20 Feb 2008

On Numbers

Author: q | Filed under: SBS

50? or 75? Which is it?

In reviewing the product propeganda about SBS 2008 from the Essentials site at Microsoft, there”s a pretty consistent theme in the way the SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 products are positioned – 50 users. Specifically, on the Choose Solutions page, SBS 2008 supports “up to 50 users or devices.” Same message in the official press release from February 20, 2008: SBS 2008 is “ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs.” However, on the SBS Blog Post announcing the Essential family, the limit is 75 users. Specifically, SBS 2008 is “designed for organizations with up to 50 users, but will support organizations with up to 75 users.”

So which is it? In SBS 2003, Microsoft increased the user/device license from 50 users in SBS 2000 to 75 users/devices. Is this a step backwards?

Not really. The likelihood of a 75 user/device organization realistically running everything to do with their operation on a single box with SBS 2003 was pretty slim, but it did depend on the type of activity in the organization. Microsoft marketing is clearly trying to make the differentiation that SBS 2008 is geared for 50 users and fewer, while EBS 2008 is geared for 50 users and greater. In practice,we know that there will be smaller organizations (15-20 users) where EBS will be a better fit than SBS,and there will be larger organizations (50-60 users) where SBS will be a better fit than EBS.

So if you”re concerned that MS has reduced the licensing limit with SBS 2008, don”t be. You still can have up to 75 users/devices connected to an SBS network. But the reality is that if you have more than 50 users/devices, you really probably should be looking at EBS and not SBS as a solution.

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