VMWare - SBS/Licensing Questions

Posted on 2007-07-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I work in a small business and we currently only have 1 server running 2003 SBS that is fairly overloaded. I've been looking at VM as a possible solution, but am not very familiar with much of the technology. Being a small business, less $ is good. Several people I used to work with at other companies have pointed me toward VMWare. So I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help me with:

Lets assume that I'm going to purchase 1 server and run 4 virtual instances off of it.

1) If I continue to use SBS, would it be best to run SBS on its own server and then use 2003 Server on the new server/virtual instances?
2) How does licensing work with virtual machines? If I install 2003 and place VMWare on it, and have 4 virtual instances of Server 2003, does that require 5 different licenses? Or is the original enough to cover it all?

I think thats all for now.


Question by:derekkromm
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    SBS generally uses enough of the hardware that I'm not to thrilled with the prospect of running multiple servers on the same piece of hardware with SBS.  You will need a seperate license for the server OS for each instance you run.  When you say over loaded, what do you mean?  What do you hope to gain from running multiple servers?
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Each VM is considered it's own "Server" just as if it was an actual machine, meaning that seperate license are needed.  VMware is great for lowering the cost of hardware expenses, but you're also sharing the resources of one computer (hard drive space, memory, processor) when you run multiple VMs, therefore requiring a more expensive server, or slower running 'servers'.  Hope this helps a little.

    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Just to add to that, I use and fully support the use of VMWare.  If you do not have high traffic on your server(s), you shouldn't see a difference in speed and performance...

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    by:Philip Elder
    How many SBS users?
    What tasks to shift to VM? Server or desktops?
    What is the budget?
    What version of SBS?
    What is the H/W on SBS?

    We are running a wide variety of VMs on Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP now. Our organization is currently ~40% VM based. Our labs are 80% VM based.

    We have client solutions based on VM setups. But, one needs to be very careful about server load, licensing, and disaster recovery.


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