Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence Blog

What version of SQL can I use if I buy SBS 2008 Premium?

Last weekend at SMB Nation, one of the most asked questions was, “If my clients buy SBS 2008 Premium, what version of SQL can they use?” This followed my earlier post, “Is Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 Premium going to ship with SQL 2005 or SQL 2008?” This question was even discussed in great depth during Jeff Middleton’s party where Susan Bradley, Kevin Beares, Dean Paron, and I had a nice long conversation about the various possibilities, all leading to the final outcome where I promised to find out the definitive answer to the question and post it here for everyone. As such, here you go:

  • Components of SBS cannot be downgraded independently. If you choose to downgrade one component, you must downgrade the entire suite.
  • Because Microsoft recognizes that line-of-business applications may experience compatibility issues moving from one version to the next, for approximately one year from the SBS 2008 Release to Manufacturing (RTM) date, we will ship SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition (both 32 and 64-bit platforms) in addition to the SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business with SBS 2008 for the customer’s use in order to address these potential issues.
  • Customers who receive SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition for Small Business with their SBS 2008 Premium can choose to run SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition instead of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with their SBS 2008 Server Premium Edition without having to downgrade their SBS 2008 suite.
  • Once we stop shipping both versions of SQL Server with SBS 2008 Premium, customers are restricted from downgrading just the SQL Server component.
  • Customers who received SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition with their SBS 2008 Premium can continue to use it after the shipping period ends, but they may not use both SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition and SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business simultaneously. If they choose to continue using SQL Server 2005 after the shipping period ends, they can later choose to install SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business instead of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition.
  • Customers who do not receive both versions of SQL Server (2005 and 2008) Standard Edition with their SBS 2008 Premium Server license (included for approximately one year from the SBS 2008 Release to Manufacturing (RTM) date) do not receive the rights listed above to run SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition with their SBS 2008 Premium Edition. If they choose to run SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, they will need to downgrade their entire SBS Premium Edition to SBS 2003 R2 Premium in order to do so.

We will be updating the SBS Downgrade FAQs page shortly with these updated clarifications to help ensure everyone fully understands what version of SQL Server they can and cannot run with their SBS 2008 Premium Server license.

Thank you to everyone for your patience while we worked to get you these clarifications on this issue.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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