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Windows Thread, More that 10 concurrent connections in a workgroup in Technical; As this question spans Windows XP, Vista and Windows 2003 and it's a "low level" query, I felt it appropriate ...
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    More that 10 concurrent connections in a workgroup

    As this question spans Windows XP, Vista and Windows 2003 and it's a "low level" query, I felt it appropriate to post in this section.

    I support a small office network workgroup of a mixture of XP Pro and Vista. There's an XP file server and a separate print server (I'd like to get them combined) and I know of the 10 concurrent connections limit. I can foresee that we're going to need to exceed that soon, so I guess the simplest way is to go down the Windows 2003 route - but still in a workgroup. I don't have the luxury of school holidays when a significant part of the network can be modified. I have to do things "on the hop" whilst users are working, so configuring a domain is really out of the question at present.

    Questions:

    1. What's the limit on the number of concurrent connections?

    2. What's the distinction between concurrent connections and concurrent users? Is it simply the fact that a single client could be accessing the file server and print server simultaneously - is that one user and two connections?

    3. I know there's the thorny issue of CALs to face. What's the approximate cost per CAL? Is it a standard rate or is there an benefit in buying "in bulk"? For instance, would a 100 CALs package be cheaper than 10 x 10 CALs? Would the example that I've given in (2) use 1 or 2 CALs? If the cost per CAL is standard, and it's cheap (5), then it might be easy for me to convince the organisation, but if it's maybe 100 per CAL, that would be a different matter completely!

    Sorry to have such noobish questions. I'm perfectly happy in the XP workgroup scenario and also with several domain issues from a theoretical point of view, but this could be my first real experience with Windows 2003 (other than my lab setup at home).

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    brookesandrew's Avatar
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    If its only file serving and print serving why go to the expense of Server 2003.

    Its been a few years since I did it but how about FreeBSD or Linux with Samba and CUPS serving your workgroup for free.

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    go down the Windows 2003 route - but still in a workgroup
    Yes you can do this, but you do get a lot more 'tools' to play with in a domain environment.

    What's the limit on the number of concurrent connections?
    There is no limit you could have thousands, but realistically this would be over several servers working together to host data, printers, databases etc...

    concurrent connections and concurrent users
    If you have multiple servers, using the Per Device or Per User licensing model is recommended, rather than Per Server. This guide explains the differences. The example in question 2 would use 1 CAL, either a user or a device CAL.

    It would be a good assumption that buying a single larger quantity of CALs over a smaller amount multiple times would be cheaper.

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    Thanks for the tips guys. I'd like to stay with the Windows 2003 (or possibly 2008) scenario because I'd really like to persuade them to migrate to a domain and I already have experience within Windows. I have negligible experience with Linux so it would be almost like the blind leading the unsighted getting this to work in a short time period.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    There is no limit you could have thousands, but realistically this would be over several servers working together to host data, printers, databases etc...
    Yes, I realise that as the network grows, it's appropriate to have server roles distributed between several servers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    It would be a good assumption that buying a single larger quantity of CALs over a smaller amount multiple times would be cheaper.
    Do you (or anyone else) have an indication regarding the cost, perhaps of a 10 CAL, 25 CAL and 50 CAL "package" so I can work out the relative cost per CAL?

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    On Vista SP2 the connection limit has been lifted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys. I'd like to stay with the Windows 2003 (or possibly 2008) scenario because I'd really like to persuade them to migrate to a domain and I already have experience within Windows. I have negligible experience with Linux so it would be almost like the blind leading the unsighted getting this to work in a short time period.
    Just makes sure they're got XP or Vista Business not home on the desktop.

    You could look at something like FreeNAS or OpenFiler. Specialy built Linux/Unix distributions for this task. Or buy a NAS.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Do you (or anyone else) have an indication regarding the cost, perhaps of a 10 CAL, 25 CAL and 50 CAL "package" so I can work out the relative cost per CAL?
    I'd estimate CALs to be about 25 each for businesses bought in small quantities. Searching for 'Microsoft resellers' will point you in the right direction. Education get considerable discounts on CALs.

  8. Thanks to Michael from:

    Ignatius (10th July 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    On Vista SP2 the connection limit has been lifted.
    That's the outgoing connections limit which was introduced in XP SP2 to slow the spread of worms, nothing to do with the concurrent SMB/workgroup connections limit.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutToLunch View Post
    That's the outgoing connections limit which was introduced in XP SP2 to slow the spread of worms, nothing to do with the concurrent SMB/workgroup connections limit.
    Its incoming, when i get home i will post the links.

    Edit: here it is - How to: Concurrent connections limit enable/disable in vista sp2
    Last edited by FN-GM; 10th July 2009 at 03:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Its incoming, when i get home i will post the links.

    Edit: here it is - How to: Concurrent connections limit enable/disable in vista sp2
    That's for half open IP connections, it has nothing to do with the 10 session limit built into the server/print etc services.

  12. Thanks to DMcCoy from:

    OutToLunch (10th July 2009)

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    Thanks for further input. The file and print servers are XP Pro so the problem about incoming vs outgoing Vista connections doesn't really apply as the few that we have are clients.

    @Michael - 25 per CAL is useful information. At least it gives me something upon which I can base an argument in support for when, and if, we make a move. I might just contact a reseller for a definitive price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    Thanks for further input. The file and print servers are XP Pro so the problem about incoming vs outgoing Vista connections doesn't really apply as the few that we have are clients.
    The connection limit discussion did get a little derailed there but is definitely relevant The 10 connection limit applies to all workstation OS from NT4 through to Vista - the point got a little lost there though. Think you should be able to get the price down at least another 5 on CALs if you shop around...

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