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2003 Server Standard vs 2003 Server Enterprise

darrennelson
darrennelson asked
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have 2 Windows 2k DCs I am going to upgrade to 2003.  I am looking for some real world experience on which version of 2003, Standard or Enterprise, I should you for the upgrade.

I do have an Exchange 2003 server already running on another Server 2003 Standard box.

I have already reviewed http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/comparefeatures.mspx but would like more input.

Any considerations I should account for in making the decision will be helpful.

Regards.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
Why do you want to spend the extra money?  Do you plan on clustering?  Do you need systems with large amounts of RAM and more than 2 CPUs?
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Commented:
Hi darrennelson,

well my friend, 2k3 standard edition doesnt allow you to upgrade - at least it never has when i have tried. Enterprise is a lot more expensive though   let me find you some documents

Cheers!
Technology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
Have a look over the comparisons (towards the bottom of this link) and ask yourself if you need the capabilities.  If not, why spend the money?

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/overview/family.mspx

Also:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/comparefeatures.mspx

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
What do you mean it doesn't allow you to upgrade?  I've never seen a problem upgrading...
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Commented:
leew,

got me by two seconds! ha

have a good one
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Commented:
leew,

when i have tried to upgrade a 200 server using standard, i get errors saying cant upgrade with this version of 2k3

you've never seen that??
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
You can't upgrade 2000 Standard to 2003 Enterprise.  You CAN upgrade 2000 Standard to 2000 Advanced then 2000 Advanced to 2003 Enterprise.  I'm not saying I like it or that I think it's right, but I understand Microsoft's licensing scheme - If you could use a 2003 Enterprise to upgrade a 2000 standard, you'd be potentially getting more features without paying the appropriate licensing costs.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
But if you don't need the features, why bother with them?  Why spend the money?
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Commented:
a fair call,

think i will have to look deeper into my problems of upgrading as i was upgrading 2000 standard to to 2003 standard and getting errors  hmm   ah well this isnt my question anyway, thanks for the tips though Leew

James

Author

Commented:
some clarification-

the company I work for has an MSDN Subscription, so money isnt an issue with the different versions.  I have both at my disposal.

I set up a test environment with a 2K advanced and 2k standard DC's, upgraded both successfully with 2k3 Standard.

DC1 is a Dell PowerEdge 2.8 Xeon with 1GIG RAM
DC2 is a Dell Dimension 4100 with 256M RAM ->which brings up another topic...........will server2k3 work on this box.  In my test environment, one of my DC's was an AMD 1.0GIG with 256M RAM and I did get some memory errors

Are there any features I will have use for with Ent Ed over Standard??

Author

Commented:
in the last thread, DC1 and DC2 refer to the live environment, not my test env
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
> Are there any features I will have use for with Ent Ed over Standard??
How can WE possibly answer that - we don't know what your company does or needs and before I would consider recommending one or the other, I would generally insist on evaluating the site and how they work and what they wanted to do.

>the company I work for has an MSDN Subscription, so money isnt an issue with the different versions.  I have both at my disposal.
That is not true.  MSDN subscriptions are licensed for DEVELOPMENTAL purposes - NOT for production systems.  If you get an Action Pack subscription and are a technology company, you MAY be able to use things for production, but MSDN is not a production license.

So again, why spend the money?  Look over the comparison links and determine if the features offered ONLY by Enterprise edition are something you need.  If not, don't spend the money.
The way I present it is if you dont have the need for a clustered server and are not using a server with more than 4 CPU's and 32G of ram, then enterprise is not for you. Standard x64 has enough power to run most applications quite well, only reason I could see going to Enterprise is if you need a powerful database server for hundreds of users, or planning on hosting a ton of websites with email.

Commented:
Can anyone address the issue of DFS in standard vs. Enterprise.  I understand there are minor differences in the capabilities in file replication accros the wire.
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Commented:
i have never known of any difference with DFS capabilities in ent vs std.....then only thing i cant think that you may be getting mixed up with is 2003 vs 2003r2 in which DFS was actually fixed
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Commented:
Realising this is a *very* old thread and discussion so sorry for the email everyone will inevitably get :)
I came across this PAQ  searching for something else and thought I'd add this since we're still building in 2003R2 on occasion and I'm sure we're not the only ones, this may be useful to somebody:
Cross-file RDC can be used by DFS in Enterprise and Datacenter editions of 2003R2, 2008 and 2008R2 but NOT Standard versions of these OS-es making these more efficient at DFS replication.  There's a link here with information about what Cross-file RDC is and how DFS makes use of it: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773238(WS.10).aspx 
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