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Small Business Server - Right for me?

TacomaVA
TacomaVA asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I'm trying to figure out if Small Business Server 2008 would be right for me.  Currently I am using Microsoft Windows Server 2000 as my PDC.  I have ten users, no exchange server, but I am using SQL Server 2000 installed on the PDC.  I am looking at purchasing a new server and rather than purchasing Windows Server 2003/2008, purchasing Small Business Server 2008.  I have a few questions regarding SBS:

1)Will it act as a PDC and integrate DNS?
2)Will it work with a tape backup system?
3)Will it function as a DHCP server?
4)Will it allow for the installation of SQL Server?
5)How many CALs come with SBS?

Thank you
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
1. Yes (and can be the only Domain Controller).
2. Yes (check SBS2008 for what tape drive system)
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Five (and then purchase more).

If you have SBS2003 or SBS2008, you can only add Server Standard to the same domain. Two SBS machines cannot coexist on the same domain. SBS2003 supports 50 users if I remember correctly. There is a limit.
... Thinkpads_User
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
In my answer to 1 above I did mean the only Domain machine.  .... T
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
Thinkpads_User is mistaken - please see my comments - in particular:

> 1. Yes (and can be the only Domain Controller).
No such thing as a PDC; you CAN have OTHER DOMAIN CONTRLLERS - but only ONE SBS server.

> 2. Yes (check SBS2008 for what tape drive system)
NOT WITHOUT Third party software

> 3. Yes
We Agree

> 4. Yes
We essentially agree

> 5. Five (and then purchase more).
We agree.

The limits are:
SBS 2000 - 50 users
SBS 2003 - 75 users
SBS 2008 - 75 users.

You can add ANY version of Server to an SBS domain (Enterprise, Datacenter, Web, Standard) - that doesn't matter so long as it's not an "SBS" server.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Hi Lee, I think did qualify my first post at the bottom about only one SBS server. In a small business environment I never use another domain controller. Sorry if I confused everyone.
... Thinkpads_User

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Commented:
Thanks everyone for responding.  Do you need a CAL for a printer that connects to the server?  Or do you just need a CAL for a computer where a user would be logging into the server?  For example, I have ten users, plus an additional file sever and four printers.  So would I need eleven CALs?  Does the SBS server itself count as one CAL?  If so, then I would need twelve CALs correct?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Leew gave a really good overall description and well worth your attention. To your last questions, printers generally do not consume CAL's. I thnk there are some specific exceptions but that doesn't apply to any of my clients with small business servers. I don't think the Server itself is a CAL. CAL's are for clients using server software. So in your example above, you need 10 CAL's. ... Thinkpads_User
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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I again agree with Lee. The example I saw on printers was a multifunction printer that would share a file (say a .PDF scan) to a server in way that requires authentication. That said, I have no such devices, and just qualifying my comment. I also agree that you should get your actual licensing requirements from your vendor - I always do so myself. ... Thinkpads_User

Author

Commented:
Ahh okay, two of my printers have scanning ability and I'm FTPing the files back to my server.  So in that case, I'd need two CALs for the printers.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
As both of us have said, please do ask your vendor for certainty. I am not an expert in licensing and I was just covering all the bases I could. Please take a look at this site:
http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/licensing.mspx

... Thinkpads_User
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
You have 10 users... why would you be using DEVICE CALs?

YOU choose ONE OR THE OTHER when you install and then that's what you use (you cannot change this later - and the choice is essentially a legal one - it's not a setting you actually make on the server, it;s a choice you document so that you know how you are licensed and what licenses you must now buy forever more.
Nat WallisTechnical Services Manager
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Nat WallisTechnical Services Manager

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It also is probably worth looking at this page just to give you some idea of the costs associated with the purchase of the upgrade because we all know how import the budget it as well.

http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/pricing.aspx

Not going to be exact but will give you a ball-park figure.

http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/licensing-overview.aspx

Exact from the words of Microsoft about licensing. User is per NAMED USER - so doesnt include built in ones like Administrator.

http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/compare-features.aspx

Again this gives you a good overview of exactly what is in the unit and isnt.
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