Installing the SQL from SBS 2008 Premium along side SBS 2003

Background: SBS 2003 Premium is running on one box. Performance is becoming poor due to increasing SQL demands, so we need to run it on a separate server. Can achieve this by purchasing A) SBS Workgroup 1 Processor Edition, or B) SBS 2008 Premium Edition & 25 CALs, (which entitles you to run SQL on a separate server) for about the same cost. But, I would prefer not to rebuild the SBS 2003 box at this stage.

After several hours of research I came across two opinions on whether we could buy SBS 2008 Premium, use the ‘second’ server part of it for a new server while leaving the existing server untouched.

  • A) Legally possible, but maybe not technically possible (from Microsoft)
  • B) Would breach the license agreement but may be technically possible (other IT people)

Knowing that in worse case I would have to migrate 2003 > 2008 immediately, I ordered SBS 2008 Premium OEM with the new server.

I can now confirm it is possible to install the ‘second’/Server 2008 Standard part of SBS 2008 Premium, with SQL, and join to a SBS 2003 domain without having to touch that machine.

New server (Dell T710) and SBS 2008 Premium with all required CALs turned up on Tuesday and within the day had the new SQL server up and running. Shut down later that day because the T710 is too loud to sit under the desk next to me, but thats a different story.

For anyone interested, SBS came with a licence key for SBS, one for SQL and one for Server 2008 Standard; and all separate CDs.

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