What server to use for small business?

Posted on 2007-07-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have a client who wants to start a very small 2-3 person company that will need both an email and file server and possibly some form of VPN. I will also want some kind of tape backup function.

All the client computers are Windows XP / Vista and possibly a Mac in the future. I have used Windows Server 2003 but am wondering about the possibilities of maybe using something like Suse 10 instead for my server. I don't know much about Linux.
Question by:danomatic
LVL 46

Accepted Solution

Kent Olsen earned 1000 total points
ID: 19550585
Hi danomatic,

Using a linux box in a small-office mix isn't necessarily a bad idea.  The GUI tools that come with most distributions make administration as easy as a Windows system, often easier.  If its primary function is to be a file server, it could makes sense to run linux and save the couple of hundred bucks that Micro$oft will want to run Windows Server.

There are quire a few good linux distributions out there.  Since you're new at the game, I'd suggest using Suse if you're in Europe, Fedora or Red Hat if in the U.S.  That's simply a numbers game where you'll have the easiest access to support and resources.

Good Luck, and welcome to linux.  :)

Author Comment

ID: 19550678
Do Fedora and Red Hat have a built in POP Email server app that will function like Exchange?  What about VPN?
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 19550726
Linux is fantastic... but if you don't know it, I would not recommend it as a server for a business.  If you know linux, then of course, it's a great option.

Have you considered Microsoft's Small Business Server?  It costs $600 for the standard version, comes with 5 CALs, and is heavily Wizard driven (I've never seen a linux distro as friendly to manage ass SBS is for the non-admin). and it includes Microsoft's Exchange Server.

I long for the day when Linux becomes a viable alternative for everyone, but because of the potential support costs involved if you're not an expert in it, I don't think it's there yet... maybe in 3-4 years... but not yet.

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