SMBKitchen: How many licenses?

Planning and migrating a small organization from Exchange 2007 to 2013 (Part 6) :: Migration & Deployment :: Exchange 2013 Articles :: Articles & Tutorials ::

Planning for hardware… or rather in SMB these days…planning for how many virtual Servers you’ll need.

You’ll want at least one 2012 R2 license – as it gives you the rights to install two virtual servers.  One will be your RWA/Essentials/DC role.  The other will be your Exchange server.  Then you’ll need to decide if there’s a key line of business application that will drive the need to purchase another server license.  This doesn’t necessarily need to be on a second PHYSICAL server.  You can place three server OS (or four since that second server purchase will give you the rights for two more virtual instances) on one physical server.

Then you’ll need windows cals, Exchange cals, and plan on RDS cals.  Why do I say that?  Because trust me you’ll find that going straight to the desktop via rdgatway is ultimately a lot easier.  And to do that you need RDS cals to license this.

Plan on spreading the payments over a VL open license that lets you spread the payments over three years.  This isn’t a OEM server deployment, you want to spread out these OS licenses to lower the sticker shock of the price tag of this set up.

As far as sizing… plan for growth and plan on having a raid set up in such a way that should one single drive fail, you have redundancies.  We can take all day and all night to discuss the nuances of RAID 1+0, 5 and all that, but bottom line, we’re going to be sticking all of this stuff in one server so plan on redundancies for it from the get go.


4 Thoughts on “SMBKitchen: How many licenses?

  1. Keith Campbell on March 6, 2014 at 4:55 am said:

    RD Gateway functionality was great when it was free.

    Having to pay for RDS CALs for just RDGateway is difficult to justify when there are so many low cost VPN options. I use a hardware router that supports 30 VPN tunnels for less than the cost of 2 RDS CALs. There are plenty of free software VPN Servers to choose from, or supply a UTM that includes VPN along with all the other stuff.

    If you limit tunnel traffic to RDP only and use certificates it can be more secure than RDGateway is without requiring expensive third party add-ons.

    Sure if the client has an RD Server, but otherwise for me, Microsoft have priced themselves out of that providing that function.

  2. bradley on March 6, 2014 at 8:38 am said:

    Check out the speed difference though along with the fact that you may have line of business apps that don’t like vpn (Quickbooks hates VPN)

  3. John Stutsman on March 6, 2014 at 9:03 am said:

    Excellent info! Thanks!

  4. Keith Campbell on March 7, 2014 at 3:11 am said:

    Sorry, I think you misunderstood.

    My suggested solution is to RDP to a desktop inside a VPN tunnel.
    Functionally equivalent to using RDGateway, without the cost of RD CALS.

    All endpoint devices support creating a VPN tunnel be it SSL/IPSEC/PPTP, then RDP to a desktop with a DHCP reservation.

    Once you have the VPN router in place then you can separate the servers hypervisor onto it’s own isolated vlan for better security, but still give yourself remote RDP over VPN access to it if you terminate a vpn on that vlan. I don’t like to open a firewall port for ILO, so the hardware VPN solves that too.

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