As many of you are aware, Small Business Server has never been available for download from the Volume License Service Center. However, it is available for download for those of you with a TechNet subscription and rumor has it that it will be making it way into the Action Pack Subscription soon, but that’s just a rumor. If you would like to get it installed instead of waiting for the media, this is your best option today. You’ll need to login to the technet.microsoft.com site with your LIVE ID associated with your TN Subscription. On the main screen, scroll down the page. Half way down you see a hyperlink that takes you to Downloads and Product Keys. Once there, expand the Operating Systems Tab on the left hand side of the screen and scroll down until you find Small Business Server 2011. In this folder, you’ll find two downloads, the main download is for the x64 bit ISO of Small Business Server 2011, the 2nd download if for the repair disk.
Be prepared to wait a while for the download. The ISO is just over 6.5 GB in size so make sure you have plenty of room to store it. This will be important when you are ready to utilize the download, you will need to decide if you are going to burn it on a DUAL Layer DVD, or put it on a large USB thumb drive. Notice I said Dual Layer DVD. Since the file is so large, it will not compress to fit on a standard DVD, thus the reason many Partners are turning to the 8 and 16GB USB Thumb drives.
I’m not going to go into detail about the process for burning the DVD or making a bootable USB because my friend and SBS MVP, Eriq Neale has already created an in depth blog that walks you through that process. You can his article at http://bit.ly/ggVmo1
I know its not the best solution, but it’s a viable workaround until we can talk the volume license folks into getting it hosted, which would still require you to know how to create the bootable USB drive.