff.

    realblackstuff: Unless you need to have more than 2 processors, more than 4gb o' ram, or if you need to run DNS, DHCP, WINS, or IIS (probably not a good idea anyway) there really isn't a reason to install either server product.
  15. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Thanks HoopaJoop. You Dutch with a name like Joop?
  16. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop Newcomer, in training Posts: 202

    Heh. No. It's a nerdy anime reference, and catchy too I think. You know those moments when you need to say something but you can't remember the name of the object it references? I use 'hoopajoop' as a catch all generic term for names that slip my mind so I can go on with the sentence. :D
  17. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Here that is a 'thingamajiggy' or 'whatchamacallit'.
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