Do I need to use SBS or will simple peer to peer network be acceptable?

Posted on 2006-05-21
Last Modified: 2013-11-21

I have a point of sale program. Three computers and three printers. The pos was written in Access. Do I need to use SBS or can I just use windows networking, a wireless network storage (USB drive), and wireless print server. The data will be kept on network drive. (about 25 megs of data). I guess my question is will there be a slowdown in accessing the data compared to SBS.


Question by:johnwoodeye
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    For as simple as it should be, I've run Peer-to-Peer networks in POS environments and periodically, things just lose connectivity - someone plays around and changes a password or something and a station falls offline.  In THEORY, there's no need for SBS, but if the money is there, I'd probably put it in.  Domains generally don't have those kinds of problems when they are setup correctly.  Besides that, you can have easier control over the security.

    Ultimately, ETHER should be fine, but again, if the money was there, I'd go with SBS
    LVL 51

    Assisted Solution

    by:Keith Alabaster
    Hi John.

    I guess it is a question really of the wider picture. If this is solely what you wish to do, then the workgroup is fine. However, if you want to expand in the future then you will likely want to move to something like SBS anyway. I am sure you have already checked about SBS and its business benefits, ease of use, etc and its return on investment (its cheap lol). That notwithstanding, a peer-to-peer (p2p) network will be OK if it does what you want of it.

    Performance in accessing data takes two aspects here.
    first, the fact that you are running MS Access means there is a performance hit anyway. this is purely the difference between running Access and SQL Server and you can do nothing about that really. MS Access is a dog in my view in regards to data transfers in mutli-user applications.

    The second is down to the work stations specification. Not sure i the USB drive is going to be connected to one of the three work stations on your POS system or to a spare machine that just runs in the background.

    Bottom line, I would always go for the SBS server option as my starting point.


    Author Comment

    Can't I set up Domain server using a router?
    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    by:Keith Alabaster
    Morning Lee; looks I overtyped you without refreshing first, sorry.

    How do you mean John?
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    SBS is great, but theres really no need for it in this circumstance, unless you will b using the features like exchange etc. Otherwise its a big waste of money.

    File sharing performance will not be noticably different.

    While a router may do DNS & DHCP for the workstation, providing ip addresses & internet name resolution,  it will not be a 'domain controller'.

    I would avoid wireless if you are at all concerned about performace - as a rule of thumb, divide whatever speed it says on the box by 3 to get real-world throughput.

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