This weekend I will be performing a wipe and load of an EBS Management server. Last month I picked up the Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Administrator's Companion book and I must say, I'm pretty happy with it.
The book is more of a mid-level overview of the process and procedures on how to do things within EBS. Lately I've been diving into the certification books so this was refreshing to have a broader product outlook. It does provide steps on how to accomplish certain procedures like a replacement mode installation, but most people who know me understand that I like detail as well.
A replacement mode installation is just what it sounds: the replacement of an EBS server role. In my case, its the Management server. You can use this installation mode when you upgrade a servers hardware or need to start from a clean installation but maintain your EBS configuration. One of the very cool aspects of EBS is that it stores the configuration of that EBS implementation inside Active Directory.
For those who haven't configured EBS yet, there are two wizards that need to be ran before integrating EBS into your environment. The Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard both gather information about your network and how to configure the server and store it inside AD. If a replacement mode installation is detected, WEBS Setup will use that information for self configuration. This is also how it determines that it's in replacement mode, the fact that the MMSConfiguration object exists in Active Directory.
I should remind people that replacement mode installation does not restore data, just the server and configuration into an operational state. You will need to restore user data from backups.
Hope this gives you a little insight on the replacement mode installation for EBS.