Using an evaluation license as a developement tool...

By markchip ·
I run a small business with an equally small network based around one SBS 2003 server. I propose buying an old server and getting an evaluation copy of SBS 2003 to learn to develop my network further by establishing another small server-based network at home. My family's pc's will be the surrogate workstations and I intend to set everyone up with roaming profiles (already done that at work) and get into the nitty-gritty of setting up an Exchange system.

My questions are these:-
A/ does the evaluation license enable me to connect a no. (5?) of pc's to the developer server with "evaluation" CALs?
B/ once I have set things up satisfactorily - and bought a full license for SBS 2003 with the appropriate no. of CALs - how do I convert/upgrade everything to a fully licensed and legit version? There is a lot of confusion about the evaluation-to-full-license process on the web!

I recognise that the MS forums are the obvious place to start but people on here seem much more "beginner-friendly"!!

Thanks folks....

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All Answers

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OK the SBS Trial Version is a 120 Day Time Bomb

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Using an evaluation licen ...

That means that it runs for 120 days and then ceases to work. Nothing that can be done about that one sorry but it will allow 5 concurrent connections and doesn't need additional Terminal Services Licenses or CAL's.

As for changing from the Trial to the Production version M$ recommendation is to wipe and perform a clean install just like all of their Trial Software. I've never actually tried to change from a Time Bomb to the Full Version so I'm not sure what happens but you should be able to backup everything important and restore it after you have the new product installed and running though if you already know what you want to do why waste your time with a Time Bomb that is going to have a limited life just buy the real thing and install that if you need any additional Terminal Services or CAL's of either type all you need do is just but the 5 Pack units that you need or if you need 15 it's cheaper to by a 20 Pack License.

The other thing that I'm not sure about is the version of the trial copy the production version is the R2 version but the last trial copy that I saw was the original SBS edition so it can be set as either a workgroup of Domain where as the R2 Version has to be set to Domain.


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I'm a cheapskate!!

by markchip In reply to OK the SBS Trial Version ...

Thanks for your answers, Col.
The reasons for not going ahead with the full version are...
A/ lack of disposable funds!,
B/ having a server-based network at home, as opposed to just a workgroup, is an unnecessary luxury,
C/ the learning process/network development is only really for use at work (where I don't have spare hardware resources to experiment with),
D/ I would expect the additional long-term sys-admin workload of a second SBS network at home - with 3 kids to mess up the network settings and configuration - would put me in an early grave!!

But overall I think it's that I can't justify spending extra money on additional hardware and software as the IT side of my business is definitely not mission-critical.... yet!

Cheers, Mark

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Well by all means use a Time Bomb

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I'm a cheapskate!!

It will be a good learning exercises for you. But these are limited in their usefulness and if at some latter stage you do decide to take the Big Step and go with a Home Domain you'll be making a lot of work for yourself needlessly.

But having said that on January 1 this year I installed a 2003 R2 SBS Server into a Doctors Surgery with 15 attached workstations and the 2 X 5 Packs CAL's came to more than the Server OS cost, by quite a bit when you consider what they allowed the system to actually do. The 10 CAL's cost about $300.00 more than the OEM Server OS and for another $400.00 I could have had a 20 Pack CAL License but as this place lacks the room to expand they chose to just go with the 2 X 5 Pack CAL's but if they add just 1 more Computer it's going to cost them over half the cost of the Server OS to buy another 5 Pack CAL set.

However with the SBS Server Pack you do get ISA, Exchange, Share Point and several other things all up there where 9 CD's in the pack so you have some tools to play with. If only the additional Licenses where not so expensive it would be a decent OS.


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Home domain??

by markchip In reply to Well by all means use a T ...

By Big Step I assume you mean using a domain rather than a workgroup! I quite agree that this is unnecessarily complex for a domestic setup - roaming is a nice facility but sending teenagers to their respective bedrooms has other advantages and is less likely to cause fights!!

I plan on using the home "evaluation" server primarily as a learning tool for myself so that I can then replicate this work on the operational server at work. A home Server-based domain is not an ultimate goal!!!

Neither do I have many more rooms to expand my network into at work so there will never be any need to get more than 1 x 5-pack of extra CALs. I take it that it is legit to use the tools from one version on another installation as long as license issues were being respected.

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Actually I'm not sure what happens with

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Home domain??

More than 5 machines connected to the trial version. That's what the Trial Version supports 5 concurrent connections and if it's the latest version the R2 of SBS you don't have any option but to setup a Domain as that version will not allow a Workgroup.

Actually I saw something about some new Beta Releases from M$ today there might even be a copy of Vista Home Server in that lot if you are feeling Really Brave.

If you like I can dig through the M$ Publications and see what it was all about shouldn't take very long at all as I think that there where only two or three e-mails from M$ today.


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comes with 5

by CG IT In reply to Using an evaluation licen ...

the evaluation copy is the same as the full version, just has a time limit. Comes with 5 cals which you can set as per device or per seat.

conversion is on microsoft's small business server 2003 web site.

here's a link

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migration vs backup/restore

by markchip In reply to comes with 5

Reading those links on migrating between different (or earlier) versions of Server 2003 it struck me as surprising that there was little mention of using backup and restore - any thoughts as to why?

My (experimental/learning tool) server (using R1) will only need its configuration and settings (such as profiles, folder direction and possibly Exchange settings - if I get it working!) transferring to a new legit version so which is better in this instance - migration or backup/restore?

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actually neighter

by CG IT In reply to migration vs backup/resto ...

if you buy the full version, just run the setup CD of the full version.

from MS FAQ If you are running the evaluation version of SBS 2003 R2, you can upgrade to the retail version by running Setup again using the retail media.

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Migrating is M$ way of saying

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to migration vs backup/resto ...

Updating which if you read their recommended ways of doing thing you have a solid Backup before starting as this practise has been known to be less than entirely successful at times.

So when the Brown stuff hits the fan you have a Backup to work from while you are performing a new install so that you know that the thing will actually sort of work right.


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