My notes from today’s Microsoft Partner Program webcast…

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SBS2008 Premium edition includes everything in SBS2008 plus another copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard, and a copy of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition.

When SBS2003 was first released, it included SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition.  In SBS2003 R2, SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition was included in Premium (which was a problem because some LOB systems did not support that edition).  In SBS2008 Premium they have changed it to include SQL Server Standard Edition.

One key point related to setup is that the setup of Windows Server 2008 is MUCH simpler than Windows Server 2003.

Requirements for the second server:

  • Minimum RAM 512MB, Maximum of 4GB in 32-bit, Maximum of 32GB in 64-bit
  • Disk: minimum of 10GB, Recommend 40GB or more
  • DVD drive, 800×600 resolution
  • Need updated and signed kernel-mode drivers for x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008

image Before you start:

  • Check for application compatibility
  • Disconnect UPS devices
  • Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
  • Provide mass storage drivers
  • Remember that the Windows Firewall is on by default

Windows Server 2008 Initial Tasks

  • Make sure you set the time and time zone correctly.
  • Need to assign a computer name.  The initial name is assigned randomly to avoid having to ask you another question during installation

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Joining to the Windows SBS 2008 Domain

  • Done the same way as usual.
  • Go into computer properties and change computer name.
  • Change “Member of” to domain, provide authentication, and reboot.
  • Server will show up under Network tab on the SBS Console.

Primary roles might be

  • Application server: SQL Server 2008 or third-party LOB application
  • Terminal services role (have to separately buy Terminal Service CALs)
  • Virtualization Role: LOB and legacy applications

Most administration of the LOB server is done through the Server Manager console.  Can be used to add/remove roles/features, and a single point of access for all installed roles.

The primary server can’t back up the secondary server, but Windows Backup can be used on the second server.

The second server can also be DCPROMO’d to be a domain controller.

SQL Server

For one year after RTM, SQL Sever 2005 will be included with SBS 2008 Premium, in addition to SQL Server 2008 being included.  You can install either.  Microsoft is doing this to help businesses that have LOB applications that do not yet support SQL Server 2008.

SQL Server does not HAVE to be installed on a second server (could be on the primary server), but generally it is recommended to separate it.

SQL Server 2008 is provided in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition requirements:

  • .NET Framework 3.51
  • SQL Server Native Client
  • SQL Server Setup support files
  • Microsoft Windows Installer 4.5
  • Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8 SP1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 SP1 (or higher)

It includes the following components:

  • Database Engine
  • Analysis Services
  • Reporting Services
  • Integration Services
  • Management tools
  • Documentation

Reports & Monitoring

image Two default reports are installed:

  • Summary network report
  • Detailed network report

In the SBS Console, you can generate reports manually, view the report archives, create a new type of report, etc.  Reports can be generated on a schedule or on demand.  All of the data is stored in a SQL Server database.

image You can also configure your report to specify which components of information you want to include in the report.

  • General configuration (name, etc.)
  • Content
  • E-mail options (schedule, addresses)
  • Archive

Report information includes:

  • Security (includes both server and the clients, and covers antispyware, antivirus, and anti-spam)
  • Updates (synchronization, update policy summary, computer status)
  • Backup
  • Other alerts (extensible via an SDK available on MSDN).  Also includes things like making sure your domain name hasn’t expired.
  • Email usage and mailbox sizes (also includes how much spam was blocked)
  • Server event logs

Reliability and Performance Monitor (access via Start > Performance)

  • Tracks changes to your system (clock changes, software [un]installs, application failures, Windows failures)

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Advanced Topics and Troubleshooting

Fix my Network wizard checked a number of potential network issues.  Really is the first resort in fixing things.  Looks at over 90 different items.

Windows SBS Console (Advanced Mode)

  • Access via Start > Programs > Windows Small Business Server > Windows SBS Console (Advanced Mode)
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  • Lets you open Active Directory Users and Computers, Start/StopDHCP Server Service, Manage DNS, Manage DHCP, Manage Certificates

Windows SBS Advanced Management

  • Access via Start > Programs > Windows Small Business Server > Windows SBS Advanced Management
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  • Gives you access to the native tools

Managing Windows SBS 2008 Applications

  • Can add/remove parts of SBS by going to Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features > Windows Small Business Server 2008
  • “Manage Server Applications” console
  • Shows you what parts are installed
  • Also provides a lot of help

Early Troubleshooting Learnings

  • Unhealthy source domains can cause failures during migration;
    SBS 2003 BPA and Source Tool can remedy or detect most of the issues
  • Incomplete steps during migration process can leave orphaned information in AD, especially Exchange related
  • The root CA name should never be the host name you want to use for your site; recommend leaving it blank
  • Difficulties related to RWW/TS Gateway have been mostly related to not trusting the self-issued certificate
  • Console failing to monitor security status of certain clients, usually related to third party firewalls without proper exceptions
  • Windows XP clients on a different subnet will not be queried successfully by default (we will provide documentation on how to resolve).

Licensing Notes

In SBS2008, licenses for Outlook 2007 are NOT included like they were in SBS2003.  This is because Outlook licenses used to be included in Exchange 2003, but are no longer included in Outlook 2003.  If you buy SBS2003 now with software assurance, you will get Outlook licenses when SBS2008 comes out.

Microsoft is no longer including ISA Server because they found that 95% of installations weren’t using ISA.  If you have Software Assurance on SBS2003 Premium, you will get a free license of ISA Server to use on a separate machine with SBS2008.

Finally, SBS2003 is cheaper than SBS2008.  So it makes sense to buy it now with software assurance.

Final Notes

The RTM bits will be available sometime in September, even though the final launch isn’t until November.

Resources

Windows EBS TechNet Library
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc514031.aspx

Windows SBS TechNet Library
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc527559.aspx

The SBS Official Blog
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/default.aspx

The EBS Official Blog
http://blogs.technet.com/essentialbusinessserver/default.aspx

Read more posts from John R. Pattison about Windows Small Business Server 2008