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SBS 2003 Best Practices

tolinrome
tolinrome asked
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Hello,
Im new with SBS 2003, but not with networking in general, and Ive seen links to this book for a best practices on SBS 2003 http://snipurl.com/bestpractices, but I see that from the comments left on Amazon the reviews werent all that great. As a beginner to SBS do you think I would benefit more from his first book or the advanced edition?

I really need to learn all I can about disaster recovery, Disk setup, and RAID setups and hot swapping, with SBS (a best practices). Which have you all found to be the most helpful? What Microsoft articles have you found helpful?

Thanks.
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
From the URL name, I suspect Jeff (TechSoEasy) gave it to you - he's excellent and is a true SBS Guru here.

I have a catalog of links (most provided by him) and some of my personal experiences that you can read up on here:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/sbs.asp

In addition, since you are concerned about disaster recover/backup, you might want to have a read over my backup comment:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp

As for disk setup and your other questions, if you read through the links, there are probably answers to many of your questions, but to try to be more direct, here's some of my thoughts:
1. ALWAYS USE THE WIZARDS - there are a few exceptions (for example, I don't like the backup wizard that SBS uses because it always does full backups which is, in my opinion, inefficient and potentially problematic if you have a lot of data).  Unless someone gives a reason not to use the wizards with a good explanation (not just "they suck" or "it's easier without them")
2. INSTALL IT A FEW TIMES FIRST - get practice and understand how and what its doing.
3. GET TECHNET PLUS - $350 for the "Direct" download version - provides licenses for testing and learning purposes (NOT PRODUCTION!).
4. SETUP A TEST NETWORK - Virtual PC, VMWare, Virtual Server are all free - setup some virtual machines and create a test network to test major changes with first.
5. TEST YOUR BACKUP PLAN - do this on your test network - fake an outage by disconnecting your existing hard drives and connecting blank ones - then try a restore.  Not only will this familiarize yourself with the recovery process, but it will help you work out issues that you REALLY don't want to be dealing with in an emergency.
6. RAID depends on how you use the server.  Yes, you want RAID, but RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 it all depends on what you're doing and how many users you have.  This is not so much an SBS thing as it is a GENERAL thing - you determine what kind of RAID based on server usage - not specifically the OS.