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Win 2003 + Exchange 2003 vs. Win 2003 SBS

Posted on 2006-07-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Good Afternoon,

Our company is approximately 30 users.

I'll be purchasing Dell PowerEdge 2950's to run these.  My aim is to have 4GB Ram, RAID1 for OS and RAID 10 for DATA.  I'm also aiming for the new Woodcrest procs; Dual 3.0 GHz, 4MB cache...etc.

I'm looking at purchasing some new servers and need to analyze the difference between getting Windows Server 2003 Standard + Exchange 2003 Standard versus Windows 2003 Small Business Server.

More than just price, I want to look at upgrading to Server Longhorn and Exchange 2007 when they come out.  (I know this can be accomplished by purchasing Software Assurance on W2K3+EX2003, but I don't know about SBS2003.)  And what about performance.

The second server will be a file and print sharing server.  The question here is whether to go SBS or plain Server 2003.

Finally, the third server will be an application server running Symantec Anti-Virus, Windows Update Services, etc.  Again, the question is: SBS or Standard 2003.

I've only used Standard 2003 in the past...

Thanks ahead of time!

adam.
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Question by:adamkerrigan
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Netman66 earned 450 total points
ID: 17033256
You can only have one SBS server per forest.  So your DC would also run Exchange.  You can add 2 more 2003 standard servers to this SBS domain easily.  You cannot add more SBS servers.

You can save some money using SBS as all your CALs for the workstations and exchange are one.  It also covers off the other servers.  You need a CAL for each user/device and one for each additional server.  So, given your 30 users, you would need 35 CALs which will give you 3 extra for growth.

Longhorn will come out with an SBS version which will incorporate Exchange - however keep in mind that Exchange 2007 is 64-bit only so make sure you have the hardware now.  I have to guess that the Longhorn version of SBS will be 64-bit only since Exchange will only come in a 64-bit version.

The only issue I see is if SBS will not work on the 64-bit hardware now.  This will be the deciding factor if you need to use Windows 2003 R2 x64 in order to utilize the x64 hardware now.

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by:Netman66
ID: 17033285
This seems to answer the 64-bit question.

Q.      Will SBS 2003 R2 be available in 64-bit versions?
      
A.      No. SBS 2003 R2 will be 32-bit only. A 64-bit version is planned for the Longhorn timeframe; at that point, SBS will transition to the new code base and will no longer be available in 32-bit versions. You can still run SBS 2003 R2 on a 64-bit system in 32-bit compatibility mode. This allows you to purchase robust hardware that can run your business today and be ready for a 64-bit upgrade in the future.

Reference: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/r2.mspx
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Author Comment

by:adamkerrigan
ID: 17033293
Netman66,

I already have 3 Server Standard 2003 servers with 30 CALs.

If I were to purchase SBS, would I need to purchase additional CALs?

adam.
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by:Netman66
ID: 17033367
Yes.  SBS CALs are not the same.

You may want to weigh the cost of Exchange + CALs for 30 people versus SBS + 35 CALs.  It's a shame you already have the CALs.

You might be able to trade up or sell them privately if you go the SBS route.

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Author Comment

by:adamkerrigan
ID: 17033401
Netman66,

Do you have a link to a Microsoft statement re: only 1 SBS server per domain...(I'm not sure what a forest is...)

adam.
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Author Comment

by:adamkerrigan
ID: 17033408
And does SBS HAVE to be the domain controller?

I know best practice is not to have DC runnning Exchange...

adam.
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by:Netman66
ID: 17033439
Yes.  SBS is a locked down product.  It's designed and locked to running all the products on one server.

It supports 75 users/devices only.  Part of the limitation of it is that it must be the root DC in it's own domain.  It will not function any other way.

Here is the quote:

Q.      What is Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server?
      
A.            Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server is designed for partners who want to deliver a server solution based on Windows Server 2003 as part of their product offering. It provides the same version of Windows Server 2003 that is used by Windows Small Business Server 2003, but it has none of the added features included in the standard edition or premium edition of Windows Small Business Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server has the following restrictions:
•      

Only one computer in a domain can be running Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server.
•      

Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server must be the root of the Active Directory forest.
•      

Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server cannot trust any other domains.
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A Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server domain cannot have any child domains.
•      

Each additional server must have a Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server client access license (CAL). You can use CALs for each user or for each device.

Reference: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/prodinfo.mspx

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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 50 total points
ID: 17038278
Adam,

SBS is engineered for a specific type of deployment, and cannot be considered as an add-on server, but rather it needs to be the primary server for your network.  It is specially designed to handle all major funcitons of a network of your size including AD, DNS, File & Printer Sharing, WSUS, Exchange and AV.  

However, since you've already purchased the three Standard Server 2003's and associated CALs, you probably don't even want to look at SBS at this point... (even though you would have saved a ton of money up front, and a ton of time in maintenance on the back-end... although it sounds like all that maintenance may be your job security).

If you do want to learn more about SBS, please see http://sbsurl.com/techguide, and http://sbsurl.com/seminar

A quick overview for IT Pros is available at http://sbsurl.com/itpro

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17038282
P. S.  SBS 2007, when released, will be based on the Longhorn Server and will only be in 64bit.  It is suggested that you only buy 64bit servers at this point so you don't have to upgrade later.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:adamkerrigan
ID: 17044244
Good Morning,

Thank you both for your information.

adam.
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