Even more Microsoft SBS 2003 licensing-isms

Hello there – harryb here – publisher for the advanced Widnows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices book.

I am all about virtual book readings – here is today’s post up:


More Microsoft-Centric Licensing Topics

This section is a buffet of SBS licensing factoids. Some of these facts are stranger then fiction. Let’s start with a couple of points about the legacy SBS 2000 era to provide context and move on to the modern SBS 2003 release.

Honoring the SBS 2000 Legacy

There are some interesting licensing topics regarding SBS 2000 you might be interested in. Did you know that…

  • SBS 2000 contained a licensing bumper of five CALs. That means an SBS 2000 server with 15 purchased CALs would actually authenticate 20 logons.
  • SBS 2000’s only serious “bug” in my humble opinion was the badly behaved License Logging Service when this product version was first released. Basically what happened was users weren’t properly “logged out” at the end of a computing session and the SBS 2000 server effec­tively ran out of CALs. This was fully described in one of my early SBS newsletters at: http://www.smbnation.com/newsletter/Issue1-2.htm.


Moving Forward with SBS 2003

There are some interesting licensing quirks with SBS 2003 worth noting.

The Great Upgrade CAL Caper

SBS 2003 was released on October 9, 2003 in New Orleans. But somewhere in the madness, a licensing oversight occurred and the version upgrade CALs (VUP) weren’t available until, by my estimation, early 2004. In fact, when I upgraded my real estate brokerage client in January 2004, I still couldn’t purchase the VUP CALs. Because of the time sensitivity related to this client’s upgrade, we had to proceed and purchase the much more expensive retail CALs. This beloved client effectively overpaid for its CALs even though it qualified for the VUP CAL edition. Ouch! And Microsoft had no way to refund the difference to this customer (e.g., turn in the retail CALs for the VUP CALs later). Double ouch!

☛ CHAPTER So You 3 Want SBS to Be 2003 an SMB Licensing Con

Here are the VUP CALs that are now available:

5-Pack VUP CALs:

  • Device: T74-01214
  • User: T74-01215

20-Pack VUP CALs

  • Device: T74-01212
  • User: T74-01213

Canada and Terminal Services CALs

My January 2005 workshop in Toronto revealed an interest factoid. Apparently, 95 Canadian partners complained to the Microsoft Canada SBS partner manager about SBS 2003 not running TS in application sharing mode, which was a real hindrance for customers. The Microsoft Canada SBS manager remedied the situation by offering five free TS CALs for the affected customers, as seen in a Microsoft Canada slide deck in Figure 3-7.

Figure 3-7

It’s good to be Canadian if you want to receive five free TS CALs. This is not a worldwide offer; it is only offered in Canada.



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  Granted, by the time you read this, the offer will have expired. But it’s interesting nonetheless that the use of Terminal Services as a remote worker solution has so much traction in Canada.

BEST PRACTICE: Refer to Chapter 8 in my Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices book for a generic Terminal Services licensing discussion that is still germane. And see Brian Livingston’s series of articles on Terminal Services licensing at www.brianlivingston.com. Another great resource for TS licensing is Brian Madden’s page: http:/ /www. brian madden.com/su bject.asp ?ID = 25

And did I forget to say that running TS in application sharing mode on an SBS server is totally insane?!?!?

No Real Licensing Management Tool

When asked to contribute to the wish list of features to be included in a future SBS release, you probably will join me in asking for a real licensing management tool. There simply isn’t a pretty Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in or other tool to manage CALs and determine who or what is assigned which CAL. Please revisit Figure 3-5.



Implicitly Overpaying For Outlook 2003

Oliver Rist, a columnist for InfoWorld, raised an interesting argument in his November 7, 2003 Enterprise Windows column (see http://itproductguide beta.infoworld.com/article/03/11/07/44enterwin_1.html and Figure 3-8). He suggested that many folks are implicitly overpaying for their SBS CALs with respect to Outlook 2003. Why? Because many people acquire Outlook 2003 when they get Office 2003, such as when they buy a new PC with Office 2003 pre-installed or simply purchase Office 2003 directly. He’s got a valid point and perhaps we need yet another CAL SKU sans Outlook 2003.


☛ CHAPTER So You 3 Want SBS to Be 2003 an SMB Licensing Con

Figure 3-8

Oliver Rist took a fresh look at SBS 2003 and surfaced an interesting licensing discussion!


External Facing Windows SharePoint Sites

At the Toronto SMB Nation Summit workshop in January 2005, a lively SBS licensing discussion was had during the afternoon discussion. Newly minted SBS MVP Jeff Loucks correctly schooled the attendees that an external facing Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) site would require a CAL for a user to access. The ramifications of this are significant. The reason for an external- facing WSS site is to work closely with customers, vendors, and the like. But can you imagine purchasing a CAL for each of these external parties? Nope!

A question was asked during a workshop as to whether this policy regarding licensing and an external WSS site would change? Perhaps in the future if you join me in providing vocal feedback to Microsoft at its TS2 events (www.msts2.com), hands-on labs, Partner events and other public forums!


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Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.


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