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Information needed on Win Server 2003 SBS Edition and Exchange.

Posted on 2006-11-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Thanks for your time. I have built many Windows 2003 Standard and Enterprise servers, and many Exchange Servers on Server 2003 Standard. I am now purchasing a Win Server 2003 Small Business Server Edition for a company (first time I have purchased this product, small company), and from all the information I can gather, it includes a full blown version of Exchange with the server software. Could you tell me if this has the same look, functionality, and features of a full release of Exchange 2003? It appears to be free with SBS.

Outside from the 75 user limit, is there anything else missing or restricted in Server 2003 SBS?

Thanks for your time. I don't want to purchase this product and not have it function as expected.
Rick
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Question by:rickgiguere
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by:trenes
trenes earned 100 total points
ID: 17892338
Hi rickgiguere,

What you'll miss is redundancy of hardware.
Because all the network components and exchange are installed on the same box.
So if you machine fails, your network is down.

aside from that I dont know any further limitations.

Cheers!
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 100 total points
ID: 17893241
The main limitation of the SBS package is the 75-user limit.  It's very important, because it is enforced in SBS unlike in the standard version of the server software.  So, if you attempt to add that 76th workstation, the server will refuse the license and the workstation won't be able to connect.  Also, as mentioned by trenes, all of the applications must be installed on one server.  You can't have Exchange on one server, for example, and the rest of the server software on another server.  Also, that server must be the only SBS server in the domain.  You can, however, add other servers running Windows 2003 Standard edition to the domain, and they can even be DCs, as long as the SBS server retains all the main FSMO roles and runs all of the SBS applications.

If you have any specific questions, please post them and I'll try to answer further.

Hope this helps!
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by:rickgiguere
ID: 17894686
Excellent information!

There were other facts that I did not know, as I have never deployed a MS SBS. After taking the answers into consideration, I do not think there is any situation that I would recommend SBS, as the lack of DC redundancy is extremely troublesome. I was hoping to deploy 3 SBS servers, and have further learned that is not possible as well. Seems like Microsoft is still trying to squeeze everyone's last dime. What a shame Novell didn't keep it's marketshare.

That said, I will be rolling out 3 MS Server 2003 Standard Edition servers, one to run Exchange. I was trying to save the client some grief and $$$$.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 17899093
I pretty much agree with your assessment, except in the case of much smaller companies.  I've gotten a lot of my really small customers to install a real network this way rather than trying to go peer-to-peer. I have successfully and happily deployed SBS in offices with up to 10-15 users, and it works very well.  I even have it installed in one client with about 25-30 users, with a second Windows 2003 Standard server running as a backup DC and application server (i.e., a SQL database application).  It's been running happily with no down time for about 3 years, despite 2 hard drive failures (one in each of the two servers).  With so few users, the load on the server is not a big problem, and as long as you have reliable hardware and a redundant configuration (i.e., RAID5, good power backup, a reliable data backup configuration), it's a really good deal for them.  So, don't write it off completely, but I do think you've made the right decision not to go with it in this particular case.

Cheers and good luck with your installation!
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