The question was asked in the newsgroup tonight….


Just read through a good proportion of the docs on the SBS site.  Does the new version include W2k3R2?  If not, why the hell are we essentially being charged for just a few service packs and WSUS (standard users)?

 Plus the really long winded install procedure that has you install SP1 then apply the R2 upgrades (including Exchange SP2).  You’d have thought they could have at least provided an integrated installer?

 Sorry I may be completely off the mark here but I have done quite a lot of reading on the site and although I have not got the product in my hand so to speak have enough understanding to see what is going on.

Granted the upgrade to SQL 2k5 is a killer and one thing which will make me go for it but honestly can you see many standard customers who are happy on SP1 with Esp2 applied go to bite the bullet?  Plus, a lot of business apps will need upgrading to support SQL2k5, which is another expense.

What do you all think?

And Charlie Russel, author of SBS 2003 R2 administrator’s companion book had an excellent response to the question…

Is SBS R2 built on Server R2? No. But it _does_ contain some portions of Server R2 – specifically, it has FSRM, the new quota management introduced in R2, and the MMC 3.0 bits as well.

It includes SQL Server 2k5 in the premium edition, which some will find of interest.

It includes not just WSUS, but a customized and _integrated_ WSUS. I think that’s of importance, especially if you’ve ever set up WSUS on your own.

One other thing that I think is important is the change in CAL licensing. That could be big for many customers.

But everyone makes their own choices about whether to upgrade. Personally – I’m doing it. But I could well understand those who don’t.

Susan’s note.. just remember that to install a SBS 2003 r2 system you start with SBS 2003 sp1 and add the R2 parts on top.


5 Responses to Does SBS 2003 R2 contain all the parts of Windows 2003 R2?

  1. Richard Gadsden says:

    This is one of those moments when the cross-over between SBS and Big Server Land bites someone.

    Windows 2003 R2 and Windows 2003 SP1 are identical, apart from:

    a) the logo on the login screen says “R2″
    b) R2 has additional components you can install.

    SBS 2003 R2 includes the R2 components that are relevant to SBS.

    I’m looking at two servers, one is Windows 2003 Standard with SP1; the other is Windows 2003 R2 Standard.

    Extra features in R2:
    * ADAM
    * ADFS
    * Identity Management for UNIX
    New DFS Management console
    File Server Management
    Hardware Management
    Print Management
    Storage Manager for SANs
    * .NET Framework 2.0
    Common Log File system
    * Microsoft Services for NFS
    * Subsystem for UNIX-based applications
    * Windows SharePoint Services

    All of these are optional components – a basic R2 install is exactly the same as a basic 2003 SP1 install.

    The ones I’ve marked with a * are available as separate, free downloads, so the only extra features in R2 that you’re missing out on are the DFS and SAN tools – neither of which are likely to be relevant to an SBS installation.

    Oh, and: ” just remember that to install a SBS 2003 r2 system you start with SBS 2003 sp1 and add the R2 parts on top” That’s true for Windows 2003 Server R2 as well – you install Windwos 2003 SP1 and add the R2 parts on top.

    Frankly, in Big Server Land, the reflection of this is the perception that 2003 R2 is a bit of a pointless upgrade. Certainly I’m not upgrading any servers, though new installs are getting R2.

    I’m a sysadmin for a thousand-seat company who runs SBS at home and supports a few other SBS installs in my free time.

  2. bradley says:

    Some/most of those (for example ADFS ) is only available in the Enterprise version of R2 ..not the standard.

    R2 is an upgrade only needed if you need any one of those things..if you don’t.. it’s a lame release for us SA folks.

    The one that folks would have wished woulld be included in SBS r2 was the new DFS… but I’m not convinced that I want that in SBSland… I don’t trust us enough to seriously muck up our DCs in the process.

  3. Jonathon says:

    What about the Printer Management in SBS R2? Charlie didn’t specifically mention it.

  4. Tim Long says:

    One of the nicest benefits of SBS R2 is hidden in the licensing details. I haven’t actually read the license yet, so I’m shooting from the hip here – but I believe the R2 license allows the SQL and Exchange servers to be deployed to a member server in the domain. If your SBS box is becoming heavily loaded, as mine is, that is going to be a big benefit and a lot cheaper than having to buy additional SQL and exchange products.

  5. I was very disappointed to find that DFS is NOT included in SBS R2.

    I have multiple clients with branch offices who need the benefits DFS will provide.

    For years we as a community have championed the fact that SBS is NOT a crippled product. As far as I’m concerned this is no longer true.

    For the first time in 6 years, I can’t honestly say “there’s no reason NOT to deploy SBS in ANY small business environment.