Best practices seem to state that you should separate the domain controller/active directory stuff from any other business functions. However, Microsoft's latest server release Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials seems to run counter to that wisdom.

In looking at the licensing FAQ, it allows one instance on a physical server, or one instance in a virtual environment.

Seems to me they are encouraging SMB's to throw their domain controller, intranet, and file shares all into one instance.

What are you guys that are using Small Business Server doing?

  • That is, by design, the nature of Small Business Server, since it's inception, so this is nothing new for SBS. – joeqwerty Mar 5 '12 at 16:47
  • Sure seems that way. – Sam Mar 5 '12 at 16:48
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    SBS is a compromise product. Microsoft are saying "If you must do that due to budget or whatever, then let us build a product for you where we've tested and tweaked the particular combination of products we offer..." It doesn't validate improper deployments on larger networks. – Rob Moir Mar 5 '12 at 19:41
  • I think what we are going to do is just go with Foundation. It is cheap and should be relatively easy to upgrade when we hit the 15 CAL cap. We don't use any of the SBS services anyway. What appealed to me was the year (2011) and the 25 CALs. Someone in another thread said that 2011 is pretty much 2008 R2 with a simplified management GUI. After seeing that Windows Server 8 isn't too far off in the distance, we'll save a couple hundred bucks now to put towards upgrade and CALs later. – Sam Mar 5 '12 at 20:46

Small Business Server is a special case where all appss/OS run on one machine usually. MS designed this for small offices looking to deploy multiple products but with limted hardware budgets. How amny users will your SBS have?

  • We're currently on SBS 2003 with 8 devices. We don't utilize Exchange or Sharepoint and are essentially using the server to administer accounts, do file/printer sharing, and host a very small intranet site. For each device we add, it costs us $77 to get another CAL. We're planning on another 2-3 users/devices this year, and another 3-5 each year thereafter. I looked at 2008 Foundation, but that 15 CAL limit is just seems too close at the rate we are growing. We're buying a new server, so for less than $500 we can get SBS 2011 Essentials w/ 25 built-in CALs. – Sam Mar 5 '12 at 16:44
  • I would run all on one system but others may chime in. – Dave M Mar 5 '12 at 16:55

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