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BDC for a Small Office System

By lordseck ·
We have a network with a PDC running Win NT4 and 25 clients running Win 98 (and a couple WinXP laptops that are not perminant network workstations). Our Server is a Dell Poweredge, and all of our workstations are Dell Optiplex GX110's. I've learned that in order to upgrade the network (I'm thinking about moving to a NT5/Netware system) that it's best to have a BDC, but my company isn't really interested in investing in new hardware. What would be the suggested specs for a BDC that I would basically primarily be using to upgrade the system (ie, sync the BDC with the PDC). Besides having enough harddrive space, does it really need anything else? The Optiplex's come with 64MB Ram, but I'd use one with more RAM, either my personal station or just through an extra 128 stick in a workstation in storage.

The previous tech here left me little to no information about our Microsoft Software Liscenses. As far as I can understand from the documentation I have, our liscenses were 2-year liscenses and that time period has passed. Of course, microsoft never contacted us about it, neither did our vendor (Dell) or the IT Consulting company that original set our organization up. We seem to have had a server license, 25 workstations licenses, and - although I may be mistaken on this, I really doing feel like looking for the info right now - 25 licenses for office.

Do these need to be updated? If so, why? We don't use Microsoft for support, and personally I wouldn't want to, we already pay an outside company to consult on problems that I cannot cover (I'm a one-person IT Department doing everything from networking to telecomm to website updating and document design).

Thats about it, thanks for any help ya'll can give.

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by jschein In reply to BDC for a Small Office Sy ...

Licenses on paper need to be renewed on a yearly basis or whatever basis orignally subscribed upon with microsoft.

Licensing via paper is a waste. It is cheaper to purchase the actual software and upgrade to newer software 5-10 years down the road in a corporate environment.

Dells come with the OS. As with the server if purchased with the hardware itself. No need for those licenses.

A BDC can be one of your gx-110's setup with the server edition. Nothing hardcore required for it. For that, you will need to purchase another server cd / or license. CD- it's paid for License - you'll always pay yearly for...

Problem with your network, with domains and security measures, 98 has none. Even installing windows 98 network / security programs, it is highly flawed. Those workstations should be upgraded to NT or even better - 2000. If you do that, drop your license subscription and purchase the software straight out.

The only thing the BDC will "Synch up" is the userlist and group policies... nothing else. It's only there in case the PDC fails. So you can put a 10gb hard drive in a gx-110, load nt server and set it up as a bdc. that's it...

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by jschein In reply to

"So wait...perhaps that whole paper about licenses was complete junk. I've gone through our inventory and we definately have all the CD's - individual dell software packages for each computer, including the server. I think I might be starting to understand this Microsoft legel jumbo..."

Yes and no - Explanation... Having the cd's is not full justification, you can actually destroy every single cd except 1. Microsoft works off of their little Windows 98 / ME / NT / 2000 / XP Sticker with the product license key attached to the pc itself. Any pc without a product license key attached to it is not "properly licensed as per Microsoft". However, If you do not have those stickers, then you would need actual paper licenses purchased through Microsoft.


"So having the CD is a perminant license then, doesn't have to be renewed. The only reason one would need paper licenses then is because they got a single-CD with multiple licenses, Yes?"

No, it's those nice stickers that break to pieces when you try to remove them from the hardware. The paper assigned is usually what's called a corporate license which gives the end user X many amount of installs authorised to install with just any key they have or assigned.


"I've always suspected the company that originally set them up cheated them out of a number of things, but I've never been able to find enough of the old order forms and what not to figure it all out. They 'consulted' for my company, doing all the technology purchases. Is it possible that in addition to buying everything legit through Dell they decided to buy extra, useless paper licenses for us?"

Sad to say, yes. Most companies charge for excess items to bring in more overhead for themselves. If ever purchasing paper licenses for Microsoft products - Do them through Microsoft as a 3rd party is gonna make some money off of you.

Anyways, thanks for all the help already

Any more ?'s, feel free to post on.

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by lordseck In reply to

No, I think that's about it for now man, thank you very much for the help. It seems like I have some paper trail tracking to do And yes, all the comps still have their stickers, so I guess we're all good on that front.

Thanks again!

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by lordseck In reply to BDC for a Small Office Sy ...

So wait...perhaps that whole paper about licenses was complete junk. I've gone through our inventory and we definately have all the CD's - individual dell software packages for each computer, including the server. I think I might be starting to understand this Microsoft legel jumbo... So having the CD is a perminant license then, doesn't have to be renewed. The only reason one would need paper licenses then is because they got a single-CD with multiple licenses, Yes? I've always suspected the company that originally set them up cheated them out of a number of things, but I've never been able to find enough of the old order forms and what not to figure it all out. They 'consulted' for my company, doing all the technology purchases. Is it possible that in addition to buying everything legit through Dell they decided to buy extra, useless paper licenses for us?
Anyways, thanks for all the help already

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by lordseck In reply to BDC for a Small Office Sy ...

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