The 2006 SBS Partner Tour that rolled through town last week really sparked a lot of dialog. For example, I got a call from an SBSer today asking for clarification on SBS R2. They wanted to know if they need to upgrade a client to SBS R2 just to increase the Exchange store limit. In a word – no.
Exchange Service Pack 2 is included in SBS R2, but SP2 is also available as a free download (109 MB). SBS 2003 R2 does offer enhanced functionality that Paul and the gang worked hard on. But if all the client needs at this point is larger mailboxes (and not SQL 2005, integrated patch management or FSRM) Exchange SP2 should fit the bill nicely.
CAUTION: Before you make the jump to Exchange SP2, you need to take some steps first:
- Be sure and read Vlad’s Exchange 2003 SP2 for SBS article
- Evaluate your backup strategy to compensate for a larger information store
- Confirm anti-virus vendor support
- Also read Vlad’s article on Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) version 2
Also, doing a test deployment of SP2 in a virtual server environment is always a good idea because; a) there is no ‘undo’ for this service pack, and b) and breaking a production Exchange server could result in an RGE (Resume Generating Event).