Full Server 2003 or SBS 2003?
Posted on 2006-07-14
This question isn't necessarily a 'problem', but I'm looking for expert advice on the subject:
I recently took on a contract with a non-profit organization who is upgrading their systems. I will be installing a new Windows server for them. I'm wondering whether to go with Small Business Server 2003 or with the full server version. I will be ordering the software through techsoup.org, which nearly gives the software away for free, so the difference in price between SBS and the full server version wouldn't be too great. So, I'm trying to decide which version to go with and I'm leaning towards SBS Premium as it includes Exchange, ISA, and SQL servers. But I don't want to cheat them if we could have gotten the more robust full server for a few hundred dollars more.
Ok, so for now they only have one location which is a back office and a storefront. They have about 25 users on about 20 computers. They will be running several network based program systems--Sage BusinessWorks, Exchange, FileMaker Pro, Symantec Backup, R&R Report Writer, IC Verify credit card software and Shipworks inventory software. I will also set them up with some sort of point of sale program as their current one is old as hell and only runs on DOS!--most likely I will set them up with Microsoft Retail Management System.
So, with all of these business critical programs running, these thoughts come to mind:
1) Should I have all of these processes running on one single server? Is it safe to do this? If I do want to share the workload on another server, could I do this in SBS or would I need the full server version?
2) I understand that with SBS, you can only have one domain and that the SBS server has to be the domain controller for that domain. In their situation this seems fine to me. But, what if they open up other locations such as a storefront or a new office? Keep in mind that these guys are a small business so it's not like other locations would be adding many users, but I'd just like to understand a scenario of another office opening up with say 10 more users at a different location. What would be the difference in adding a new location with SBS and the full server version?
So basically, I'm of the frame of mind that getting the full version of Server 2003 for this client would be overkill. And I don't want to overcomplicate things for them. But I also don't want to cheat them out of an opportunity to get the full version if they could actually utilize it. What do the experts think?!
Lastly, I will post up the pricing below so you see what I'm dealing with. It's so cheap it makes me want to start a non-profit for me :-)
Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition (Includes Software Assurance and 5 CALs)
$60 Total - SBS Premium includes four complete Microsoft Server products: Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, ISA Server 2000, and SQL Server 2000. This package also includes Outlook 2003 and FrontPage 2003.
Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition -- $40
SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition -- $240.00
Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition -- $52
Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 Standard Edition $60.50
So, $60 compared to $392.50--is going with the full server overkill for my situation or is it too good of a deal for them to pass up. Keep in mind that I'm looking for simplicity and stability for my client because they've been through a lot of issues before hiring me.
Thanks so much!