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What is Windows Server Standard FE?

Posted on 2011-02-16
Medium Priority
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I visited a customer the other day, a doctor who made himself a do-it-yourself network. I know...

I noticed that his OS is listed as Windows Server Standard FE.

My understanding is that FE = "Foundation Edition", but why did it install that way when his disk clearly just sayd SBS?

Can someone tell me precisely what FE is, was there another option he could have used during installations, and are there limitations I should be aware of? Googling only yeilds some sketchy info.

Question by:bricar1
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LVL 125

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 668 total points
ID: 34912346
It's available on you purchase servers, it's only available to OEM, you cannot purchase it Retail.

It's a bit like the equivalent of Windows Starter Edition of Windows 7.0.

Foundation can only be joined at the root of the domain

Can’t be used to create child domains.

It's designed for Business with less than 15 users, otherwise it complains.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is licensed by user accounts.

It cannot do trust relationships.

NO CALs are needed other than TS CALs.
LVL 125
ID: 34912353
I'm sure it came on the server he purchased?
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34912424
Here is a decent technet article with its limitations and capacities.

Basically, you are not limited to replacing the OS on the hardware, just keep in mind that Windows Standard w/ 5-CAL will probly cost more than that whole server did originally.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34912429

Author Comment

ID: 34912453
Thank you, Sir.

Another quick quesion, if you don't mind.

He tried to set up a VPN tunnel through his Cisco ASA 5505 through the unit's wizard and he gets an error message that he can't figure out. I'm not all that familiar with the 5505, but the manual seems clear enough.

Here is what the client wrote to me:

"I have gone through the Cisco wizard and set everything up (multiple times).  I keep getting an error message from the SBS server that port 1723 needs to be "manually opened to allow pptp passthrough."  That's when I tried several times to make a new NAT and change security policies, but I still get the same message from the server."

Do you think this is a simple Windows Firewall issue or is it something inherent in the "FE" Server?

Thanks again for your help!!


Author Comment

ID: 34912468
He wants to set up 3 or 4 VPN tunnels so his sattelite offices can access the practice management database. Not sure how FE will handle this. I would think it wouldn't be an issue and that the issue is either the ASA 5505 or the Server firewall.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 34912474
Sounds to me that the wizard tries to test the router and finds it is NOT pnp so it informs the user that it must be opened manually.  Shouldn't he be doing doctor stuff and leave the IT to you?
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

Sommerblink earned 668 total points
ID: 34912539
If it is the windows firewall, the simplest test is to just disable the firewall while trying to build the tunnels.

This wil eliminate that from the equation. But, don't forget that programs like SEP (Symantec Endpoint Protection) also love to muck up computers that want to do more than web browsing.

If, when you try to disable the firewall, the server screams that the firewall controlled by something else, try to disable that, or worst case, uninstall.

Example, just yesterday I had a server with a default install of SEP, and I was able to get it to allow inbound (unsolicited) FTP requests, but yet it would not allow unsolicited FTPS (FTP over SSL) requests. Until I uninstalled SEP, I was banging my head into the wall. Simply disabling SEP did not actually work.

Author Comment

ID: 34912541
Yes, he most certainly should heaven only knows what house of cards he has created.

However, it's probably obvious from the questions I'm asking that this is a little over my head and although I was very upfront with him that I have no experience setting this router up with vpn. He said I should come in and try and he will pay me for the time it would have taken an experienced Cisco tech to do it (I imagine about an hour).

The money is completely immaterial to me as he is in a hospital and if I get him as a client that could lead to more work. I'm not sure, though, whether I sould attempt or bring in my competitor (we help each other occasionally).
LVL 78

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 664 total points
ID: 34913387
Where are you seeing "Windows Server Standard FE"?
If you have SBS 2008 and you right click on my computer and choose properties, or from a common line enter winver, or run msinfo32, it should show you exactly that "Windows Server Standard FE".
In the title bar of winver it should also show you however, Small Business server 2008, and you should also have in the start menu a link to start the Windows SBS Console.
I am very doubtful this is foundation server.

>"this is a little over my head.......... try and he will pay me for the time it would have taken an experienced Cisco tech"
Be are that Cisco certification is far more complex that SBS certification. However the ASA5505 is rather user friendly. where it is a Cisco question you might get better advice with a question in the Cisco topic area.
It sounds like you are trying to set up an SBS VPN. If so you do not run the Cisco VPN wizard. On the Cisco you need to forward port 1723 to the SBS and enable GRE. I am not familiar enough with the unit to instruct you how to do so. To set up the SBS part of the VPN go to Windows SBS console | network |connectivity | highlight VPN connection | choose configure a virtual private network from the menu on the right.

A better option though would be to use the CISCO IPSec VPN and VPN client. It performs better, is more secure, and allows for better management.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34918691
Thanks guys. I'll go in there and see what I can do. FWIW, the "Windows Standard FE" shows when I right-click "My Computer" and view properties. His installation disk looks like a normal SBS disk.

Regardless, I should be able to set up a VPN for him. Thanks again.

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