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SBS 2003 User Cals Needed Temporarily during upgrade to Server 2012 Environment

Posted on 2013-01-08
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Last Modified: 2013-01-09
I picked up a client with a Window SBS 2003 network.  They have completely outgrown the server and are bringing in more employees in two weeks.  I plan to migrate them from the SBS 2003 world to a Full Windows 2012/Exchange 2013 world.  Problem is their network is complicated with a lot of industry specific proprietary apps and such.  Short story is the mirgration will take some careful planning and a bit of time to pull off with minimal distruption.  

My issue is that they need more SBS user Cals asap until I can get new hardware onsite, aquire the OSes, virtualize and then migrate the clients/apps etc over.

Anyone know of any options to get the new users working on the SBS 2003 server temporarily without having to track down and then waste money on the SBS 2003 user cals for what will be 2-3 months as we migrate.  I need to add about 10 users (they are at 40, so under the 75 limit).  I can't have any downtime issue with the license services stopping access to the network due to a license shortage while I plan/rollout the migration.
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Question by:fortier
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 38757498
If you have new users, you need new CALs, period. Discussions on less-than-legal scenarios are strictly prohibited by EE policies. The legal licensing requirements for SBS say that a user (or device) needs a CAL. Whether for 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months. If you can't migrate before the users are added, you need to buy the CALs. Full stop.
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Author Comment

by:fortier
ID: 38757509
Your are jumping to conclusions!

No intention of breaking copyright laws here.
So let's start again on the premise of what I was really getting at:

License downgrade scenario or the like.  Anyone know if it can be done in this situation.
I'm ready to purchase a fully licensed 2012 scenario asap.
So this will be done legally or won't be done at all.
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Assisted Solution

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 38757532
You get SBS 2003 CALs by purchasing SBS 2011 CALs under the open license program and "downgrading" them.  You might also find them on such as Ebay, as it is entirely legal to sell them if no longer in use.
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Author Comment

by:fortier
ID: 38757544
Thanks,

I have found some 5 packs for sale under open license from reputable resellers, they probably won't be there much longer I assume.

It is good to hear about the downgrade option, however I will be moving them to a full 2012 domain, not SBS 2011, so not sure if it would be possible to get some sort of 2012 (non sbs) cal and downgrade to sbs03 since there would obviously be some exchange licensing included with any sbs lic by default (although exhange lics will be purchase for the new servers), my ears are open on that one.

In the grand scheme of things I may just have to buy 10 seats for them and just call it a cost of waiting too long to upgrade.  Just doing do diligence if there is another known way.  Perhaps a call to MS would be in order in this instance.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 38757837
Unfortunately not. There is no SBS in 2012, thus no SBS or SBS-like CALs. And because SBS Cals have always been more expensive than standard CALs there has never been any non-SBS CALs that can be downgraded with downgrade rights. You really are looking at just swallowing a lost investment...
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Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Williams earned 1000 total points
ID: 38759430
Agreed you have no option but to buy CAL's for the SBS 2003.  However CAL's are not readily available.  You can buy VOL license SBS 20011 CAL's and downgrade to SBS 2003, as suggested by fl_flyfishing using the following instructions:
http://blog.lan-tech.ca/2012/05/10/how-do-i-add-cals-to-my-sbs-2003-or-sbs-2008/
Personally I would be hesitant buying any licensing on Ebay.  I have heard horror stories.
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Author Comment

by:fortier
ID: 38759468
No ebay for me.
Looks like I can aquire the 2011 cals, use them for the time needed then pass them to one of my other clients when we are done with the migration.  So basically a win win.
The link to the blog was very helpful so I split the points.
Thanks
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