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ATTN TechSoEasy (and Others) What is "Unified Architecture"

Jeff,

I've seen you post in a couple of questions about SBS Unified Architecture.

Could you post more on this "Unified Architecture" - I did a google search for "UNIFIED ARCHITECTURE" and 'SBS "UNIFIED ARCHITECTURE"' And the only hits that seemed to have any mention of Small Business Server and Unifed Architecture were your posts on EE.

Are there any Microsoft Documents that use this term?  Or explain the concept you were trying to get across?

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Lee W, MVP
Asked:
Lee W, MVP
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1 Solution
 
mickinoz2005Commented:
No speaking for them, but I would imagine that unified architecture is the fact that sbs is essentially a complete network solution in one, providing you with Windows 2003 / Exchange 2003 / Sharepoint / ISA / SQL if you wish.

You are managing your email your calenders / company documents / internet access. Bascially as I say a network in a box you buy it install it and that really should be all you need to get up and running.

I am sure the lads will give you a more fancy description.

Michael
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorAuthor Commented:
Oh, I understand, I think what he means by it, but I want some sort of official (Microsoft or trade magazine's) definition of it in relation to SBS.  The implication is that Microsoft has done something special to optimize SBS so that it can run SQL, ISA, Exchange, IIS, AD, and other services on the same box.  I've always thought that, beyond the wizards and a few limiting registry hacks, there is nothing special about SBS and would like to see some "horses mouth" evidence that there is, especially using this term.

(Ultimately, I know TechSoEasy knows SBS quite well, and in general, I trust is expertise, but I also know systems quite well (or so I like to think) and have never heard of this term outside of him, but he uses it as if it's common knowledge).
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mickinoz2005Commented:
Having searched quite a bit too I must admit I do believe it is one of those phrases that is made up somewhere in the industry and suddenly everybody is using it without really knowing where it comes from. I did read about UA that microsoft are developing for Avalon which is coming soon but for the likes of SBS could not find a thing I will sit this one out I think and learn.

It is probably like the UTM (Unified Treat Managment) another one of those ancroynoms that we need to be aware of since every sales person in the world and all those wannabe IT people will throw at you.

I do agree though there is nothing special about SBS in the way it does things it is just a pretty way to amalgamate all products and make it is easy for you to use them.

Michael
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What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
leew,

The term "Unified Architecture" is not one that is used by Microsoft... and it's unfortunate that they don't.  I've felt for a long time now that Microsoft has not presented SBS properly to IT Professionals... while they did finally release a paper directed to IT Pros, (http://sbsurl.com/itpro) it was not as technical as you or I would have liked to have seen.

If you read this paper, however, you'll see an example of what I mean in the statement: "so if you use the snap-ins instead of the wizards, you might actually break some Windows SBS functionality".  

I think that part of the problem with Microsoft documenting this is that while SBS does have all these interdependencies, the parts all came from different Microsoft divisions and are only held together because the wizards (which are really just GUI scripts) are written to keep them all attached.  It's quite possible that I AM the only one using this term... if so, then its a defacto description of SBS.

To see what I mean about these different parts, one only has to look at
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Integration\Windows Small Business Server 2003
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server
and
C:\Program Files\Windows for Small Business Server

Obviously there is still some work that needs to be done just to get everything in the same directory... but what this shows me is that there certainly might be problems if you don't use the wizards, and if you don't use the server in the way that it was intended... unless you plan on going into each of these directories, and figure out what programs are supposed to do what!

As for whether SBS is "Special"??  Well the differneces are pointed out here:  http://www.sbslinks.com/Us_v_them.htm

Now, most folks that I point to that site will skip over the intro paragraphs and go right to the tables, so I'll post those here for emphasis:

"Why Small Business Server 2003 Service pack 1is better for small businesses:

SBS 2003 SP1 isn't perfect.  It isn't for everyone.  There are limitations to the product that are listed in the lower section..but here's the thing.  If you can live with these minor 'warts', in return you get features that the big guys are drooling over.  Remember where SBS fits on the pricing SKU code range.  This is the 'first server in the firm", the one you begin with and grow with.  And as any small business knows...there are some things that you do compromise on.  But in reality, there are so many more features in this product that make it so right for a small firm that to say it's crippled or cut down or any other words like that, you just don't understand the potential and possibilities of this box.

Microsoft's Small Business Server 2003 sp1 is a business in a box.  All it needs is your commitment and imagination.  To all small businesses my prescription would be....take one box of SBS... add to it a few XP sp2 workstations.... add a little sweat equity and elbow grease and stand back and watch what happens.  SBS brings "automagic" to a small business."

Jeff
TechSoEasy



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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
A couple of other things...

1.  I don't claim at all to have the engineering knowledge required to understand the way all this stuff works.  I just know from my experience in working with it and the digging that I've done into the various log files to see what is happening in the background.

2.  I think you'll find that Microsoft tends to use the term "Integrated Server Platform" instead.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Leew... and all...

Since you've still left this open, I was wondering if I answered your question sufficiently.

I might point out one other thing that came up in a conversation this week that I was having with another SBS Consultant about why people that have a lot of experience with Windows Servers are finding it so difficult to "get" SBS.  His answer was, "because SBS is pre-configured".

That idea was reinforced today when I was answering a question here and the person was trying to figure out how to plan his Active Directory Structure for a new SBS installation.  To which the ONLY response I could give was, 'you don't'.

I mean, yes, there could be certain restricted groups and such, but you actually don't PLAN the AD architecture, you just work within the default AD that exists under MyBusiness.

For those of you that have worked with Web Servers before that have a Control Panel such as CPanel... you know that you can't modify certain parts of the file stucture because you'll brake CPanel's scripts... or if you change the script it will get overwritten by updates and not work again.

I suppose that Microsoft could develop an interface to modify the SBS Wizards (scripts) but then I would think that their ability to support a modified installation (or MY ability to support a modified installation) would be nearly impossible to do while keeping with the "affordable" SBS model.

And finally... This is a quote from a post made in the mcpmag forum by Andy "HandyAndy" Goodman, an SBS MVP:

===================================================================
"SBS is basically a bunch of scripts, wizards and glue to get a number of server applications and services that were never designed to work together on one box, to run smoothly and stably on one server. The SBS Dev Team has done a fantastic job of making all this happen, and added some great functionality to boot. There are some interdependencies that exist in the process, so when you remove things that they counted on being in place, you have a tendency to break things. This is why you should use the wizards whenever possible and leave the services on the box that came on the box. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. I promise you, no matter how much you know or how smart you may be, you can’t compare to the brain power of a team of experts who live and breathe to make SBS what it is! "
====================================================================
Link to forum post:  http://www.mcpmag.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?tid=2398


That's all... hope it answers the questions you have.

Jeff
TechSoEasy


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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Okay... one final comment because I JUST located a very detailed technical reference for SBS 2003.  This document is formally titled:  

Delivery Guide       
Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003       
Installation, Administration, Configuration and Troubleshooting       

This is a LEVEL 300 reference paper for SBS and is 517 pages long.  It was released in August 2003 so there may be a few items which have been altered with the release of SP1 and the soon to be released R2 version of SBS.  However, I think it will answer many of the questions that a number of you have asked, wanting to know more about what is going on behind the scenes with SBS.  

So, here's your opportunity to find out!

https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/83-SBS2003TechnicalReferenceTraining.pdf

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the research and information... now if I can just find the time to read it...!
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Update --- adding the above referenced document directly to this thread.
SBS2003TechnicalReferenceTrainin.pdf
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