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Thoroughly confused about upgrading to SBS 2011 (licensing question) RRS feed

  • Question

  • My organization currently runs 2 servers: SBS 2003 Premium Edition as the domain controller, Exchange server and file server, and Windows Server 2003 R2 as an application server with two instances of SQL Server (currently 2000 and 2005 Express). When we had this network set up, we went with what the IT firm recommended for our needs. This is an environment with 43 clients in addition to these servers. Our current licensing is per device. All but three clients are connecting to the application server using the SQL databases.

    We are looking to replace the server running SBS 2003. It's almost 5 years old and we are running into problems with disk space management. We are not looking to replace the application server, which is a couple of years newer.

    In reviewing the pricing and licensing info on the Microsoft site, I am thoroughly confused about what we would need in terms of server licenses. Is SBS 2011 Standard sufficient, or do we also need the Premium Add-on? Also whether we could add the existing Windows 2003 application server to the SBS 2011 domain. Further, we have a mix of Office 2002 and Office 2003 licenses. Would these run under SBS 2011 which has a much newer Outlook version? Or do we also need to upgrade to Office 2010? Office 2002/2003 are working just fine for us.

    If this is not an appropriate question for the forum, I apologize.



    • Edited by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:09 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:07 PM

Answers

  • Lots of questions, and others will no doubt add more detail, but here's a few quick answers:

    Premium Addons grant you the software license to install a second server, 2008R2, and an instance of SQL Server, 2008R2. If you already have SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 on a server other than your SBS box then you can continue to use that box, and therefore the licenses remain unaffected. Therefore you don't need Premium.

    The existing 2003R2 application server will happily sit in the SBS2011 domain, no problem there.

    Office 2003 is unaffected and will connect to Exchange 2010, which runs on the SBS2011 box. However Outlook 2002 (Outlook XP) will NOT connect, so you will need to upgrade those versions.

    SBS2011 does not come with ANY version of Outlook.

    Does that help?

    Jim


    • Edited by Jim Willsher Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:15 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:12 PM
  • Yes the SBS2003 box comes with an instance of SQL Server (Express,  I think) and it's used for both WSuS and SharePoint. Likewise the SBS2011 box comes with an instance of SQL Server 2008, which is equally used by WSuS and SharePoint Foundation. However in both cases these are the "slimline" versions of SQL, not the workhorse that you would normally use for production applications - for example they will have small database size limits, small memory utilisation limits etc.

    If you are retaining your 2003 box, and the SQL that comes with it, then you only need to worry about the SBS box, and for that you'll find that the SBS2011 Standard comes with all the same components that SBS2003 Standard came with, including any SQL or other component requirements.

    You may want to assess your backup and AV protection policies, since it's highly unlikely that the versions of Symantec and BE you currently use will be tailored for 2011. At the very least you should look for newer versions, and I would question whether you need BE at all since the backup facilities in 2011 are excellent. I can't comment on AV since we don't run any on the servers, we dish out ESET to clients and manage it from the server.

    HTH

    Jim

    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:35 PM
  • That is correct. The main thing Premium gives you is the extra license for Windows 2008R2 and the license for SQL Server. If you don't buy Premium then you get the license JUST for SBS2011, but that includes all the software and licenses required for SBS2011 to function.

    You only really need premium if you have additional LOB applications which need SQL Server and which should go on a separate box. If you haven't any, or if you already have a separate box, then Premium is not required. The SQL instances on the SBS2011 are effectively the "free versions" of SQL.

    XP SP3 is fine, and Outlook 2003 onwards is fine (not 2002). Remote Desktop is also fine, assuming you are going via RWW (or RWA as it's now called).

    Plan your migration carefully. SBS2011 is very easy to migrate to from SBS2003, provided you follow the guides to the letter.  Do all your upfront healthchecks first...then do them again....then upgrade.

    Jim

    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:43 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:13 PM

All replies

  • Lots of questions, and others will no doubt add more detail, but here's a few quick answers:

    Premium Addons grant you the software license to install a second server, 2008R2, and an instance of SQL Server, 2008R2. If you already have SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 on a server other than your SBS box then you can continue to use that box, and therefore the licenses remain unaffected. Therefore you don't need Premium.

    The existing 2003R2 application server will happily sit in the SBS2011 domain, no problem there.

    Office 2003 is unaffected and will connect to Exchange 2010, which runs on the SBS2011 box. However Outlook 2002 (Outlook XP) will NOT connect, so you will need to upgrade those versions.

    SBS2011 does not come with ANY version of Outlook.

    Does that help?

    Jim


    • Edited by Jim Willsher Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:15 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:12 PM
  • My organization currently runs 2 servers: SBS 2003 Premium Edition as the domain controller, Exchange server and file server, and Windows Server 2003 R2 as an application server with two instances of SQL Server (currently 2000 and 2005 Express). When we had this network set up, we went with what the IT firm recommended for our needs. This is an environment with 43 clients in addition to these servers. Our current licensing is per device. All but three clients are connecting to the application server using the SQL databases.

    We are looking to replace the server running SBS 2003. It's almost 5 years old and we are running into problems with disk space management. We are not looking to replace the application server, which is a couple of years newer.

    In reviewing the pricing and licensing info on the Microsoft site, I am thoroughly confused about what we would need in terms of server licenses. Is SBS 2011 Standard sufficient, or do we also need the Premium Add-on? Also whether we could add the existing Windows 2003 application server to the SBS 2011 domain. Further, we have a mix of Office 2002 and Office 2003 licenses. Would these run under SBS 2011 which has a much newer Outlook version? Or do we also need to upgrade to Office 2010? Office 2002/2003 are working just fine for us.

    If this is not an appropriate question for the forum, I apologize.




    Thanks, yes, that does help. Part of my confusion comes from the fact that there is a SQL instance on our SBS 2003 box. Was that just a standard feature of SBS Premium Edition? Is it not needed by Exchange or WSUS in SBS 2011?  To the best of my knowledge, the only other applications running on that server (that didn't come as part of SBS 2003) are Symantec Endpoint Protection and Backup Exec. And I meant Exchange, not Outlook, sorry.
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:23 PM
  • Yes the SBS2003 box comes with an instance of SQL Server (Express,  I think) and it's used for both WSuS and SharePoint. Likewise the SBS2011 box comes with an instance of SQL Server 2008, which is equally used by WSuS and SharePoint Foundation. However in both cases these are the "slimline" versions of SQL, not the workhorse that you would normally use for production applications - for example they will have small database size limits, small memory utilisation limits etc.

    If you are retaining your 2003 box, and the SQL that comes with it, then you only need to worry about the SBS box, and for that you'll find that the SBS2011 Standard comes with all the same components that SBS2003 Standard came with, including any SQL or other component requirements.

    You may want to assess your backup and AV protection policies, since it's highly unlikely that the versions of Symantec and BE you currently use will be tailored for 2011. At the very least you should look for newer versions, and I would question whether you need BE at all since the backup facilities in 2011 are excellent. I can't comment on AV since we don't run any on the servers, we dish out ESET to clients and manage it from the server.

    HTH

    Jim

    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:35 PM
  • Yes the SBS2003 box comes with an instance of SQL Server (Express,  I think) and it's used for both WSuS and SharePoint. Likewise the SBS2011 box comes with an instance of SQL Server 2008, which is equally used by WSuS and SharePoint Foundation. However in both cases these are the "slimline" versions of SQL, not the workhorse that you would normally use for production applications - for example they will have small database size limits, small memory utilisation limits etc.

    If you are retaining your 2003 box, and the SQL that comes with it, then you only need to worry about the SBS box, and for that you'll find that the SBS2011 Standard comes with all the same components that SBS2003 Standard came with, including any SQL or other component requirements.

    You may want to assess your backup and AV protection policies, since it's highly unlikely that the versions of Symantec and BE you currently use will be tailored for 2011. At the very least you should look for newer versions, and I would question whether you need BE at all since the backup facilities in 2011 are excellent. I can't comment on AV since we don't run any on the servers, we dish out ESET to clients and manage it from the server.

    HTH

    Jim


    Thanks again.  So, just to be clear, using the instance of SQL Server Express that comes with SBS 2011 doesn't require the premium add-on.  Thanks for the advice about the AV. We're planning a version upgrade next month and i will check into the compatibility. Are there other compatibility issues with earlier versions of Windows? We still have a lot of XP SP3 clients. What about Remote Desktop? Any issues there?
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:07 PM
  • That is correct. The main thing Premium gives you is the extra license for Windows 2008R2 and the license for SQL Server. If you don't buy Premium then you get the license JUST for SBS2011, but that includes all the software and licenses required for SBS2011 to function.

    You only really need premium if you have additional LOB applications which need SQL Server and which should go on a separate box. If you haven't any, or if you already have a separate box, then Premium is not required. The SQL instances on the SBS2011 are effectively the "free versions" of SQL.

    XP SP3 is fine, and Outlook 2003 onwards is fine (not 2002). Remote Desktop is also fine, assuming you are going via RWW (or RWA as it's now called).

    Plan your migration carefully. SBS2011 is very easy to migrate to from SBS2003, provided you follow the guides to the letter.  Do all your upfront healthchecks first...then do them again....then upgrade.

    Jim

    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:43 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:17 PM
    • Marked as answer by Peg2011 Monday, April 23, 2012 4:22 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:13 PM
  • That is correct. The main thing Premium gives you is the extra license for Windows 2008R2 and the license for SQL Server. If you don't buy Premium then you get the license JUST for SBS2011, but that includes all the software and licenses required for SBS2011 to function.

    You only really need premium if you have additional LOB applications which need SQL Server and which should go on a separate box. If you haven't any, or if you already have a separate box, then Premium is not required. The SQL instances on the SBS2011 are effectively the "free versions" of SQL.

    XP SP3 is fine, and Outlook 2003 onwards is fine (not 2002). Remote Desktop is also fine, assuming you are going via RWW (or RWA as it's now called).

    Plan your migration carefully. SBS2011 is very easy to migrate to from SBS2003, provided you follow the guides to the letter.  Do all your upfront healthchecks first...then do them again....then upgrade.

    Jim


    Thanks very much for your help.
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 3:43 PM