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Can I join a SBS 2011 AddOn license to a SBS 2003 domain?

Posted on 2012-12-27
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Last Modified: 2013-01-02
Today our customer has one single server with SBS 2003 Premium, including SQL Server.
The load is to high, they will by another server and move SQL there.

My suggestion is to upgrade/reinstall also the SBS-server to SBS 2011 at the same time, but they want to keep it and do that upgrade next year (2014).

So, what are my best options for licensing? Two ways to go:

1. Install Standard windows server 2008 and SQL server 2008 on the new server and join it to the existing domain at the SBS 2003 server.
Next year they buy the SBS 2011 standard server and upgrade the SBS Server.

2. Buy the SBS Server 2011 with the Addon (sql) from the beginning. Using the addon license to install it to the new server, and join the 2003 SBS domain. Next year, use the SBS 2011 license to update the SBS server.

Option 1 is more expensive without doubt. The problem with nr 2 is that MS says:
This server software must be run in an OSE that is joined to an SBS 2011 domain"
I wonder if that is a technical limitation or just a licensing one?

How would you do in this situation?
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Question by:Martin_Radbo
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Lee W, MVP earned 350 total points
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First, they don't have time. I believe SBS 2011 will no longer be sold after June 30.  So they need to buy it NOW.  If they buy it now, I BELIEVE they can use the Premium Add-On (they also need to buy the SBS Premium CALs.  But based on the italicized comment, I may be wrong.  technical or licensing doesn't matter - if you can't do it, you can't do it.  Reasons don't matter.

Question is, will their software even work on the newer version of SQL, often, it doesn't without an update so contact the maker of the software and confirm that they don't need to upgrade the software as well.

Wjhat I would likely do is give them the option to do everything now (which is almost necessary) or buy separate copies of Windows Server and SQL (non-SBS PAO versions) and the necessary CALs. This will be more expensive, but allow them to delay the purchase of the major SBS product.  Note, you'll need Windows and SQL CALs for Server 2008 AND for SQL.  If you bought SBS 2011, you wouldn't need the Windows Server CALs, you'd just need SBS 2011 CALs.
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by:Martin_Radbo
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Anyone who has tried to join the "addon server" to a SBS 2003 domain?
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by:Cliff Galiher
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It cannot legally be done. So asking for experience if someone who has tried is basically asking if someone has broken the law. EE policy prohibits discussing illegal violations of licensing, so the only answer we can give is no, you cannot legally do what you want. Full stop.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 150 total points
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Hi:

SBS 2011 will be available in the retail/open channel until June 30, 2014, and in the OEM channel until Dec 31, 2014.  However, adding a new server and SQL to an SBS 2003 domain is a waste of money... big time.  The pricing on the pao is such that you should be able to SBS 2011 AND the PAO for about the same price as just the cost of Server plus SQL.

And, even better, you can run the both SBS 2011 AND the PAO on ONE physical server, thereby saving the cost of two complet servers in the path you first asked about.

If you need to know more about that, please ask.
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by:Martin_Radbo
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OK, I have given our customer the different legal options and are awaiting there answer.

Thanks for your time.
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