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Question about consolidating two FileMaker 12 servers down to one

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I am an IT professional who has no experience supporting FileMaker, so I could use some sound advice. I have been tasked with taking on the following situation: 

We currently have FileMaker Server 12 installed on two different servers with user databases from different departments on each. One is Windows Server 2012 (which is fine for now), and the other is Windows Server 2008 which is of course out of support from Microsoft.

I realize a best case scenario would be to do an upgrade to the latest version of FileMaker for both, but that would be a more complex effort that would also involve upgrading the FileMaker desktop clients (which we have on both PCs and Macs).

In the interests of being able to retire the Windows 2008 box as soon as possible, would it be feasible for us to increase the storage on the 2012 server to the appropriate level and then migrate all the databases over to that server?

If that approach could work then what would be the high-level steps, and what involvement and impact would there be to the user community in such a migration? I am starting from square zero, knowing nothing about FileMaker so apologies if this idea is not possible or advisable!

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The fact that FM 12 has been EOL since September 2016, I would strongly recommend upgrading to latest platform.

This also assumes you're on a perpetual license (you own it) for your users and still have access to the license key and full installers?

If the company has been paying their Annual maintenance each year they may already have access to the latest versions which you could upgrade them to. Upgrading both mac and windows users is fairly simple ( unless you have to do it remotely )

The files that reside on the 2008 server do they employ any Remote Containers if so they would need to be moved along with the databases.

Do any of the files on the 2008 server match existing file names on the 2012 server?

Users who use the old server will need to be pointed to the new server if the above questions can be resolved.

If you're using external authentication you may need to add accounts so that users can access files.

Alternatively if they no longer to wish to have on premise hosting there are other options for using a hosting provider for the databases.




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Ocean West,

I have confirmed that we are fully current in our Server licenses and our FileMaker Pro user licenses (which we actually have too many of based on dropping usage) and are eligible to upgrade to the current version.

That is an excellent point about the file names and a possible conflict, since each environment is isolated there may by some duplication there. Thanks for your helpful tips.

What would be a good resource either on this forum or somewhere else for walking someone through the steps of a server upgrade to FileMaker 18 or 19?

Also, is there is recommended book or online resource (besides the product documentation) for a person who needs to learn FileMaker server administration?

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On licensing if you have more than 13 people it may be of benefit to convert to a Site License.

Basic steps of upgrading would be to make sure you have backups of all current files on more than one media, this may also include any backups if you ever need historical data from server.

you will need to make sure you backup scripts and schedules (however if you are going from 12 to 18 ) you may be better suited to take screen shots of each of the configuration settings on old server and then re setup any scripts schedules from scratch.

On old server you will close all databases and turn off the database engine. 

There should be an UNINSTALLER somewhere in the FileMaker Server Folder (its been so long for FM12 not sure where this is located) (on windows it may be easier to runt he uninstall operation)

once FMS has been uninstalled - you will need to rename the FileMakerServer directory or move it to the desktop.

Now you can start fresh use your 18 or 19 installers and go thru the installation and setup. You will need your license certificate.

During installation you will need to install a JRE. and Also if you have a valid SSL Certificate you will need that to install.



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