Small Business Server CAL

I’ve had the rare opportunity to actually buy something based on a pricing scheme I was part of creating. In this case, we use Microsoft Small Business Server at “Qiming”:http://qimingventures.com and now we’ve run out of users. We got the software from the Microsoft Company Store, but it only supports 5 users. I remember all the discussions about pricing this SKU and the limitations (only one SBS in a network, etc.) and it has really stuck over the last seven years.

The CAL pricing by the way is $100 per user which hasn’t changed much either. That was based on the price for a file and print CAL at $20 and the price of an Exchange CAL at $80. Things have gotten more complicated with the product line but that pricing hasn’t changed much.

We finally got this from “Pricegrabber”: which recommended “Viosoftware”:

Small Business Server 2003 SP1 Notes

OK, here are the tidbits that I gathered froma quick read of the “planning”:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/plan/gsg/chptr3a.mspx guide and also there are some SBS enthusiasts like “SBS Rocks”:http://www.sbs-rocks.com/Links.htm and the very useful “Documentation by Task’:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/techinfo/productdoc/topic.mspx for SBS

* After you install SBS, you can *not* change the DNS name of the domain, the Netbios name or the computer name of your server without reinstalling!! So choose wisely at the beginning.
* There are “magic”:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/plan/gsg/appx_d.mspx web addresses, so that you should be able to configure clients by going to http://ServerName/connectcomputer as a URL. You login as an admin on the client computer and you can do a setup.

In older windows NT and 2000, there was something called WINS that mapped the names that Windows likes to use (Netbios names) with names that the worldwide web likes to use (DNS names). with SBS 2003, it acts like a DNS Server, so when you register a machine to it as a Active Directory node (the old Domain controller), this registers the computer and its Netbios name. SBS then takes this and maps it to a DNS name. The names used are all of the form computername.local This does mane that the SBS server should be the first DNS server in the list for your router. That’s the mistake we made, we pointed all the addresses at the external internet so SBS could never resolve it.

Small Business Server 2003

We got one of these for our office and it is just enough different that it is a little confusing to me. I kind of lost track of how Windows and Exchange worked with Windows NT and Exchange 4.0, so I date myself. Fortunately, “Microsoft”:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/default.mspx has Technet which has lots of free information about it including how to plan and deploy it and there is the less useful “marketing”:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/default.mspx that tell me there is something obscurely named 2003 R2 coming out.

Our current configuration doesn’t seem to work well, our client machines aren’t in a domain and you can’t find things via Netbios names, so on to figuring out what is wrong.