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User Count of SBS2003

I an doing a new install of SBS 2003 (my first one with SBS 2003) and have a question.  I have the server with 5 cal's that has not been activated yet.  I wanted to do the cut over this weekend but I think my vendor is flaking out on me.  I am waiting for a 20 user cal to arrive today but I don't have a good feeling.  Hence my question.

Is there any grace period for the users to connect to this server.  I have a total of 21 users that will need to login on Monday morning.  I have 24 days left on the activation and would really like to cut over.  Any suggestions besids killing the vendor?

Thanks for your help.

2 Solutions
Ahhh, one of the great mysteries of MS Licensing.  I'm sure someone, somewhere, has attempted to exceed the licensing by the amount you are going to attempt to do it.  And *maybe* they can tell you at what point their server balked, if it did at all.  But in my experience you won't find 'exact' information on this published anywhere, state secret I guess.  Also because I believe it runs on a variable counter and not an exact sequence.

The only thing I would recommend is either a) don't do it or b) you talk to a MS Licensing Customer Service rep, (800) 426-9400 , since you are going to be betting the whole bank on it.  I'm certainly not going to throw out an answer that at best would be applicable say 50% of the time.  At least with Microsoft you are able to say 'They told me it would be fine'.  Lot of help that will be though.  I've definitely exceeded my license counts before, and in general only gotten messages in the event log about it, but we're talking about a system that periodically exceeds its license count and then falls back into compliance vs. your situation where it would exceed compliance excessively and stay there.

If you could find a vendor who provides your license keys online that would be ideal for your situation, but I don't know of one, and for legal reasons there may not be one.  You could definitely get them overnighted though, and worse case your users would only have half a day on Tuesday of periodic outage if you did your switchover monday night (as licenses would arrive Tue. morning).  And that's only if SBS kicks them out for exceeding license counts, they'd still have internet, etc.

Not much help I'm afraid,

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Exceeding the CALs by that amount will surely cause your SBS to have issues.  There are certainly vendors which will provide you the keys at the very least, within 24-hours.  Specifically, CDW is incredibly helpful in situations like this:


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