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SBS 2011 premium to use the SQL

Hi Dont know where to start really but here goes:

A company I do work for has asked me to quote on a Server capable of running SQL for a database, they only have 10 staff but the database company want the full version of SQL on the server. Their current hardware is a 4+ year old Dell Power Edge 840 running a Dual core processor & 4 gig of ram which they use for Terminal services, AD & file sharing on a domain, it has Windows Server 2003 STD loaded onto it.
This is below the spec needed for the SQL database so I'm looking at a Dell with maybe a quad core processor & 8 Gig ram with raid 5 sata runnig SBS 2011 premium for the SQL side of it, now for starters the database company reckons I could have problems with the SBS 2011 Premium & SQL? Their recomendations at the end. Another problem I can see is who should control the AD & will 2011 run with a std 2003 server? would we be better moving the files to the new server & just keeping the old Server for TS persuming it will run with the SBS 2011?

Also at the moment they use Hosted Exchange so will it help stop the problem of SQL & Exchange if we disable the Exchange in the SBS 2011 & how effective is it at being disabled?

what am I best doing?

Any more information you need I can give you.

Their reccomendations to follow:

Server and Network Minimum Requirements

•      Our Databse uses a Microsoft SQL Server Database and therefore requires Microsoft SQL Server Installed on the Server. Microsoft provide minimum requirements HOWEVER these are absolute minimum and you should aim to run RDB ProNet’s SQL Database and Client on the best hardware infrastructure you can provide in order to get maximum benefit from the system.
For more information on Microsoft SQL Server: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb545450.aspx

•      Should be set to run in mixed mode (SQL and Windows authentication)
•      TCP and named ports need to be enabled
•      Port 1433 needs to be open through any internal firewalls or another port needs to be specified for the SQL database connection to use.
•      The  FCS account you provide needs admin rights for both Windows ( domain or local account)  and MS SQL Server.
•      UAC must be turned off
•      .Net framework 2.0 needs to be installed.
•       First Choice Software does not install or support the installation of SQL Server as part of the installation of ProNet.

•      RDP connection to SQL Server using Windows admin account with SQL admin rights for First Choice Software. Our external IP address is This connection is for the initial implementation and on -going support. If we don’t have access to the server, we will contact a named user or IT Support Company who will need to log us onto the server every time there is an issue. This method may cause a delay is reaching a resolution. Please provide the External IP/server connection name, our Username, Password and Domain we log onto.
•      FTP permissions to download installation files, data and updates. We would be grateful if you could install Filezilla client http://filezilla-project.org/download.php or allow us to, especially if the project includes installing a large database to your server.

Operating Systems
Microsoft’s Small Business Server is a popular solution, especially for new start-ups. The Premium Edition includes the full version of SQL Server with 5 client licences which is a cost effective method of purchasing SQL Server. However, we have experienced an issue when Small Business Server is installed. There appears to be a problem with the SQL installer which does not install all  of the associated tools by default although the installer indicates that it has included them. We do need SQL Management Studio to be included so please ensure that the SQLWB.exe tool has been installed.

Microsoft Exchange & SQL
•      Microsoft does not recommended running SQL and Exchange together on the same server.
Both SQL Server and Exchange mailbox servers consume a large amount of memory and disk

resources to operate optimally. Co-hosting SQL Server and Exchange Server on the same computer in a production environment will likely lead to poor performance by one or both of the servers. Additionally, troubleshooting and securing such an installation is not well understood.
Finally, there are a number of known interoperability issues that you may encounter if you are running SQL Server and Exchange Server on the same computer. Most of these issues are the result of version inconsistencies with files or programs common to the two servers, such as Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC), Microsoft ActiveX® Data Objects (ADO), and OLE Database (OLE DB)."

•      Email (MS Exchange)-      SMTP relaying should be turned on for all machines using the database.

Minimum Hardware recommendations for SQL Server from Microsoft:
SQL Server 2008: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506.aspx
SQL Server 2005: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506(SQL.90).aspx

Client Systems
Operating System
•      All Client Machines require the Microsoft .Net Framework Version 2 to be installed. Clients should have the latest service packs and critical updates from Windows Update for the version of Windows being used:
1)      Windows 7
2)      Windows Vista
3)      Windows XP Professional
•      UAC must be turned off
•      Local admin rights on the machine
•      Users will need to know their SMTP Server details for sending emails .You need these ready prior to the installation of RDB ProNet or you will not be able to send emails
•       Monitor Screen Resolution – RDB ProNet is designed for use on 1024 x 768 as a minimum – if you are on 15” you may find 17” screens more comfortable

This has been tested in a Terminal Services environment.
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Ian PattisonHead of IT
In an existing 2003 AD configuration (which works), I wouldn't purchase SBS 2011 and attempt a hybrid solution.

I would expect that the reason SBS 2011 is suggested is that it is *relatively* cheap if (as they say) you are starting up.  However the SBS 2011 documentation states that the SQL components should be installed on a different server to the main SBS components, therefore you're looking at 2 additional machines and a full domain migration... erm... where's the cost saving?

I would specify a server with 15K SAS drives @ 6GB Xfer, and use the SQL Best practices documentation to correctly assign the disks to RAID5 or RAID 1 (You should end up with BOTH in a correctly configured version), and buy the correct version of SQL, SQL Cals, and then join that server to the existing network.  THAT will be the cheaper option!


Thanks for that, software wise would you say this is what i should be looking at?
& Would the 2008 join the 2003 domain/AD without a problem?

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 x64 inc 10 Client Access Licences (CALs) - Retail
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard inc 10 Client Access Licences (CALs) R2 - Retail

all on the new Server

or would you recommend another configuration?

out of curiosity does SBS 2011 Premium give you two licenses, one for SBS & one for 2008 STD?
Your Dell PE 840 is quite an old server and while all is working today, I would certainly not run my business on this. What if the motherboard breaks? How long can they afford to be down for??

I would recommend to purchase a new server, the new Dell 620 is excellent. get it with 2 CPUs, 12-16GB RAM and 4x 15k SAS drives in RAID 10, cost would be about $6000. I would then purchase SBS 2011 Essentials with the SBS Premium Add-on. This entitles you to 2 Win2008R2 server licenses, one of which physical and virtual and full SQL 2008R2

I would then install the Win 2008R2 on the physical hardware and install Hyper-V role. Then create 1 VM with SBS Essentials and another VM with Server 2008R2 and SQL 2008R2. You could also add 5 or 10 RDS licenses and run that on that second VM (in which case you probably want min 16GB RAM).

I would then migrate the whole 2003 servers data, but not do a full migration, rather a complete new start, just bringing data across. Since you have Exchange in the cloud that makes it all very easy.
Head of IT

> Would the 2008 join the 2003 domain/AD without a problem?

Yes. You're not making it a DC, so no issues.

> Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 x64 inc 10 Client Access Licences (CALs) -
> Retail
> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard inc 10 Client Access Licences (CALs) R2 - Retail
> all on the new server

Yes. Exactly.

> out of curiosity does SBS 2011 Premium give you two licenses, one for SBS & 
> one for 2008 STD?

According to the feature chart for the premium add on, yes the Premium add on includes a Server 2008 R2 licence, and a SQL Licence - in addition to the SBS 2011 licence.


would you say this attachment is a good enough spec, I couldn't select std 2008 server but will try & change it when i speak to Dell. This is for max of 10 users

The Dell quote you got there has Win2008R2 Enterprise not Standard. There is a big price hike and explains why your quote is so expensive.

Did you consider what I mentioned, virtualisation and a combo of SBS Essentials + Premium Add-on??

Since you are using hosted Exchange and did not mention a need for Sharepoint, I consider purchasing SBS Standard a waste of money, hence my recommendation of SBS Essentials. Dell may not offer Essentials, so you just go and choose "No OS" option and purchase it from a MS License reseller. Cost here is about $700 for 25 licenses - there is no other option, 25 Licenses is it. If you think the business is going to grow past 25 users, you need to reconsider. The Premium Add-On is a cheaper way to purchase SQL Server than purchasing it separately and is one of the reasons to go with SBS.

The T310 components are a little outdated now compared to the T410 for example – especially with the processor itself. The new T620 represent a significant power increase of around 50% over the 11th Generation Server whilst using much less power to keep down cooling and power costs and makes an excellent host for virtualisation.

Lastly, you should consider getting a 5 year warranty on the server, typically servers aren't replaced every 3 years.


Thankyou everone

Hi Rob
I was just wondering how you are getting on with the RDB Pronet installation? I have a customer that is having lots of SQL problems with the database.

Would be gratefull of an update..