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Small Business Server or separate server techonogies?

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

Now i have a new case, and i'm wondering if its time to go for separate licenses or a new SBS-system.
Primarily the customer needs to separate SQL databases from Exchange (running a SBS 2003 today). By installing Win Server 2008 with SQL 2008 on a new server, we could still run Exchange on the SBS for at least another year. At some point they would need another Win 2008 server with Exchange 2010, and the total license cost for all this is way way higher than a SBS 2011 setup.

They have about 17-20 users, not very expansive in database sizes or user data.
How much of a drawback is a SBS 2011 setup compared to going for two separate servers with all required licenses and User CALs? I mean, the software/license prices for a SBS solution is 45% of the price of going all separate.
When i say drawback i mean complexity of a future upgrade/migration to new version, limitations of joining other domains in trust relationships and other limitations/restrictions one would encounter in a SBS setup compared to going all separate on licenses?

I have some experience migrating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and even with Swing Migration its not always straight forward. Is this more easily done in the current version?

I would appreciate some thoughts and advices based on your experiences with SBS 2011 and how it can "compete" with the alternative of all separate licenses. One would need to think of the company size, price difference and any serious downsides of going SBS.
They have already approved my plan which is based on separate licenses but i would like to think it over once more as my feelings about SBS and its downsides is based on old grudges :)





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Question by:lurer
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10 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:IntegrityOffice
ID: 36491874
Hi, The easy answer is SBS with Premium add on, this allows you to run two servers for one outlay, you run the main server and then your SQL server on either another physical box with your SQL on it ( all included in the price ) or you can run one physical box and use the virtualisation technology and run the two separate servers on the one physical box but two seperate installs effectivly.



http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-small-business-server/default.aspx Take a look on this link at the bottom.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36491888
SBS 2011 does not come with SQL. However, you can buy SBS 2011 and then buy an SBS 2011 "Premium Add-On" that comes with a second server license *and* a SQL license. You get everything you want. A two server solution, SQL on a separate server, but the cost savings of SBS in regards to the OS, CAL and Exchange (2010 in SBS 2011).

Regarding CALs, similar to how the premium edition is an add-on now, so are CALs. So you'll buy SBS CALs for every user on the SBS network, and then you will buy premium CALs as an "add-on" CAL for every user that needs access to the SQL instance. That way you don't need to buy premium CALs for everyone if not everyone uses SQL.

The PAO is not particularly cheap, but the cost savings come in with the bundled licensing and less expensive CALs, as well as it being designed to work with SBS and *it's* cost savings licensing model.

-Cliff
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:IntegrityOffice
ID: 36491898
The swing migration works really well for me too, I have done many from 2003 to 2008 MS offer soem full guidelines on how to do this and they seem to work really well now and save a lot og hasstle with walking round addning machines to domains etc.

If you buy SBS you are licenced to buy additional servers into the domain too but you would still have to by SQL so I think my suggestion above is probably the best.

[Comment advising how to bypass the 21-day migration limit removed]
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Author Comment

by:lurer
ID: 36491941
Hi,
Thanks for fast responses. When i say SBS 2011 i actually meant with Premium addon. I know how SBS 2008 and 2011 are based on two-server solutions when you add the Premium technology (SQL). What i am trying to figure out is if there is any significant downsides of going SBS compared to going all separate?
Referring to more difficult upgrades and/or migrations to new versions, limitations like trust relationships to other domains and other similar downsides.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:IntegrityOffice
IntegrityOffice earned 1000 total points
ID: 36491975
I understand that MS removed all restrictions on the 2008 based solutions and you are now running SBS on a full copy of Windows standrard servedr so restrictions in that product will apply if any rerstrictions of that product are not relevant you would be good to stay sbs but if you need to go separate then you will hit the costs brrier, the other thing to bear in mind is sbs is only windowes 64bit on the main server meaning if you have some 32 bit apps you will need the PAO to get yourself a 32 bit separate server.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:IntegrityOffice
ID: 36491980
sorry last line should read might not will need to go 32bit.
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LVL 59

Accepted Solution

by:
Cliff Galiher earned 1000 total points
ID: 36491990
Standard SBS limitations still apply, but for small organizations I don't even see them as limitations. What organization with 75 users needs trusts? Migrations are the same on both. SBS hand-holds you through the process, but the underlying technology is the same regardless, and there are plenty of technet articles on the subject.

The two deciding factors in my mind are:

1) Cost. SBS will be cheaper.
2) Administrative overhead. If you have an odd setup and *need* that odd setup, SBS can be unforgiving. Its wizards expect things a certain way and do not allow for deviation. OTOH, if you can live within the SBS architecture, the SBS console streamlines a lot of processes that enterprise admins do manually (or more often script, for the same reasons the SBS console exists), so you save yourself the hassle of learning PowerShell and rolling your own admin scripts.

So is cost a benefit? Definitely.
Is the SBS console a benefit? Depends on your environment, and only you can answer that.

-Cliff
0
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36491999
SBS 2008 and 2011 most definitely still have restrictions. Most notably:

No domain trusts.
Must be the root of the forest (and by proxy, because no trusts, no child domains).
Must hold all FSMO roles.

-Cliff
0
 

Author Comment

by:lurer
ID: 36492053
Okey,
Thanks guys. I guess i haven't gotten any strong warnings to not follow through with a SBS-setup, so i think i'll do that.
Considering Tursts, this company has a daughter company abroad and they are too running their own SBS-setup. Not that hey have asked for it yet, but i would think it could be interesting to have mutual two-way trusts some time in the future when architecture allows it. They have one Terminal server each and one sharepoint services portal each, so improvements are definitely possible. Slow internet lines on the other side makes it difficult of running a good HQ/regional office solution.

Anyways. I'll split the points between you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lurer
ID: 36492077
Sufficient answers to a question that has no definite answer.
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