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What design of Windows 2012 Architecture to replace SBS 2003

Posted on 2014-12-08
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I need to replace an ageing SBS2003 server which is running Exchange and a proprietary database.
Ideally I would like an on-site Exchange server because the broadband speed to the office is 1 to 2Mbps on a good day.
I also need to run MS SQL 2012 Express to replace the old database.

What configuration of servers should I use?
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Question by:ClintonK
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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You did not indicate how many users.  That's a key question.

I would recommend a SINGLE PHYSICAL server running Hyper-V 2012 R2.  Then run TWO VMs, one DC/File Server/Database Server, one Exchange Server.

Your licensing costs are:
ONE copy of Server 2012 R2 (this covers the physical install AND the two VMs)
x Server 2012 CALs (where x is the number of users you have)
x Exchange 2013 CALs

Install two VMs with Windows Server 2012 R2 and on the DC/File Server, add the Essentials role to give you OWA capabilities.  On the other VM install 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013.
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by:ClintonK
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There are fewer than 20 users
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by:davorin
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Lee forgot to mention Exchange server licensing costs.
Mostly I agree with Lee suggestion, except I probably would not install Essentials experience role, because I see more use of it when using exchange online hosting services.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Yep, forgot the Exchange Licenses.

The essentials experience role includes Workstation backup and Remote Web App/Remote Web Workplace (whatever they're calling it these days).  It's potentially useful and I find a LOT of people like having the web interface for more than just email.

With 20 users you COULD install 2012 Essentials using downgrade rights in one VM (MAKE SURE you get a volume license for your 2012 license).
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by:ClintonK
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I plan to use SQL 2012 Express (which limits the size of the DB I think) and although the database isn't very big it's heavily utilised by 10 users. Should this be a consideration in the configuration?
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 250 total points
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Our hardware would be:
 + E3-1270v3
 + 32GB ECC
 + Hardware RAID with 1GB non-volatile cache memory
 + (8) 600GB 10K 2.5" SAS in RAID 6
 + Intel i350T4 (plus on-board Intel a must)

The above would be relatively inexpensive but have enough horsepower and IOPS to run the following VMs:
 + DC with all the roles
 + Exchange 2013 SP1 with the latest Cumulative Update

For remote access we would add another Windows Server license and have:
 + RDSH (RDWeb for access portal, RD Gateway for secure endpoint access, and RemoteApp and Desktops)
 + LoB (your SQL can go here as can WSUS)

The above would give you a similar experience to SBS Standard and the RWW portal setup. If you don't want or need this then stick with the first option of one license for two VMs.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ClintonK
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A single physical server and two VMs I think is the way I will go.
Thanks
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