Discussion:
To upgrade or not upgrade, that is the question
(too old to reply)
Dave
2010-04-16 19:03:52 UTC
Permalink
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.

My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their minimum
requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell PE 2800 with
a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB ram. I'm not sure
if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9 workstations which are
accessing the database pretty much continuously. I wouldn't say that my
practice managment program seems slow, although there would be some room for
improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS 2008 and dedicating a server to
SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I suppose it may, I'm just not sure if
any of the infrequent slowdowns I see are from SQL being underpowered in my
current configuaration. I would guess that it isn't since on my personal
workstation, which is decently beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.

I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One option
would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about $640. The
other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That would require a
new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a rather large investment.
Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with software assurance? Would
that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with minimal software cost? Or
does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead end" upgrade?

-Dave
Cliff Galiher - MVP
2010-04-17 00:01:19 UTC
Permalink
If it were me, I'd get 2008 with SA. 2003 R2 is also old and you'll be
upgrading sooner instead of later again anyways. Why put yourself through
the hassle of 2 upgrades when you can just strategically plan one and then
coast for a few more years?

-Cliff
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their minimum
requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell PE 2800
with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB ram. I'm not
sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9 workstations
which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I wouldn't say
that my practice managment program seems slow, although there would be
some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS 2008 and
dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I suppose it
may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I see are from
SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would guess that it
isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently beefy Core i7, I
rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That would
require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a rather large
investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with software
assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with minimal
software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead end"
upgrade?
-Dave
Charlie Russel - MVP
2010-04-17 05:43:11 UTC
Permalink
R2 with SA would get you 2008, but you'd still have to deal with the upgrade
to 2008 pretty quick. I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and go all the way
to 2008 with SA. IF your current machine supports 64-bit, AND it supports
hardware virtualization AND it can hold 12-16 GB of RAM, then you could do
it all by creating VMs on the current hardware (after upgrading the RAM and
adding a CPU.) But I honestly think you'd be better served by going with a
new server and sizing it as necessary. If you need to stay on the low cost
side, you could possibly repurpose the existing server as a new SQL only
server for your SBS Premium second server. That could be 32-bit or 64-bit,
but I'd really want to bump the RAM up to 4 GB even if you stay with 32-bit.
But migration is much simpler if you go with all new and find some other use
for the existing SBS box.
--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their minimum
requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell PE 2800
with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB ram. I'm not
sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9 workstations
which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I wouldn't say
that my practice managment program seems slow, although there would be
some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS 2008 and
dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I suppose it
may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I see are from
SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would guess that it
isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently beefy Core i7, I
rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That would
require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a rather large
investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with software
assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with minimal
software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead end"
upgrade?
-Dave
Dave
2010-04-18 16:38:32 UTC
Permalink
Thanks Charlie. I dug around a little and I don't think that I can run
64-bit VM's on my current server. So I would be looking at a new server.

Is there a recommended virtualization setup for premium? Would you run
Server 2008 as the host OS, and SBS, Exchange, and SQL as VM's?

-Dave
Post by Charlie Russel - MVP
R2 with SA would get you 2008, but you'd still have to deal with the
upgrade to 2008 pretty quick. I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and go
all the way to 2008 with SA. IF your current machine supports 64-bit, AND
it supports hardware virtualization AND it can hold 12-16 GB of RAM, then
you could do it all by creating VMs on the current hardware (after
upgrading the RAM and adding a CPU.) But I honestly think you'd be better
served by going with a new server and sizing it as necessary. If you need
to stay on the low cost side, you could possibly repurpose the existing
server as a new SQL only server for your SBS Premium second server. That
could be 32-bit or 64-bit, but I'd really want to bump the RAM up to 4 GB
even if you stay with 32-bit. But migration is much simpler if you go with
all new and find some other use for the existing SBS box.
--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their
minimum requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell
PE 2800 with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB
ram. I'm not sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9
workstations which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I
wouldn't say that my practice managment program seems slow, although
there would be some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS
2008 and dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I
suppose it may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I
see are from SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would
guess that it isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently
beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That
would require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a
rather large investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with
software assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with
minimal software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead
end" upgrade?
-Dave
SuperGumby [SBS MVP]
2010-04-18 16:54:37 UTC
Permalink
I've virtualised SBS08 Premium for 5 users (system could easily handle more)
on a Dell with 16GB RAM.

The Server 2008 OS from the '2nd server' license is used in '1+1 rights'
manner as Hyper-V parent and for the SQL Server child, SBS (including
Exchange) also runs as a child.
Post by Dave
Thanks Charlie. I dug around a little and I don't think that I can run
64-bit VM's on my current server. So I would be looking at a new server.
Is there a recommended virtualization setup for premium? Would you run
Server 2008 as the host OS, and SBS, Exchange, and SQL as VM's?
-Dave
Post by Charlie Russel - MVP
R2 with SA would get you 2008, but you'd still have to deal with the
upgrade to 2008 pretty quick. I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and go
all the way to 2008 with SA. IF your current machine supports 64-bit, AND
it supports hardware virtualization AND it can hold 12-16 GB of RAM, then
you could do it all by creating VMs on the current hardware (after
upgrading the RAM and adding a CPU.) But I honestly think you'd be better
served by going with a new server and sizing it as necessary. If you need
to stay on the low cost side, you could possibly repurpose the existing
server as a new SQL only server for your SBS Premium second server. That
could be 32-bit or 64-bit, but I'd really want to bump the RAM up to 4 GB
even if you stay with 32-bit. But migration is much simpler if you go
with all new and find some other use for the existing SBS box.
--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their
minimum requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell
PE 2800 with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB
ram. I'm not sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9
workstations which are accessing the database pretty much continuously.
I wouldn't say that my practice managment program seems slow, although
there would be some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS
2008 and dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I
suppose it may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I
see are from SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I
would guess that it isn't since on my personal workstation, which is
decently beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That
would require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a
rather large investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with
software assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with
minimal software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead
end" upgrade?
-Dave
Charlie Russel - MVP
2010-04-19 04:49:29 UTC
Permalink
With Premium, you already have the OS license for the host server as long as
you only use that host server for virtualization, no additional roles. Then
you have SBS 2008 as your first VM, with Exchange, SharePoint, and
management tasks running on it. Your second VM is then the SBS 2008 Second
Server runing SQL. (Or whatever else you want to run on it!)

Figure two processors and 16 GB of RAM, though you could _possibly_ squeeze
by with 12 GB, but it's pretty tight, even for a small shop. And don't stint
on the I/O subsystem. Disk access and networking are both potentially fatal
bottlenecks in a virtualized system, and money spent here is well spent.
--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
Post by Dave
Thanks Charlie. I dug around a little and I don't think that I can run
64-bit VM's on my current server. So I would be looking at a new server.
Is there a recommended virtualization setup for premium? Would you run
Server 2008 as the host OS, and SBS, Exchange, and SQL as VM's?
-Dave
Post by Charlie Russel - MVP
R2 with SA would get you 2008, but you'd still have to deal with the
upgrade to 2008 pretty quick. I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and go
all the way to 2008 with SA. IF your current machine supports 64-bit, AND
it supports hardware virtualization AND it can hold 12-16 GB of RAM, then
you could do it all by creating VMs on the current hardware (after
upgrading the RAM and adding a CPU.) But I honestly think you'd be better
served by going with a new server and sizing it as necessary. If you need
to stay on the low cost side, you could possibly repurpose the existing
server as a new SQL only server for your SBS Premium second server. That
could be 32-bit or 64-bit, but I'd really want to bump the RAM up to 4 GB
even if you stay with 32-bit. But migration is much simpler if you go
with all new and find some other use for the existing SBS box.
--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their
minimum requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell
PE 2800 with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB
ram. I'm not sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9
workstations which are accessing the database pretty much continuously.
I wouldn't say that my practice managment program seems slow, although
there would be some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS
2008 and dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I
suppose it may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I
see are from SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I
would guess that it isn't since on my personal workstation, which is
decently beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That
would require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a
rather large investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with
software assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with
minimal software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead
end" upgrade?
-Dave
SuperGumby [SBS MVP]
2010-04-17 12:22:43 UTC
Permalink
How many users?

It's entirely possible that you could stay with the current system and maybe
add a bit of RAM (SBS03 needs 4GB today regardless of anything else), maybe
use the free SQL 2005 Express for your database (check with supplier whether
Express is supported).

At high user numbers the difference between full vs express becomes
important.
There are also functional reasons why Express may not cut the grade.
In most cases LOB apps will work fine on Express.
An Express instance can be installed alongside your full version SQL 2000.
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their minimum
requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell PE 2800
with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB ram. I'm not
sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9 workstations
which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I wouldn't say
that my practice managment program seems slow, although there would be
some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS 2008 and
dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I suppose it
may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I see are from
SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would guess that it
isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently beefy Core i7, I
rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That would
require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a rather large
investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with software
assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with minimal
software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead end"
upgrade?
-Dave
Dave
2010-04-18 16:18:42 UTC
Permalink
I have 5 users and 9 workstations.

I checked with my practice managment comapany and they do support SQL 2005
Express, but only up to 5 concurrent computers, so I would need the full
version.

-Dave
Post by SuperGumby [SBS MVP]
How many users?
It's entirely possible that you could stay with the current system and
maybe add a bit of RAM (SBS03 needs 4GB today regardless of anything
else), maybe use the free SQL 2005 Express for your database (check with
supplier whether Express is supported).
At high user numbers the difference between full vs express becomes
important.
There are also functional reasons why Express may not cut the grade.
In most cases LOB apps will work fine on Express.
An Express instance can be installed alongside your full version SQL 2000.
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their
minimum requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell
PE 2800 with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB
ram. I'm not sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9
workstations which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I
wouldn't say that my practice managment program seems slow, although
there would be some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS
2008 and dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I
suppose it may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I
see are from SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would
guess that it isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently
beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That
would require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a
rather large investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with
software assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with
minimal software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead
end" upgrade?
-Dave
gs
2010-04-18 17:55:13 UTC
Permalink
Your situation sounds much like my own, 5 users 8 workstations, plus 4
users/workstations which are rarely in the office. I just completed the
install of SBS2008 premium on a Dell 2900 server in a virtualized mode.
Server 2008 with Hyper-V as parent, SBS2008 as child, Server 2008 as child
with SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 to run an accounting application. I initally set
up the system with 12 GB ram, but recently added more (18 more to total 32
GB the maximum permitted) not because I needed it but more as a preventative
measure for unanticipated problems.

The installation went ok, it took a bit longer to understand and install
than I anticipated, but I don't do this everyday, the last SBS installed was
SBS2000 back in 2002 or so. Even so, I built the new server and network in
the evenings and weekends, with one test workstation, and then when I had
about 90% of it figured out, I switched over in one weekend, BUT, I spent
about 3 workdays sorting out printer problems (make sure you get 64 bit and
32 bit drivers for your printers and quiz the printer vendors hard about
whether they will work together or whether you will have to install 64 bit
drivers on the server and 32 bit drivers on each workstation, which I had
to, instead of having the printers managed by the server they are
essentially local printers on each workstation). I also had a bit of trouble
with ISA server which I installed on a separate server (an old spare)
because I was too cheap to buy a perimeter firewall router (I'd probably buy
the firwall/router if I had to do it over).

Hope it goes well for you. If you have problems, this newsgroup is extremely
helpful.
Post by Dave
I have 5 users and 9 workstations.
I checked with my practice managment comapany and they do support SQL 2005
Express, but only up to 5 concurrent computers, so I would need the full
version.
-Dave
Post by SuperGumby [SBS MVP]
How many users?
It's entirely possible that you could stay with the current system and
maybe add a bit of RAM (SBS03 needs 4GB today regardless of anything
else), maybe use the free SQL 2005 Express for your database (check with
supplier whether Express is supported).
At high user numbers the difference between full vs express becomes
important.
There are also functional reasons why Express may not cut the grade.
In most cases LOB apps will work fine on Express.
An Express instance can be installed alongside your full version SQL 2000.
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their
minimum requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell
PE 2800 with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB
ram. I'm not sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9
workstations which are accessing the database pretty much continuously.
I wouldn't say that my practice managment program seems slow, although
there would be some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS
2008 and dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I
suppose it may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I
see are from SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I
would guess that it isn't since on my personal workstation, which is
decently beefy Core i7, I rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That
would require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a
rather large investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with
software assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with
minimal software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead
end" upgrade?
-Dave
kevinp
2010-04-18 19:13:51 UTC
Permalink
I agree with Mr. SuperGumby.

I would just install SQL 2008 Express. I'm using it with one of my
clients and it runs just fine with 10 workstations. No need to spend
any more money. If you wanted to use any of the features of SBS2008,
then it might be worth the upgrade. Don't spend the money just to get
the latest if you really don't need it.

Just my two cents.


On Sat, 17 Apr 2010 22:22:43 +1000, "SuperGumby [SBS MVP]"
Post by SuperGumby [SBS MVP]
How many users?
It's entirely possible that you could stay with the current system and maybe
add a bit of RAM (SBS03 needs 4GB today regardless of anything else), maybe
use the free SQL 2005 Express for your database (check with supplier whether
Express is supported).
At high user numbers the difference between full vs express becomes
important.
There are also functional reasons why Express may not cut the grade.
In most cases LOB apps will work fine on Express.
An Express instance can be installed alongside your full version SQL 2000.
Post by Dave
My current server is SBS 2003 Premium and my practice managment software
uses a SQL 2000 DB. I also run Exchange. I do not have the SBS2003 R2
upgrade.
My practice management software no longer supports SQL 2000. Their minimum
requirement is SQL 2005. My current server is a 4 year old Dell PE 2800
with a 3 GHz Xeon single processor (room for another) and 2GB ram. I'm not
sure if it is 64bit capable but I think it is. I have 9 workstations
which are accessing the database pretty much continuously. I wouldn't say
that my practice managment program seems slow, although there would be
some room for improvement. I don't know if moving to SBS 2008 and
dedicating a server to SQL would help speed it up a bit, but I suppose it
may, I'm just not sure if any of the infrequent slowdowns I see are from
SQL being underpowered in my current configuaration. I would guess that it
isn't since on my personal workstation, which is decently beefy Core i7, I
rarely see slowdowns.
I am trying to determine which upgrade path makes the most sense. One
option would be to only get the SBS2003 R2 upgrade, at a cost of about
$640. The other option would be to upgrade to SBS 2008 Premium. That would
require a new server (I think) and an OS upgrade, so likely a rather large
investment. Would it make sense to get the R2 upgrade with software
assurance? Would that allow me to upgrade to SBS2008 later with minimal
software cost? Or does the R2 only upgrade sound like a "dead end"
upgrade?
-Dave
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