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SBS 2008 Server features

Posted on 2010-11-24
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I am looking at upgrading to SBS 2008 server from SBS 2003. I realise there is no upgrade path so its a fresh install.

My question is I would like to use remote desktop services for a remote office to work from the server direct. I was told by licensing that I needed to buy SBS premium.

After looking at the MS web site, the only difference is that Premium has Server 2008 standard and SQL 2008 which can be installed on a seperate server.

I dont really want to run 2 servers for this task, is there another way I can accomplish this? The license people were unsure of specifics but all they could tell me is I needed premium to use remote desktop services.

Can someone offer a bit more clarity as I have not done much with SBS 2008.
thanks!
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Question by:Jamesm007
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19 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34204598
In order for users to work on a server remotely you need to install terminal services. You cannot install terminal services on an SBS so you need a separate Server std for that. Thus premium which comes with licensing for a second Server 2008 std.

Two useres only can remote in to SBS but only as administraors for adminisrating the server. The server is not optimized for running applications, and it is a licensing violation as well as a security risk to do so.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34204617
By the way SBS premium also comes with licensing that allows to install Server 2008 std as a host and then using Hyper-V create The SBS 2008 and the server 2008 std servers as virtual machines on the same physical box.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/09/15/sbs-2008-and-virtualization.aspx
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by:Jamesm007
ID: 34204641
Thanks for that. Hyper v requires no further licensing? This sounds like it may be a solution.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34204702
No extra licensing for Hyper-V host.
The Copy of Server 2008 std that comes with it can be used both as a host and guest, but you are only allowed to install the Hyper-V host role on the host machine. Licensing does not allow the host server to be used for anything else.

Anybody can download free command line only Hyper-V, but the full Server with GUI version that comes included with SBS premium is much easier to use. Premium is cheaper than buying the separate versions as well.
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by:Jamesm007
ID: 34204783
Just so I can be clear:
On the same box I can install sbs2008
Then use hyperv and install server 2008 to make it a vm?

Thanks again
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Rob Williams earned 2000 total points
ID: 34204833
Sort of.
You cannot enable the hyper-V role on SBS but it has 3 licenses:
1 server 2008 std to be used as a host. On this you would enable Hyper-V
1 SBS 2008 which will be installed as a virtual machine
1 Server 2008 std which will be installed as a second virtual machine. On this you will enable the terminal services role
1 SQL server which you may not need
5 CAL's that cover all server access except Terminal Services. You need separate CAL's to use the TS service, but there is a 120 day grace period.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34204838
ps- if you want you do not have to use virtualization, you can install the SBS and server std on separate physical boxes.
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 34210147
Great thanks that makes sense.
The issue is we have limited access for server space so were getting a beefed up box so it will handle the 2 servers as VM - thanks for your help to clarrify!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34210450
It is a good solution. We have done so at several sites and it works very well.
Thanks Jamesm007.
Cheers!
--Rob
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 34213479
Rob, we are looking at a server with 24gb ram, would you have any suggestions of the ram breakdown for the 2 VMs? is this enough or overkill?
thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34213602
RAM is a tough one to work out. It's a bit his and miss depending on what users are doing. 24Gb should be plenty, and possibly overkill, but if the machine were capable of 24GB such that you can add as needed that should be fine.

SBS needs a minimum of 4GB to install. In reality it won't really function without 5GB.
As a bare minimum example I have a couple of very small sites Running:
Host 1GB
SBS 5GB
TS 2GB
There are only about 5 users and never more than 2 using TS at a time. The users seem quite happy with performance, but I find the sever management slow. I am not recommending this but just as example of a bare minimum. The reason for this of course is motherboards with a max of 8GB RAM are quite a bit cheaper, even at the server level. That is now changing.

The host should not require more than 2GB, and terminal services if a lot of users and RAM intensive applications is sometimes the place to dump the extra RAM. I usually recommend 12GB of RAM in total when possible for a basic system on a small network, but of course you could have 75 users and 10-20 TS users which would drastically change things.

How many users will you have in total, and how many simultaneous TS users?
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by:Jamesm007
ID: 34213677
great thats reassuring.
We have 30 users on the SBS internal network, and at this stage we are only buying a 5 CAL licesne for TS as there wont be the demand for more than this. Currently with the SBS 2003 server they are using remote desktop to access their pcs remotely from home using the web site... www.company.com/remote 

We are looking at streamlining some apps and making things more efficient.

The other issue is that I know SBS 2011 is about to be released in the US next month, they are not sure weather to hold off for this or not which is the other delay in the process.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34213746
With your scenario 12GB would probably suffice, though I might be tempted to go with 16GB. Regardless having a board that supports 24GB would be ideal so that you can adjust as necessary.

As for 2011, are you sure next month? I have no idea but I would be surprised if the final release, based on past experiences, will be this year, but you are right it is not far away.

Normally I would not suggest jumping in with a new product but there are no a whole lot of earth shattering changes with it and therefore it seems to be very stable even in the beta stages. It does have some advantages, but in your case none that would impact you so much with SBS itself. It does have Exchange 2010 which has some nice improvements as well as Sharepoint 2010, but more importantly it is built on server 2008 R2. R2 offerer some improvements to Hyper-V including dynamic RAM allocation, and R2 SP1 which is still in beta will allow "remote FX" which is a new remote desktop service that looks like the old, but performs like it is on steroids. For business applications you don't really need Remote FX at all, but remote desktop does not handle graphics well. Thus if using AutoCAD, PhotoShop, anything graphically intensive, or using  streaming media, you will see a drastic improvement.

I imaging they are already working on SBS8 (2011 successor) so waiting for the next version is not always the best plan unless it has a feature you feel will really benefit you.

For the record if you buy your SBS license through volume licensing as opposed to OEM, you can not only move it to other servers if necessary, you have the right to buy software assurance. Software assurance is an additional annual fee, but it allows you to get the next version for free so you would not have to pay for SBS 2011 or your CAL's (you have to buy SA for your CAL's as well)
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34213762
ps- 16GB would allow host 2GB, SBS 8GB, and TS 6GB. Should be very comfortable for your environment.
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 34213803
thanks rob, very helpful information. appreciate it.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34213838
You are very welcome. Good luck with your project.
--Rob
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 34441311
HI RobWill

I have taken your suggestion in relation tot his projet and had a disk setup question which I will raise a new question for you to answer in relation to your suggestions.
I have 2 146GB SAS drives (for OS) and 4 500GB drives. (for data)

I was considering installing the host on the mirrored 146GB drives, but should I have the 2 other OS on seperate drives to the host? what size would you suggest for partitioning the host and SBS premium and 2008 STD. Is this HDD size too small? thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34442400
Jamesm007, I am afraid I am not a "hardware guy". You would be best posting this as a new question so that someone with more experience with hardware can suggest the configuration to obtain the best performance. Usually for best performance the Virtual Machines are put on different disks then the host but in a smaller environment there would be little to gain. Keep in mind though you will want at least 100GB for SBS.
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by:Jamesm007
ID: 34446001
thanks! shall do
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