CATCARUBA asked on


Hello all,

i have an issue that is confusing me.
i am buying a new server and i don;t know how many CAL i need to buy, the new server would function as a file server and SQl EXPRESS and print server.
in my existing network i have 4 servers and they are all set to per server licensing mode. and honestly i do not know how many license i have at this point nor how many license i have to buy for the new file server.
in per server mode licensing can you add more CAL's Later on?

i have 45 employees in my company and growing.

i would really really appreciate some help because i do not want to be short on licenses nor have to much

Windows Server 2003

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Last Comment
Lee W, MVP

8/22/2022 - Mon
Lee W, MVP

Wow... if you are on per server, you'll need a CAL per connection to that server.  '

I say wow because it sounds like you've probably spent WAAAAAAY too much money on licensing.  Microsoft Small Business Server offers licensing that covers ALL servers on your network and you need one CAL per client (Device or User).  Then you're pretty much done.  SBS is good to 75 users and in a few months, Microsoft will be releasing Essential Business Server 2008 which will be designed for businesses of 25 to 300 users.

i am looking at entrprise because this server would be using 12GB of ram and windows 2003 sbs won;t really support it

what would you recommend me to do then?
Lee W, MVP

Keep in mind if you go SBS you REALLY should hire an SBS consultant - someone who truly understands the product - it's NOT "just another server for small business".  It includes Exchange and you would likely have to buy new CALs for it (not sure if there would be any discount for the ones you have now).

What are you planning on using the system for?  You might be better off considering 2003 (or 2008) Standard Edition, 64 bit (instead of 32).  64 Bit supports, I believe 32 GB of RAM (AT LEAST 16 and I'm pretty sure it's 32 or more).  It'll be considerably less expensive than Enterprise.  

Also, SBS 2008 is due to be released in the coming months as is Essential Business Server (EBS - which is the 25-300 product).  Both will be 64bit only and not limited to 4GB of RAM.
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Lee W, MVP

Sorry, forgot you indicated what you were doing with it before...

If it's SQL Express and not SQL server than 12 GB of RAM is pointless.  SQL Express won't use anywhere near that.  And file serving and print server don't need much RAM at all.

ok so i can reduce it to 8GB  but would windows 2003 standard support 8GB and what should i do regarding license because i wanted to check for sure which licensing method i am using now and it tells me that the licensing service is disabled.

i have 3 windows standrad edition servers
and 1 windows enterprise server acting as a terminal server.

Lee W, MVP

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