Thursday, January 13, 2005

What happens when I grow past 75?

So I may be a bit biased, but SBS is a great first server, it even makes room for 2nd, 3rd and 4th servers, even more than that! But it does have it's limitations, a 75 user limit. So what happens when you reach that 75 user limit?

You don't really think we'd leave you hanging do you?

There is a supported upgrade path to go from SBS 2003 to the Standard Version of Windows Server 2003 via the Transition Pack. More information on the Transition Pack is located in SBS FAQ.

Making the transition is the easy part, but after the transition, that begs the question(s):

  1. Can I still use Remote Web Workplace?

  2. What about the management tools? Can I still use those, or do I have to learn new tools?

Well, I have good news and not so good news for you.

The good news is the Transition Pack doesn't remove any of these wonderful tools, they stay on the box for you to use, and by all means, continue to use them! So what's the bad news? Well, we don't exactly do a lot of testing on the tools for over 75 users.

Managing the Catfood Server here at work, you can imagine the size of our GAL (200,000 objects). Well, We can still use our tools, they are just very slow. Here are some of the things that I see with 200,000 objects in the AD:

  • The User's snap-in takes at least 2 minutes to show all 70 users (note we have 200,000 objects, but most of them are contact objects)

  • Any wizard that shows a user object (Backup Wizard, Monitoring Wizard, Distribution List Wizard) will take a while to refresh

  • The list of computers in Remote Web Workplace for the proxy to your internal client will probably take a while to load too

So the bottom line is depending how many users you go over the 75 user limit, the slower the performance is.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sean,

What is the RAM on the box. What is the drive configuration? The most common problem with performance is related to drive configuration from what we have found. Generally you get much higher performance by increasing the number of Drives. MS does not usually recommend using RAID 5 for the OS so I wonder why it is that so many people choose that configuration.

Sean Daniel said...

Our server has 1gb of RAM and a SCSI 10,000 RPM RAID array with 5 drives, fully redundant.