Will Windows2000 Server do what we need?

We want to get a server for our 8-user office.  We’re looking at a Windows2000 Server from Dell. I don't know if Server by itself will do what we need or if we need to get other components.

Our users need to share dial-up Internet access.
Each user has Outlook and wants to send & receive email
We don’t care about local email.
Our users need to send faxes from their workstation

I have two biases – (1) I used an early version of Small Business Server and ran into a lot of gotchas and configuration problems and (2) I’m intimidated by Exchange.

If either SBS or Exchange is the only way to do what we need, then I’ll bite the bullet.  But if there are other options I’d like to look at those first.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
ksanderAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
TooKoolKrisCommented:
The answer to your question is yes, W2K Server will allow modem sharing for the Internet and to Fax. You don't need to buy SBS if you dont want it W2K Server can handle you needs by itself. This article should help a little.


Description of Internet Connection Sharing (Q234815)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q234815

HOW TO: Send a Fax Document Using Outlook 2000 in Windows 2000 (Q227196)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q227196

HOW TO: Set Up Internet Connection Sharing in Windows 2000 (Q307311)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307311

Hope this does it for ya,

TooKoolKris
MCSE+I, CCNA, A+

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TooKoolKrisCommented:
Well any server that Dell has to offer will handle 8 users and provide resources for 5 times as many. Windows 2000 does come with Internet sharing capabilities so it can handle that need.

Outlook was designed to with Exchange but it works with other POP3 mail servers as well. For instance I have email addresses through my ISP that I can use Outlook for sending and receiving mail through. You just have to configure Outlook that way. If you're going to want total administration over the email clients however you're going to have to run a mail exchange server of some kind and MS Exchange would work best with MS clients. Exchange shouldn’t intimidate you, it's not that hard to learn, it only took me a week to figure out how to build one and get it up a running for about 80 people.

Just to keep things simple I would buy your server, it should come with W2K Server on it then find an ISP that will give you extra POP3 email addresses if you want to pay for them and setup Outlook to use the addresses for POP3 email. This is even cheaper then buying MS Exchange for 10 users and if you have any trouble you get free tech support through the ISP, if you want it of course.

Just some suggestions, hope this helps,

TooKoolKris
MCSE+I, CCNA, A+


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ksanderAuthor Commented:
I understand that Outlook can handle the emailing - but do I have anything that allows modem sharing for both email and fax out?

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nickwhitCommented:
I used to have many problems with Small Business Server 4.0 and 4.5 on our customer sites.

You will not have these problems with Small Business Server 2000.  It is a great product and will do all you need.

Don't worry too much about Exchange 2000, the SBS wizards set it all up very nicely now.  You will be able to collect mail throught SMTP or POP.


I hope this answers your question.


Nick.
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ksanderAuthor Commented:
Thanks - I expect SBS 2000 is better than the early versions but I still want to see if I can do what we need without it.
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ksanderAuthor Commented:
Thanks - I expect SBS 2000 is better than the early versions but I still want to see if I can do what
we need without it.
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nickwhitCommented:
OK How about this then,

Get Windows 2000 Server.

Get Equisys Zetafax 7.5 (Brilliant Network Faxing Package, and easy to install).

Get a 3COM Lan Modem on the network as a gateway and setup POP accounts for all your users.

That will do it.

Nick.

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nfroioCommented:
Nick - FYI:

You're use of the Answer button is going to make it harder for ksander to get a usable solution to the problem presented.

Please read the below regarding Comments vs. Answers.

As your above states: "OK How about this then" you are clearly not sure that this will solve the problem, hence locking the question just means that no-one else will be looking at ksanders problem


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Answers

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nickwhitCommented:
Sorry.

Won't do that again.

Thanks for the tip
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nfroioCommented:
No worries, thanks for understanding...

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ksanderAuthor Commented:
Thanks but I need more information
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ksanderAuthor Commented:
Exactly what I need - thanks
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nickwhitCommented:
Just one thing to note.

The inbuilt faxing for Windows 2000 is diabolical and very problimatic.

Also, Internet connection sharing requires fixed IP addressing to work easily.  

I assure you that you will have ongoing issues with this method.  But hey, it's your choice.

Nick.
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