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Windows 2003 Small Business Server - good, bad, ugly?

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hi

I have experience of using Windows 2003 server for various applications however I have no experienced of Small Business Server.

Can someone give me the low down on whether SBS is a good idea or not?

I'm looking at a deployment to 10 ish users - I realise that SBS saves on licence costs however buget for once here isn't a problem.
The requirement is for SQL Server 2000, Exchange 2003 (possibly), File & Print, Centralised Fax solution (inbound and outbound), remote access would also be good.
Everything will be installed on one server. I'd obviously be looking for an antivirus / anti spam solution to cover this lot as well.

What might SBS give me that the separate products together wouldn't?

Any advice greatly received.

I'll divide the points up between responses.

thanks
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Question by:SJH
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Netman66 earned 125 total points
ID: 17011188
SBS would be perfect for this environment.  Your advantage is one, easy to use and very cost effective solution.

You want to take care, though, and select the best server you can afford for this.  Since everything is loaded and running from one server (and cannot be split across servers anyway) then you want to put it on a server that will run all your required software without breaking a sweat.

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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 125 total points
ID: 17011517
The other thing to remember with SBS is use the wizards for everything. If you are a traditional Windows administrator, trying to use the regular tools will often cause problems, particularly with Exchange. Use the wizards to setup everything and maintain it and you will be fine.

Simon.
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by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 125 total points
ID: 17014194
I agree with Simon, from small Business this would be perfect, have a look at this link it may make things a little clearer

http://www.sbslinks.com/Us_v_them.htm

you also should be aware of the limitations of SBS
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=295765
that link is for 2000 as i cannot find one for 2003 as yet, the biggest difference i know of is 2003 has limits for 75 Users not 50
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 125 total points
ID: 17027745
sjh,

For the deployment you have described there is no doubt that SBS is the right way to go.  SBS will provide you with A LOT of things that the separate products wouldn't.  For instance, the Fax Service features which I explained in your other question (http:Q_21904745.html).  The monitoring and reporting is not available in standard products, and is really invaluable.  Additionally, SBS 2003 R2 comes with a preconfigured WSUS, so updates and patching is integrated.

The main difference of SBS is that it's PRE-CONFIGURED, for the most part... AD and DNS specifically.  This not only makes it much easier to deploy, but it's absolutely necessary due to the fact that you COULDN'T put all of those components into one machine if you got the separate products! But SBS makes it possible.

So, just to emphasize... everything COULD NOT be installed on one server with separate products.  You would never really want to have Exchange or SQL Server installed on your Domain Controller, but because of the integrated nature of SBS and it's configuration wizards, you can do this safely and securely.

Please review http://sbsurl.com/itpro for a good overview of SBS for those who have lots of experience with enterprise servers.

You'll find a lot of good info at http://sbsurl.com/techguide as well.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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