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Setting up a network server

Posted on 2004-11-05
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Hi all,

I need advise. I set up a simple network between 5 machines, to basically share the internet, printer and some templates for a small business, via a broadband router. Thats fine no problems. Now I have been asked to set up a server and have the five machines as clients. Now could someone in very basic language explain how? I have a rough idea. But my problem is lack of experience. What I really need is a server capable of distributing files, saving files, internet and sharing of printer, and then being capable of backing up all this data easily. So what specs should the server be? I was thinking of having 2 sata drives for backing up. Is there an easier way (or more reliable way) ? What operating system should I use? eg small business server. Basically I am trying to see whether I would be capable of doing this. Is there any sites I can visit that explain more about this. Thanks
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Question by:sajsharif
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nextgen00 earned 2000 total points
ID: 12507096
I like small business server 2003 Premium.
Use the wizards for this first time Setup.
And since this is you first server, have someone help you.  Make a friend who won't charge to much to teach you how to set things up correctly hands on.
To get directions through this board would be difficult.
Server Specs I would Start from:
(Assuming the company will be growing within 3 - 5 years)
Single CPU (With a dual CPU board to add 2nd later)
3 Removable SATA hard Drive racks/trays
3 SATA Hard Drives (Either RAID edition drives or Raptor series from WD are Nice)
    RAID 1 with the third tray a spare.  If you have a good raid card, this can be a nice backup solution.
Two Nics (At least one gigabit - again for future growth)
Make sure you let the Server to DHCP, DNS, Active Directory and if you want ISA and Exchange Server
I also Like Norton Antivirus... Easy to work with, not too expensive

Also buy a book. Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices By Harry Brelsford
I have the SBS 2000 version of this and it helped me through my early roll outs.  Full of great Info.
ISBN Number:  0974858048

That should be a good start, if you have any more Specific Questions, let me know.
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by:sajsharif
ID: 12507247
Excellent very useful. Some points I am finding confusing thou. (Sorry if the questions  sound silly).

I dont remeber seeing and drivers for sbs? If I build a machine, are the drivers for the mobo etc supplied for sbs.

Also I understand that say MS office is installed on the server, and all clients use this directly from the server as opposed to being installed on all clients. Do i need a special copy of MS office?

Is this true of most software programs? A special network edition is required to enable them to work over a network, or can they be installed on individual clients and  
and just the data be configured to be stored on the server.

Unfortunately I dont know anyone who can help/teach me to set this up. I am eager to learn hence the questions.
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by:nextgen00
ID: 12507305
Where are you located? Geographically.  Because I work Cheap. He He.

Ok.
1.  All drivers should come with the hardware.
2.  I have never heard of anyone running Office on the Server.  Just the data should be there.
3.  Every software is different.  Some reside on the server, most have a server/Client version, some have only client versions with the data on the server.

Sbs Is basically server 2003 with more software bundled in like: Exchange, SQL, ISA servers.  Some other differences, but server 2003 drivers are what is used mostly.
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by:sajsharif
ID: 12507861
Ah well already I stand correccted then. Ok then so Ms office is then installed on each client machine and then configured so that it stores data on the server in a pool accessible to all other client machines. Thats one thing I couldnt my head around. So thats cleared up a few things for me. Oh by the way I am in essex if you willing to help. The last person I asked was a local computer shop owner, who said ms office is installed on server. Thats what I couldnt get my head around.
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by:kain21
ID: 12508124
If you don't need SQL Server... which it sounds like you don't... then Small Business Server 2003 standard would be a much cheaper option for you rather than premium... also... SBS server takes the standard Windows 2003 drivers for any hardware installed...
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by:nextgen00
ID: 12510371
Yes SBS standard is cheaper.  For that matter though  Just get Server Standard, not SBS. Because with ISA server...  The only difference is exchange, And you are definitley not ready to use exchange.

What Essex?  City State Country?  
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by:sajsharif
ID: 12512110
essex, uk
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by:keithsto
ID: 12512217
You can install a copy of office cd onto the server, to enable clients to install it when they wish. Perhaps thats what your computer shop meant.

Do you need a secure network?

Why not just run a workgroup for such a small number of machines?

You could run a workgroup of xp professional machines with security, but its a real pain having to set up the accounts & passwords on each machine, especially if someone wants to change a password. Hence the server and the convenience that brings in administration of passwords & permissions etc.
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by:sajsharif
ID: 12512253
A secure network is most definately required. A workgroup is already being run via a simple network between the 5 machines. However there needs have changed and now require regular backing up off all data. And as far as I can see, the only way of doing this automatically, is to have a main server, to which all the client data is sent to. Also they may require remote access in the future. So you see any  help anyone can give is greatly appreciated. Does anyone now of a web site that explains a bit more about sbs  and how a small network show be laid out?
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by:sajsharif
ID: 12514000
sorry all, just one more quick question. What operating system do you put on the client machines?? Is it some sort of client software you get with SBS??
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by:kain21
ID: 12517657
Small business server 2003 ($599)is cheaper than Windows Server 2003 standard ($999) nextgen... you should put xp professional on the client machines... the only client software you get with SBS is Outlook which is to allow all your clients to connect to Exchange on the server... SBS is a good solution for small businesses that don't need more than one domain controller... it comes with some tools and wizards that ease administration of the server...
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by:nextgen00
ID: 12517771
The client licenses for 2003 standard are cheaper than SBS client licenses, so if he ever gets more than five users... He'll save a bundle.
SBS 5Cals $489 standard 5 Cals $199.

As far as remote access in the future goes:  It depends on what they need to access.  Just data, I'd go with a VPN.  Super easy to set up in any server 2003. Plus Win XP Pro.
If they need access to special software, Terminals Server maybe the way to got, but you'd have to ask the software manufacturer what they suggest.
Either way... Make sure they have a good speed ineternet connection especially upload, otherwise remote access will be slower than driving to the office and working anyway.

Find that best practices book.
ISBN Number:  0974858048
It should have just about anything you'll find on the web as far as showing you how to do everything you need at first.  And it will save you the time of searching the web extensively.
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