I'm setting up an Active Directory domain. This domain must have two separate servers, one acting as primary domain controller and the second one acting as file server only.

My wonder is if both servers, file server and primary domain controller, can run Windows SBS 2008 without any kind of conflict. Would the file server create conflict with the primary domain controller server? Can a Windows SBS 2008 act as file server uniquely or it must be the primary domain controller?

Hope it's well explained.

Thanks in advanced for your comments.


SBS must be the sole PDC and sole SBS box on a network. Why do you want to use SBS? Your file server could be a normal install of Server 2008, and you could even make it a second DC if you wanted the redundancy.

  • Thanks BitCareTech! The reason for using both SBS is basically a financial concern. So, any SBS installation on a network MUST be PDC? Or can I configure it in a way that supresses the PDC role? – jromero Nov 17 '10 at 17:05
  • Yes, the SBS box own the PDC role. If you try to change this, the server will reboot itself regularly until it is fixed. A normal Server OS would be cheaper than an SBS license, and I believe your SBS CALs cover any other servers on the domain as well, so it would be cheaper to purchase a standard OS license. – CarloBaldini Nov 17 '10 at 17:10
  • Ok, understood! Really appreciate your help! – jromero Nov 17 '10 at 17:19

Why do you want to use SBS2008???

1st solution: You could buy the SBS 2008 PREMIUM editions which includes an extra Windows 2008 Server Standard. The SBS2008 must be the primary DC and the Standard could be your fileserver and secondary DC.

Don't forget: With SBS 2008 there is a 75 Cals limit. You will never be able to use more Cals. And the Cals for SBS are more expensive than for the Standard Server, but you get exchange, sharepoint etc with it. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Small_Business_Server

2nd solution: Buy 2 Standard Server 2008. One for primary, one for secondary+fileserver. Choice this option if you only use the fileserverpart (the Cals are cheaper) or if you need more than 75 Cals.

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