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Windows Small Business Server 2008 SQL Server Installation

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/22/2011

The SBS 2008 Premium Edition comes with all of the same features as the SBS 2008 Standard Edition and one major addition, SQL Server. It also comes with an additional Windows Server 2008 Standard install so that you can run the database on its own server.

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    SBS 2008 SQL Server 2nd Server Install

    The Premium Edition of Small Business Server 2008 is designed primarily for small businesses who need a centralized database server to run line-of-business applications. As such, it comes with the licenses and management tools to setup two servers. One server serves as the main file sharing server, domain controller, and Exchange server, while the other serves as the database server.

    Installing SBS 2008 Premium Edition is identical to installing SBS 2008 Standard Edition for the first server. However, since the Premium Edition is designed to use a second SBS server, the administrator will need to install and configure a second server and make sure that it links together properly with the first SBS server.

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    Requirements for Installing Multiple SBS Servers in a Small Business Server Environment

    While the operation system installed for SBS servers is Windows Server 2008, it has some limitations to ensure that it is both properly used and to protect non-technical users from implementing what they may not understand to be overly complicated designs.

    The Windows SBS 2008 network may contain only one Active Directory domain and that domain cannot have trusts established with other domains. Subdomains are similarly prohibited. For an environment as small as the 75 user limitation in SBS, this is the only reasonable option anyway. The SBS 2008 server must also act as the domain controller for the AD forest, even if another Windows Server is brought into the network for other purposes.

    One, and only one additional SBS 2008 server can be in the Windows SBS 2008 domain, and the “second server” license that comes in the Small Business Server Premium Edition cannot be used as a stand alone server. It must be joined into the primary Windows SBS domain.

    Finally, the included applications like Exchange 2007 and SQL Server 2008 Small Business Edition are only licensed to be installed on the SBS servers regardless of whether any additional separately purchased Windows Server 2008 machines are brought onto the network.

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    Installing a Second SBS 2008 Server on the Network

    As its name suggests, the second server with the SQL database on it needs to be installed after the primary SBS server has been installed. The second server needs to be joined into the Windows SBS 2008 domain prior to installing Microsoft Server SQL 2007 or installation will be blocked. Joining the domain has to be done from inside the standard Windows Server MMC tool before anything comes up in the SBS Console. In other words, you cannot use the SBS Console to join the second server into the domain.

    Also, obviously, the installation must be performed by a domain administrator.

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    Running SQL Server Setup

    Once the requirements have been met, installing SQL Server 2008 Small Business Edition on the second Small Business Server server is pretty much the same as any other SQL Server install, except that it is much easier to perform the install locally.

    Double-click setup.exe on the install media (auto-run should always be disabled on any server). Choose New Installation and setup will start running the configuration checker. After the licensing and product keys are out of the way, specify a directory for shared components and then install the default instance in the desired directory. (If you need a different instance, set that up after having installed the default instance as SBS Console will go looking for it first.)

    Once that has been accomplished, configuring your SQL databases is just like on the regular SQL Server 2007 install, and is most likely based upon whatever application you will be using SQL Server for.

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    Client Access Licenses

    The one glitch that seems to trip up many small businesses is in regards to client access licenses, better known as CALs. There are two types of CAL available. One is a Premium SBS 2008 CAL and one is a Standard SBS 2008 CAL.

    The Premium CAL is, of course, more expensive. However, it is not required even if you have SBS 2008 Premium installed. The Premium CAL is only required when access to the second, or “Premium” server is required. Thus, if your business requires the Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition because 10 of your 45 employees need access to an in-line application that runs on SQL Server 2007, then only those 10 employees need Premium CALs. The rest of the employees can use Standard CALs.

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    Premium Power

    The addition of Microsoft SQL Server 2007 provides a compelling option for small businesses who need SQL Server for their operations. Fortunately, while the management of the second server is nicely integrated into the SBS Console, DBAs (or the vendor technical support guy) can still use the normal SQL functions and interface which means that there is no reason to forgo SBS 2008 just because you require a full database solution.