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Setting up a new server for use in small office

Currently our small office (15 computers) is on a peer to peer network, each assigned its own IP address.  We use a series of hubs and wireless access points to connect everyone together since they are spread out. Every machine is running Windows XP Pro and at least Office 2002.  

We have one machine that is strictly a "backup" machine.  In other words, we all back up to this one machine that is on our Peer to Peer.  

At this point, we want to do two things primarily:

1)  Put Outlook 2003 on a server so that everyone can look at the same Master Calendar for events and upcoming appointments

2)  Have a central place to store our backup files


#2 we are already doing with the "backup" machine.  

What I'm wondering is if I can purchase Microsoft Server 2003, install that as the operating system on our "backup" machine, and use that machine as the server to accomplish both primary objectives?

Will we need to purchase additional software in addition to MS Server 2003?  

Are there any other things I should know before we proceed?

Scooter
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scoobrtdoo
Asked:
scoobrtdoo
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1 Solution
 
JamesDSCommented:
scoobrtdoo

If you want a central calendar you will need Exchange Server (2000 or 2003)
I suggest you look into buying MS Small Business Server 2003 which comes with everything you need

I also recommand you buy a backup tape device for your server. DLT is currently an excellent buy with adequate capacity, reasonable tape costs and excellent reliability
Cheers

JamesDS
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scoobrtdooAuthor Commented:
James,

Thanks for the help but I need help with the other two parts of my question.

#1 - Can I use any machine as a server as long as it meets the minimum requirements or do I need a special machine built just to be a server?

#2 - Is there there software I'll need to buy?  I notice that when looking at the MS Small Business Server 2003 I'll need to buy licenses.  Is there anything else I'll need to know?

Scooter
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JamesDSCommented:
scoobrtdoo

1. Any machine can be a server, but "real" server have additional features like remote management and hardware monitoring - not essential in a small business

2. I suggest you subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS), which offers VERY cheap software and licenses for far less than retail and fully legal as long as you continue the subscription. See http://members.microsoft.com/partner/salesmarketing/partnermarket/actionpack/default.aspx

For backup you CAN use the NTBACKUP tool, but if you want a better class of tool, use Veritas Backup Exec. If you join their partner program they will send you FREE licenses and media for use in house. Start at http://www.veritas.com/partner/BecomeAPartnerDetail.jhtml?partnercategoryId=8007

That pretty much covers it although I think MAPS only comes with 5 (or maybe 10)  SBS2003 licenses so you'll need another 5 or 10. License packs for SBS2003 occasionally turnup on eBay for knock down prices, or you can buy them retail.

Cheers

JamesDS
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scoobrtdooAuthor Commented:
Thanks, James.  

You've been a great help.

Scooter
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