Guide to Small Business Server and Essential Business Server Editions and Licensing

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The purpose of this guide is to help you find the Small Business Server or Essential Business Server edition and licenses appropriate to your organisation's needs.

Small Business Server and Essential Business Server are both "all-in-one" server solutions, bundling server operating systems with relevant applications and services. They provide organisations with application server technologies like file and printer sharing, email servers, tools to manage Internet access, internal Web sites (intranets), remote access, support for mobile devices, and backup/restore tools.

Small Business Server vs. Essential Business Server

Small Business Server and Essential Business Server offer similar technologies. Organisations should be sure they are choosing the product that best fits their needs.

As its name suggests, Small Business Server is designed for small organisations. It supports a maximum of 75 users and would be appropriate for organisations that will not exceed this number of simultaneous user connections in the near future. It is a single-server solution and does not require dedicated IT support staff. The current version of Small Business Server 2008 can ONLY run on 64-bit hardware, but the previous version supporting 32-bit hardware is also available (see Small Business Server 2008 and 2003 Versions below).

Essential Business Server is designed for mid-size organisations. It supports up to 300 users, so it would be appropriate for organisations that are too large to use Small Business Server. However, it is a multi-server solution that should only be used by organisations that have adequate I.T. support. Essential Business Server can ONLY run on 64-bit hardware.

For in-depth help in deciding between Small Business Server and Essential Business Server, view this guide provided by Microsoft.

Standard and Premium Editions

Small Business Server and Essential Business Server are offered in both standard and premium editions.

The premium editions of both server packages include versions of SQL Server for integrated data management and reporting. SQL Server allows businesses to use a centralised database for server-based applications such as accounting, business planning, and contact management, allowing all employees to work from the same information.

Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition and Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition include an additional copy of Windows Server 2008 to host the installation of SQL Server on an additional database server. These editions can also be used for Terminal Services access to applications. This additional installation of Windows Server is not included in Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition.

The standard editions of both Small Business Server and Essential Business Server do not include SQL Server or the additional copy of Windows Server.

Small Business Server 2008 and 2003 Versions

Microsoft offers both the 2008 and the 2003 versions of Small Business Server through CTXchange in order to allow organisations to select the server operating system that will meet their needs.

Small Business Server 2008 is appropriate for organisations that can take advantage of its many enhancements to server management, remote access, security and policy enforcement, and its Web and application platforms. However, Small Business Server 2008 is ONLY available as a 64-bit operating system for organisations with servers that have 64-bit processors. If your organisation has a hardware server with a 32-bit processor, you will not be able to run this software and should choose Small Business Server 2003.

The 2003 version might also be appropriate if your organisation's server computers don't meet the other system requirements for Small Business Server 2008. The 2008 version requires a faster processor, more RAM, and a bigger hard drive for basic operations. Depending on the system configuration, other requirements might also be higher for Small Business Server 2008.

The premium editions of both the 2008 and 2003 versions of Small Business Server are differentiated further by certain software components and functionality. Unlike the 2003 premium edition, Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition does not include FrontPage 2003 for designing Web pages or Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 for firewall security and tools to manage and monitor internal Internet access.

The 2008 premium edition includes trial versions of software that offer features somewhat equivalent to those offered by FrontPage and ISA Server. These include a sign-up process for Office Live Small Business - a hosted service for customers with an Internet connection who want to take their small business online - and a 120-day trial subscription for two security solutions: Forefront Security for Exchange Server (enterprise-class email protection from spam and viruses) and Windows Live OneCare for Server (anti-malware and security services).

Licensing

Below are some of the major licensing requirements for Small Business Server and Essential Business Server.

Essential Business Server Operating System Licenses

Both editions of Essential Business Server 2008 are intended to be multiserver solutions. Essential Business Server has the following licensing rules:

  • You may assign the server license to a maximum of three servers with the standard edition and a maximum of five servers with the premium edition.
  • You may run, at any one time, one instance of the managing server software, one instance of the security server software, and one instance of the messaging server software in one physical or virtual operating system environment on the licensed servers (see the product description for details of each).
  • For the premium edition, you may also run, at any one time, one instance of Windows Server 2008 along with SQL Server 2008.

Small Business Server Operating System Licenses

All versions and editions of Small Business Server have the following licensing rules:

  • For each software license you assign, you may run, at any one time, one instance of the server software in the physical operating system environment and any number of instances of the server software in virtual operating system environments (only one instance per virtual operating system environment).
  • However, the total number of physical processors used by those operating system environments cannot exceed the number of software licenses assigned to that server.
  • The software or your hardware may limit the number of instances of the server software that can run in physical or virtual operating system environments on the server.

Client Access Licenses (CALs)

A Small Business Server or Essential Business Server device or user CAL is required for each user or device accessing or using the server software.

Premium CALs are also available for use with Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition and Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition. These CALs provide the same access as regular CALs and also provide access to the additional server running line of business (LOB) applications, SQL Server, and optionally Terminal Services. The non-premium CALs can be used with their respective premium edition products for users or devices that do not need to access these services on the additional server.

All Small Business Server or Essential Business Server CALs can also be used to access instances of Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008, or any other Windows servers within the Small Business Server or Essential Business Server domain.

Each version of Small Business Server comes with five CALs that can be used for either users or devices. Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition includes five premium CALs. Since Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition is a single-server solution, it comes with non-premium CALs and does not require premium CALs to access any of its features.

Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition and Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition do not include any CALs. All Essential Business Server CALs must be acquired separately.

Microsoft offers both non-premium and premium user and device CALs for Small Business Server and Essential Business Server through TechSoup Stock.

Windows Server Licenses

Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition and Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition include an additional copy of Windows Server 2008 to optionally run on an additional hardware server supporting LOB applications. In this case, the server license is concurrently assigned to multiple servers. You may elect to run this instance of Windows Server in a virtual operating system environment. In this case, it does not need to be joined to the Small Business Server or Essential Business Server domain. However, it may be used only to run hardware virtualisation software, provide hardware virtualisation services, or run software to manage and service operating system environments on the server running Small Business Server or Essential Business Server.

SQL Server Licenses

The premium editions of Small Business Server and Essential Business Server include versions of SQL Server. The license for this software allows you to run, at any one time, any number of instances of SQL Server in the same physical or virtual operating system environment as Small Business Server or Essential Business Server.

Upgrading and Downgrading

Essential Business Server is a new product, so Software Assurance cannot be used to upgrade Small Business Server or Small Business Server CALs to Essential Business Server or Essential Business Server CALs.

To migrate from Small Business Server 2003 to Essential Business Server, see this Microsoft migration help document.

For Small Business Server, you can use Software Assurance to upgrade and downgrade the operating system and associated licenses for two years after you obtain these products. Using Software Assurance to upgrade directly through Microsoft means that you don't need to request the new version through TechSoup, so it won't count as your one annual Microsoft request allowed through TechSoup. It also won't count as an additional title toward your limit of six titles per two-year period.

If you exercise downgrade rights with Small Business Server, you must downgrade all component parts of the server software.

To upgrade from Small Business Server 2003 to Small Business Server 2008, a manual migration is required. See the Microsoft Migration help document for Small Business Server for more information.

With Software Assurance, CALs obtained for older versions of Small Business Server are compatible with newer versions of the software if the new software is obtained within two years.

CALs offered through CTXchange are always for the currently offered version.

For more information, see Microsoft Software Assurance.

Article compiled from information sourced through TechSoup

 


 

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