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SBS Licensing

cjohnson300
cjohnson300 asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I have a remote site that currently has its own peer-to-peer network and users log on locally to their PCs.  They connect to the domain over a VPN to get their mail from Exchange and share files etc.  Do these connections count towards the number of user licences?  They connect to Exchange and can access shared files but their logon scripts specified in AD never run (they have user accounts in AD that match their local logon usernames and passwords).  The reason I ask is that I was thinking of installing a DC at their office and get the users to logon to the domain, but I'm worried about going over the 75 user limit that SBS stipulates.

Thanks in advance
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
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Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
So, you already have SBS2003 installed in the main office, correct?  Technically, the SBS EULA requires a CAL for your remote users.  Because SBS's licensing mechanism is rather fuzzy, the responsibility is on YOU to ensure that you are not exceeding the amount of CALs you have installed on the server.  FULL AD accounts are certainly needing a CAL.  How many users are showing up in the Maximum Connections field under Licensing in your Server Management Console?

If this company has more than 75 users, then it may be time for them to migrate to the next level of network infrastructure.  Remember, the total cost of an IT infrastructure is NOT determined by the licensing costs alone.  In fact those costs are generally only a fraction of the overall total when you consider maintenance, support, AND employee productivity gains by providing them the RIGHT tools for the job.

Check out http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/midsizebusiness/51to250/default.mspx for an overview of the options and considerations for this size company.  They also offer a special package now that is similar to SBS, but designed for larger organizations... the pricing is still much better than Enterprise licensing and again they've included management tools designed for these size companies:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/solutions/midsize/default.mspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Author

Commented:
Yes, we already have SBS2003 installed in the main office.  Under Licensing it says 67, we have licences to cover these connections, but do this include the users at the remote office who are connecting to Exchange and browsing shared folders using the account they have in AD, but technically they did not log on to the domain becuase the login script doesn't run for them etc..?????!!!

Thanks again!
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
I'm not sure how you are thinking that the login script is the determination of whether someone logs into a domain or not... but it's not.

When they put their username and password into the box that asks for it... that's logging in.

Whether or not the SBS sees the remote users as separate users is the question.  If they are on a separate IP LATA and their connection to the SBS is showing up as a single IP connection, then most likely SBS is considering that a DEVICE CAL instead of a USER CAL.  DEVICE CALs can have almost unlimited users.

But the fact is that what you are ACTUALLY doing would REQUIRE separate USER CALs... so not complying would be in violation of the Licensing Agreement and thus illegal.  If you are over the 75 user limit, you need to start thinking about migrating to enterprise level servers.  The Medium Business IT Solution link I provided above will help you with that decision.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Author

Commented:
They are on a separate LATA, but is there a way of determining if the users' connections to SBS is presenting itself as a single connection?
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
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Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
There is no way to monitor the exact connections that SBS Licensing is seeing.

You're treading mighty close to having your SBS shut down on you if you hit the 75 mark.  I think you will need to decide what that would cost the company compared to being in compliance.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Author

Commented:
Does SBS shut itself down??!!  At what point does that happen?
Principal Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
Well, the behavior is that SBS will begin to reboot itself when it has excessive licensing violstions.  For sure, users will be blocked from logging in if there are already 75 logins.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

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