In our existing setup we have a local intranet SQL Server 2005 install which holds all of our intranet data (customer details, communications, invoices etc). We also have a second SQL Server 2005 install at our DC which is used by our publically accessible portal site, which allows our customers to login, check their details etc. We've got merge replication setup between the two, with the local server acting as distributor and publisher, and the publication (and as such the live database) consisting of just a subset of the data stored locally, so only the data required in the portal is replicated, not the more sensitive data.
The issue is that I'm in the process of migrating the databases in the DC to a new SQL 2012 server, and as such will need to get replication working for the intranet/portal database between the intranet 2005 server and the internet 2012 one. Eventually I want to get the intranet server upgraded as well, but for now that's not an option.
The question is, what's the best way to go about this?
While the local server can't manage the live one I can obviously do the reverse, however a subscriber in merge replication can't be newer than the publisher, so I can't simply setup the publication on the local server using SMSS 2012 on the live server and then make the live server a subscriber.
I could setup the distributor / publisher on the live 2012 server, and then make the local 2005 server a subscriber, but the local 2005 server is the data source so I'm not sure that would work. Also I don't want the live 2012 server to have full access to the local database since it's potentially more at risk than the local server.
I could make the live 2012 server the distributor and keep the local 2005 server as the publisher (according to the docs), but again I couldn't make the 2012 server a subscriber to it.
If anyone can confirm whether the above are / aren't possible or if there's a better way I'd appreciate it, it might just save what little hair I have left!