SBS2003 OEM Licensing

By ed ·
Hi, we're looking into basically buying a 2nd hand identical server to what we already have (HP Proliant 360 G3) as a redundancy.
We're running SBS2003 - it's an OEM edition that came with the server.
Our reasoning for it is the server is coming up to 5 yrs old, this year we can't afford to face any large expenditure so to have a backup machine that is identical would be beneficial - you can pick them up cheaply enough.

In theory, if our server dies - it would be a case of moving the 2 mirrored drives into the new machine and off we go.
However, I know licences are involved!

Can you tell me what would happen? Have found similar scenarios but it's a little unclear, as this won't be a fresh install with an old OEM code - the hard drives themselves would be swapped across.

If it gave us 30 days to activate, we could quite conceivably buy a Retail SBS2003 edition, though I'm not sure how we'd put that in if the installation is already complete.
Advice welcome!

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Similar to replacement of MB

by gpartridge In reply to SBS2003 OEM Licensing

If you were to replace the motherboard in the server. You may have a very similar issue with licensing. If this was the case you could call Microsoft and tell them that you have replaced the motherboard and you will be able to activate Windows and add the licenses using your OEM license.

But, legally speaking you should not tell them this if you had move to the other server.

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More to consider..

by NormH3 In reply to SBS2003 OEM Licensing

I don't think it's an issue moving an OEM license from one server to another, assuming it is a like server. As long as you are only using one, you should be well within the guidelines. However, this would be my concern. After you purchase the backup server, which will also be 5 years old, you really need to test it to verify that it is going to be there for you if and when the time arises. The best way to test it, is to configure it in the way it will be used. You could move your production spindles to the backup server, but do you really want to take and install them in a device with an unknown hardware history. My other concern, is that when moving the drives, you will also need to move your production RAID controller as well. If the RAID controller is integrated into the MB, this can't be done. This would require that your RAID controller be configured in advance of the move, and to be honest, I don't know if it would accept your production spindles without having to format them. Depending on the RAID controller, they can be persnickety. (a technical term)

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by ed In reply to More to consider..

I hadn't thought of that!
We replaced the 2 hard drives some 2yrs or so ago to much bigger ones, and kept the old drives with all the data on as they were a good backup (less so now obviously!)

So I could, in theory - just put them in the "new" machine and see what occurs (purely to test not connected to the network).
My concern with that would be if it screws up the licensing at all - I don't fully understand the way the licensing works in that sense. ie. I wouldn't want our working server to lose its licence as a result.

Edit: It looks as though our present system and the possible backup machine both have the Integrated Smart Array 5i, not sure how much the software configuration of this would be relevant?

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