Two Windows2003 Server for SBS on same network

Posted on 2006-11-13
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I have an existing network with one Windows2003 Server for SBS hosting Exchange. Last week I installed another server to host Blackberry Enterprise Server and used a second copy of W2K3 for SBS as it's operating system. After some initial problems with Blackberry, one of their techs said I should make the BES a domain Controller. I promoted the BES to a DC and started to get messages saying only one SBS could exist on the network.
Today I demoted the BES to a member server and now in the system error log I get a message saying "This computer must be a domain controller". and continues on saying that it will shut down in the future.
Are there any workarounds for this or do I now have a useless copy of SBS and will have to purchase a copy of W2k3 standard as well as a copy of SQL?
I know there is a "Transistion Pack" but the theives at Microslut want $3000 for it. Am I screwed?
Question by:brossier
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 17933386
How much did blackberry charge you for BES?  And you're calling Microsoft thieves?  

Put simply, You CANNOT have two SBS servers on the same network.  The SBS server must be the FSMO master - you can only have one FSMO master so you CANNOT have TWO SBS servers.  You need to use a standard copy of server.  SBS domains CAN have additional servers and domain controllers, but their can only be one SBS server.
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17933486
Depending upon your number of users there are now quite a few hosted BES solution providers out there now where they will do all the BES stuff and let it sync with them.  Only used this for Notes not Exchange but I presume they offer Exchange services too.  Might be worth considering..... I love SBS for small businesses as it gives them the same kit as the big boys though it is very much eggs in one basket and a bit of a pain as companies grow (and a big expense fro the transition packs).  But when you try explaining to one of these companies that there first server cost them just 400 quid for the software or whatever but to add a second and install SQL etc. it costs more than the first it sounds silly.  As has been said above you can easily make a second Windows 2003 standard server a second DC to your SBS, just not another SBS in the domain.

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Expert Comment

ID: 17933709
the blackberry dude told you to make it a DC.....we got told blatantly not to make the BES server a DC
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Accepted Solution

Keith Alabaster earned 250 total points
ID: 17936374
Lee has it although I would make one amendment, two SBS servers can share the same 'infrastructure' but they will operate independently of each other ie they can not be in the same AD forest. Just for reference there is a single exception to this when you are performing a migration but that is a different topic altogether. In addition you cannot make trusts with SBS servers. You can add other DC's (non-sbs) to the SBS server without issue subject to the licences of course.

No, there is no workaround to this as it is by design.


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Author Comment

ID: 17939011
Thank all of you for your replies. I have a followup question:

Keith, your answer about using the same infrastructure; I now have two separate domains each with sbs servers in the same IP subnet. They seem to be communicating and no nastygrams in the event logs. Will this work?
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17939042
Except for the one in the middle :-(

To answer your Q you can have two SBS's on the same network, just not the same forest as has been said and you can't have trusts between them so they are for all intents and purposes seperate.  For some uses this is OK though, e.g. for an application server that only needs IP comms and no authentication, e.g. a web server etc.  I imagine it goes without saying make sure DHCP server is off on the second box...
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17939045
This really should be a separate question... And it depends on how they are communicating... and what you're trying to do with them.  You cannot setup trusts between the two so security will be a troublesome issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 17939405
The difficulty you may come across will be in the naming; NETBios names must be unique, for example, you could not have two servers or machines with the same name regardless of them being in seperate AD's.. Cross-over between DHCP scopes, WINS (if you are using it) etc are all areas that need to be watched for as well. It is not ideal (as I am sure you can appeciate) but can certainly be done.

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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17969564
I'm not sure how many Blackberry users you have or who advised you about this, but the BES Small Business Server edition which supports up to 15 users can be installed right on your SBS without the need for an additional server.  

If you do choose to keep it on a separate server, I'd sell the SBS you bought... or return it to whoever ill-advised you about it.  And get a stand-alone Windows 2003 Server because then you don't need any additional CALs as that would be covered in your original SBS's CALs.


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