Windows 2003 SBS Client Connections

zeraxis_ee
zeraxis_ee used Ask the Experts™
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I am working on a Windows 2003 SBS domain and have started to encounter issues with too many client connections. We only have the standard 5 CALS instaleed and so understand that we need to purchase more CALs but wanted to understand what constitutes a client connection.
I have reviewed the Sessions in Computer Management on the server and can see the users that are logged on but there are also sessions with the computer name appended with a $ for the same computers that the users are logged on to. What are these connections? and are they included in the count of permitted connections?
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Computer management shows different connections than licensed connections. It can indicate computer or even device connections such as printers, and may be temporary.

With SBS 2003 the best/only place to look for the number of used licenses is in the Server management console under licensing. There it will show you the number of installed licenses (CAL's) and the maximum number used. SBS 2003 has a "fudge factor" of 5, so if you have 5 CAL's you will not be notified you have exceeded until the 11th user tries to connect. Also rebooting the server resets the counter until the users reconnect, so it is not always accurate.

If you need to buy additianal CAL's,  2003 CAL's are no longer available but you can buy 2008/2011 CAL's and use downgrade rights to install on SBS 2003. There is a special key to use to do so. The following Microsoft white paper outlines downgrade options.
http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/licensing-faq.aspx
Just add to RobWill comment that you can purchase your CALs via Open License. With a minumim of 5 CALs you can then add additional one in future with your agreement.

Because you will be buying 2011 SBS CALs and use the downgrade right, when you upgrade your server in future to SBS2008 or 2011 the agreement would have already cover you. Although you existing 5 SBS2003 CALs will no longer valid.

Basically you need one CAL for each user, including those who work remotely but will require some form of access (e.g. email). This is called User CALs. There is also Device CALs, which means you need one CAL for each device connected regardless number of users). This is more as common and may only be suitable in a "shift work" environment.

Author

Commented:
Thankyou for your comments but neither of you have addressed the question of what are the xxx$ connectinos where xxx is the computer name?
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
NetBIOS names ending in $ are hidden administrative/system shares or in this case connections, it can often be something like a printer connection. These have no bearing on licensing/CAL's but in a workgroup environment where a PC is sharing resources, and it is limited to 10 simultaneous connections, they can sometimes come into play.

Author

Commented:
Question wasn't covered by first response.

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