Do I need SBS or Windows 2003 Server?

I have a small business with about 6 computers, will be 10 before long. We currently run on a Windows 2000 server on a peer to peer basis; each machine has MS Office, Outlook, NSW, Antispyware, applications, etc. The server itself is really only used to store data files centrally.

We belong to the MS Action Pack and MSDS programs so MS software is not a problem, I have MS Server 2003, SBS Premium, etc.

My question is when does a company go from Windows Server to SBS? I would like to centralize email and the MS Office applications, however when I look through all the features in SBS I think it probably way too much for us. We don't need advanced features like centralized faxing to clients, we just need to get our work done - there is no one here on a daily basis to fine tune the server software.

Aside from which package is right for us, my other major concern is server virus / spyware protection and ghosting the drive. I will use an internet based backup system, but am looking for a way to Ghost the server HD daily or weekly, Norton I believe has a special Ghost server edition (expensive) - any other options for this? My experience with Windows 2000 Server backup is that it reliably backs up but how does one ever restore? The restore files are such a jumbled mess it seems virtually impossible to find the right one, I won't even consier using it unless it has been drastically revised for 2003.

TIA for suggestions.  
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
First, Small Business Server is what you should start with for price purposes and administrative ease.  You would then move FROM SBS to Windows Server using the Transition pack if and when you reach 60-70 users (75 is the max on SBS).

Small Business Server is designed to be easy and run with little intervention.  NOT using SBS can be a far more intense administrative experience.

Now, I STRONGLY recommend staying away from ANY product Symantec.  There are several alternatives for virtually everything they offer.  The one exception - and this may change soon - is with BackupExec if you wanted backup software.

For imaging, try Acronis (an upcoming version is supposed to have the ability to restore individual exchange mailboxes).
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
As you've seen SBS is loaded with features that you wouldn't find on a standard Server 2003.  But that doesn't mean you have to use them all... even if they would save you time in getting that "work done".  But as leew has stated... you'll spend much more time figuring out a standard Server 2003 than you would SBS... because SBS is installed in a standardized configuration automatically.

My suggestion is that you just make sure that you follow the instructions for deploying it.  You'll find those here:

Also the migration from peer-to-peer:

As for backup... the built-in backup would probably do just fine for your complete backup... it's much revised over Win2K's and SBS has a specially designed configuration that is deployed (as most things on SBS) with a wizard.  You will receive a daily report that advises you whether or not the backup has completed successfully (among many other things... just to reassure you that everything is running smoothly).

If you DO want an imaging solution, check out  it's reasonably priced and is getting good notice from the SBS community.  I've also used Acronis True Image Server and it's terrific, but expensive, in my opinion.


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