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  • SBS 2003 license overage

    If an SBS 2003 server has more users than licenses, what are the physical symptoms? Do users lose a connection, does the server become slow? I am going to take on a new customer that has existing issues, but they have also had 10 connections at once with only 5 licenses. I want to explain to them how licensing might impact their network.

    Thanks,
    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

  • #2
    Re: SBS 2003 license overage

    Tell them that Microsoft monitors excess connections above their CALs and will make an unannounced appearance at their premises with lawyers. It is therefore cheaper to purchase the required CALs than have to engage their own lawyers to counter the MS sharks, err lawyers.

    As has been mentioned several times on various sites, the CAL counter is buggy and could without warning disconnect all users or not allow users to connect once the licensed number has been reached. For the relevant small amout the CALs cost it pays to be complient. One day you may need to contact MS Support and they shall insist on having the appropriate CAL numbers before they help. Hell, the extra CALs will cost less than the bosses suit or a nice dinner out with friends PLUS the CALs are a business expense.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: SBS 2003 license overage

      You will have a problem accesing Mapped drives, connecting with Exchange, printing documents if you shared your printer in AD.

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      • #4
        Re: SBS 2003 license overage

        My experience has been that up to 5 users more than CALS you get a warning message on the server.
        That does not excuse you from getting the correct number of CALS, but as far as I can see does not impact your work. Then again drivng your car without a valid driving license is also possible, until you get caught!
        If you are of that frame of mind, then upgrade to SBS 2008 - it doesn't count licenses at all, but works on an honour system.
        I am of the opinion that MS licensing is broken and far too difficult to administer. Moreover, in many cases, when you try to sell the systems honestly, there are always the cowboys who will sell what works, but not strictly in compliance.
        With that said, it is your professionally duty to inform the client what the correct licensing should be, to the best of your knowledge (preferably in writing) and then let him/her make the choice.
        TIA

        Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
        http://www.wintra.co.il/
        sigpic
        Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

        We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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        • #5
          Re: SBS 2003 license overage

          one thing you'll definitely see is trying to use Webmail you'll get an error 500 I think it is.
          THe logon screen will come up, but then once you get past that, it craps you.

          You will also get errors when trying to conenct to pop3 or file shares, saying, strangely enough "there are not enough licences"

          (to see it for fileshares, you may need to use a command line - ie net use \\server\bla)
          Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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          • #6
            Re: SBS 2003 license overage

            They are using a PowerEdge 1800 which is old. They plan to replace the server in the spring when the winter resort period is over. The server has 5 licenses and 9 users.

            I also discovered on Friday they only have 1GB of RAM. They are a new customer. I feel bad for them but they should upgrade the RAM even if they are going to replace the server. It's hard to sell them on the licensing issue because they plan to replace the server and I can't blame the poor performance on the licensing when they only have 1GB of RAM.
            Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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            • #7
              Re: SBS 2003 license overage

              regarding the ram, I'd definitely agree with you - push them to upgrade it.
              if they aren't real keen on the idea, tell them you will provide them with RAM at your benefit for a 4 week period (adjust as necessary) for them to see that it works. Tell them that if they are happy, you will provide the ram to them at market price +5%, or some other very low rate, and only a minor service charge for installing.

              Sure, you're making next to no profit, if you make anything at all. However, what you're doing is demonstrating to the client that you know what you're talkin about, and you're prepared to take the hit to get things working for them. I'd definitely do something like this. It's building a relationship and trust over longer periods.

              with regards the licences, I can see the problem there. it's not really worth telling them to upgrade the licenses because they're doing a total overhaul in 6 months.
              UNLESS you can find 2008 SBS cals that can be downgraded, and then you can just upgrade them badck later, assuming they are going to SBS again.

              it's a bit of a rough spot, because in my mind, i'd have duty of care to them - if they get audited, they'll blame you. but they won't stump up the capex, so.... draft them an email, explaining that you recognise they are underlicensed, and you understand that they have an upgrade projectr being planned. that it's your professional responsibility to advise them that these are the sorts of things that could happen if they don't have enough licences.

              thereby, you're putting the responsibility back on them, but without necessarily making them spend the money.
              Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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              • #8
                Re: SBS 2003 license overage

                You can ONLY buy SBS 2008 CALS now, so no potential loss there - just the hassle of calling MS for downgrade rights to install them! (You need a code in SBS03)
                TIA

                Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                http://www.wintra.co.il/
                sigpic
                Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

                We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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                • #9
                  Re: SBS 2003 license overage

                  I worked in an enviornment that purchased all 75 CALS, but had close to 120 users just before we ran the transition pack.

                  Everything worked fine except for 1 day everything went to crap nobody could access anything nobody could print ...etc. What I found was the C: drive ran out of space (like a few kb free space) and all the licensing disappeared off the server. I can't remember 100% but I think the catalog.wci went through the roof and ate all the disk space rapidly.


                  I made some space on c:\drive and re-applied the licenses from exported backup rebooted and it was good to go. In this case I think it was the out of c:\drive space that was the issue not that all the licenses disappeared but I can't say for 100%.

                  I agree with the buying of 2008 cal's I had to do that myself and apply the downgrade rights. Worked no problem.

                  That PE1800 will be much happier with the max 4GB of ram (assuming your SBS is 32bit), and the harddrives will thank you as well reducing paging operations.

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