The business value of SBS 2008

One of the questions I get a lot these days is what do I see the business value of SBS 2008 is. And I’ll be dead honest with you that if you wanted me to point out the wizzy bangy thingy that made SBS 2008 an absolute must have over a SBS 2003 that had a few years left on that hardware, was running nicely and had  in front to protect it (like all SBS 2003 boxes should) I’d be hard pressed to argue that you should be ripping out that SBS 2003 box today.

If one already has RWW, one has Outlook over http, it’s honestly a hard sell.  What the whizzy bangy stuff comes from is Windows Server 2008.  It’s the TS remote apps that is really cool.  (Of course Dana might argue with me over the coolness of the resource mailboxes in Exchange 2007).  It’s the replication stuff that’s under the hood.  It’s the full license of Windows that is included in Premium.  It’s the fact that it’s supported in Virtualization whereas SBS 2003 is not. 

Migration is an easy job and there will be some that look at some items and go… hmmmm if the mailboxes are under 2 gigs, and the network is small, how about exporting out those pst’s and importing them back in. 

The reality is that there HAD to be a refresh of SBS 2003.  One HAS to build a new integrated SMB solution.  If there isn’t that “oh I must have that now” reaction to it, and you want it on new hardware only, more power to ya.  That’s the way it should be.

At the end of the day it needs to make sense for the business.  And if it doesn’t make sense, that’s okay.  Servers will still need maintenance, no matter what.

SBS 2003 – and SA

Philip clarified the Software Assurance story.

News on Software Assurance

Word is that as of 10/1 that SBS 2008 will be in the pricing lists.  Thus if you want to purchase SBS 2003 with software assurance you will need to purchase retail or OEM copies of SBS 2003 and THEN add Software asurance.

I had heard before that SA would be there until October 31, but it may be that with the October price list that that SBS 2003 is not available under volume license.

If you hear any more info, fell free to ping me at


Olli’s guide to ensuring that you don’t get slowed down during migration

To turn off the advanced networking features like EnableRSS (Receive Side Scalling) and/or TCPChimney which can be somehow slow you setup very much down to the speed of a turttle:

Press Shift & F10 during first setup wizard page on every box:

netsh int tcp show global
netsh int tcp set global chimney=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=disabled

netsh int tcp show global


As a reminder on a SBS 2003 box, ensure that you disable task offloading.

Setup a reg key under this value


Under that set up a Dword value called DisableTaskOffload and ensure that it has a value of 1 under there.

To disable checksum offloading:

From the registry you can do:


Click Edit, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

Type DisableTaskOffload as the entry name, and then press ENTER.

Right-click DisableTaskOffload, and then click Modify.

In the Value data box, type a value of 1 , and then click OK.


(edit) Disable RSS (and no we’re not talking about disabling Newsgator here) but Receive side scaling – more of that Scalable networking stuff – impacting SecureNat

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit , and then click OK.
2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, click DWORD Value, and then type EnableRSS .
4. Double-click EnableRSS, type 0 , and then click OK.

(redoing this to ensure it’s saved under Windows 2003 sp2)


How do you extend an eval version of SBS 2008?

How to manually extend the evaluation period

When the initial 60-day evaluation period nears its end, you can run the Slmgr.vbs script to reset the evaluation period. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Command Prompt.  (ensure that you run as Administrator)
2. Type slmgr.vbs -dli, and then press ENTER to check the current status of your evaluation period.
3. To reset the evaluation period, type slmgr.vbs –rearm, and then press ENTER.
4. Restart the computer.

Going up to go down

When you get into the Seattle Airport you go down to the baggage claim area pick up your luggage, then go up to the pedestrian walkway.  Once you get to the pedestrian walkway go down to level three of the garage.  Then go to the Shuttle Express and check in (remember you can make reservations ahead of time on   Then you will pick up the express shuttle from there.

Competing against gmail

The other day at the TS2 someone was asking about how to compare and compete Microsoft online services with gmail.  And it got me to thinking, how do you compete against free?  How do you bring a solution to a small business looking at this crazy economy of ours, and urge them to take a service that is for pay and compare it to something that, maybe doesn’t work perfectly, but is free?

(Mind you I’d argue that the WAMU muckety muck who gets to keep a 3 million signing bonus and a ten million severance package after he’s only been in the job three weeks a bit unreal… but that’s another blog venue)

One of the issues that I see over and over again is that when I deal with small businesses (usually Attorneys) that they don’t pay any attention to centralized email, and instead use any means of email including but not limited to addresses, cable company addresses and any number of other email means that bypass a centralized repository. 

While some would argue that these small businesses are cheap and would never pay for such service, there’s sometimes the issue of not being able to see why what they are doing is hazardous to their business. 

Using a home email account to conduct business is a risk to that business.  It opens up issues of evidence discovery.  Of comingingly of business and personal emails (look at the Sarah Palin concerns of her using personal email to bypass government oversight). 


Packing list for SMBnation

Computer – power cord – batteries

Authanvil token for Admin access for RWW

Travel router for hotel

Linksys router that will broadcast the aircard through the router (yes, I’m packing TWO routers)

Shirt for Wayne (no he’s not shirtless… you’ll have to ask him about this shirt he ordered)

Rain shoes (since it’s like  NINETY EIGHT degrees in Fresno so I’ll have to dig out my rain gear

Either the Australian umbrella or the MINI Cooper umbrella (decisions, decisions)


Cell phone

Power cords


Book the Shuttle Express ticket –

Anything I’ve forgotten?

Alternatives to SBS revisited

“The response was largely positive but yet a number of SBS consultants expressed their dissatisfaction. The comments were insightful; my view that SBS advocates recommended the product based on price was challenged. While true it also came to light that another reason for pushing SBS was that the consultant was complacent with just knowing one product. They were happy if their business did not grow. They were happy to lose customers if the customer got too big. Personally, I find such mediocrity disappointing.”

Guess David didn’t see my follow up, ‘eh?

The interesting thing to his follow up is that most of the alternatives are offering alternatives to Exchange… which… these days I’d argue that you need to be also lining up hosted Exchange as a contender.  But SBS isn’t just Exchange.  There’s a lot more under the hood.

And in this article

“Frankly, I think you’d only choose SBS because you’re working to a specific budget. I don’t believe anyone chooses to buy SBS because of perceived feature advantages.”

Wanna make a bet?  I do.  I did.  I still do.  As a commenter in your follow up article states..

“Here are some of the items I would miss:
1. Windows Software Update Service. If the clients are Windows based, this is a very necessary component.
2. Remote Web Workplace. Some have expressed their dislike of this. I, and my users, find it very useful.
3. Sharepoint Services. Same as above. The Flexshares on Clarkconnect or the ibays on SME server look as if they could handle the document management.
4. Group Policies”

Make that a me too.  Remote Web Workplace is a feature that I choose.  And logmein does not replace the centralized remote access.  Until you come up with that AD integration, the WSUS, and the Remote Web Workplace, yes, we choose SBS at my office.

“My whole thrust over the last week has been that SBS is a crippled bastard relative of its fuller Windows server products.”

And I’d say that SBS is the full Windows Server products with specific restrictions that most small businesses and easily live within those.  Not crippled.  Not a bastard.  And has integration and features that have yet to be matched.