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Multi Windows SBS Servers domain - feasible?

Posted on 2007-03-26
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Is it feasible to install Windows SBS 2003 Standard/Premium into a member server in a domain already with an SBS domain controller. That is to say, without Exchange and such other server services as DHCP and DNS.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions, tips and assistance.
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Question by:garychu
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by:vico1
vico1 earned 800 total points
ID: 18792055
No.
Regardless of how you see it, that would an incomplete SBS Installation.
#1 Rule: There Can only be 1 SBS server on a network.
You could add other servers but they will be member servers.
You cannot use the SBS Copy and choose not to install the bundle to do that.
That is also a violation of your license agreement.

I hope that answered your question.

Vico1!
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 1200 total points
ID: 18792298
Just to clarify... yes, it's a violation of the license agreement.  But more importantly?  It won't be functional.

SBS requires that it's the root of the domain and holder of all FSMO roles.  Obviously then, there can only be one server in the domain with such a requirement.  If an SBS does not find itself with these attributes within 14 days of it's installation, it'll shut itself down.

So... then the question would go back to you... what is it that you are trying to accomplish?  Do you want an additional domain controller?  Or something else?  Because you can certainly add an additional Windows Server 2003 Standard to your network.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:garychu
ID: 18799258
Thanks for the comments.
It is certainly not my intention to violate any licensing rule. The reason why I raised this question is that I am planning to add a member server to an existing SBS domain. The new box comes bundled with SBS Premium R2. It seems like such a waste to separately purchase Windows Server 2003 for this purpose!.
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Author Comment

by:garychu
ID: 18807118
One other thought.
Does not Microsoft allow the right of downgrading. From 2003 SBS to Server 2003?
If in fact it is considered as such.
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by:vico1
ID: 18807332
Why don't you try with the manufacturer.
Just tell them you only wanted win 2003 not sbs 2003 they might even credit you a few dollars.
As far as downgrading...
I would call MS Directly and explain. Maybe they might consider making an even switch with it.

If your copy never been activated or came preactivated the manifacturer will take it back

Good luck!
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18807519
It's not really a downgrade (nor an upgrade) to go from SBS to Server 2003 Standard.  SBS is "bundled" so you would have to "unbundle" which requires purchasing the Transition Pack (http://sbsurl.com/transition).  This would NOT be a good value for you because it's designed to provide separate licensing for both Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 -- which is why it costs about $1,400.00.

"It seems like such a waste to separately purchase Windows Server 2003 for this purpose!"

You didn't explain how you aquired the server in the first place, but how did you end up in this position to begin with?  

Vico1... fyi, there wouldn't be a credit for the difference between having SBS and Standard Server 2003.  The Standard Server 2003 pricing is higher than SBS.  Additionally, it's OEM software which is not supported by Microsoft directly.  The retail pricing for SBS 2003 Standard Edition is $599.00 and the pricing for the Stand-Alone version of Windows Server 2003 is $999.00.

Also... since it's OEM, you cannot sell the software license by itself.

So, at this point... garychu, your options would be:

1.  Return the server to wherever you purchased it if possible, and if not possible to sell it on E-Bay, and then buy a new server with the proper OS.  (Even better is to buy a server with NO operating system and start getting your licenses through Microsoft's Open Value program -- which if you had done so for this server, you wouldn't be in the position you find yourself in currently).

2.  Ignore the fact that SBS came with the server and buy a proper Windows Server 2003 license.

Jeff
TechSoEasy


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Author Comment

by:garychu
ID: 18830644
"..how did you end up in this position to begin with?"  
Simply because it made good economic sense at the time. The server is one from the entry level line of HP Proliant servers. There was practically no difference in price, whether it came bundled with SBS or not.

I think I now have the answer and know what I have to do next.

Thanks again for the comments and suggestions.
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