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New server hardware needs to be configure and Replace Domain Controller Overkill.

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
This is a very small office (5 people); currently we have w2k3 server running as a PDC with CRM, Exchange 2007, SQL SRVR 2005 for CRM, and Active Directory of course.

The "Systems Engineer" that received a Microsoft Action Pack and proceeded to use everything in it on our tiny network is no longer with us. ;-)
Needless to say all of this is installed on a desktop box . . . booooo! Hey I said needless to say, I just need to vent a bit. 01100101100111
We us Outlook on our workstations for email with Exchange for outgoing mail. Incoming mail is on a Linux box at a remote location via a Plesk cPanel.

We have a true server that is ready for setup and deployment. What is the best way to set this up (the box and the network) to replace the nightmare that is our Network configuration Overkill?

p.s. We also have another w2k3 desktop setup as a file server.
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Question by:Bradley Haynes
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LVL 96

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Lee W, MVP earned 350 total points
ID: 20378818
Since you have an Action Pack subscription, I would suggest you setup Microsoft Small Business Server.  I know you're mail is hosted on another site, but SBS includes exchange which will provide many features and a better ability to backup things.  SBS also includes wizards that are intended to make things much easier for the "non-admin" admin to manage.  Before you actually install this - if you do - I STRONGLY recommend you PLAY with it first.  Install it a few times to get used to it and see what it does.  A properly setup server will require VERY LITTLE maintenance and be very easy for you manage.
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Assisted Solution

by:sabioit
sabioit earned 150 total points
ID: 20378854
Microsoft Small Business Server is more expensive that 2003 standard and you probably already paid for some licenses  

I will run dcpromo on the file server (if this is a good computer )and migrate all the settings little by little

Start from scratch as leew recommended will allow you to reconfigure settings at you own taste
but this may cause problems with already establish applications and services running on the network  

it also will required reconfigured all your computers and a lot of time down

a migration will be more professional less time down and equal effective

if you are not qualified person i will suggest you get help from some consultant company to determine the impact that can cause of the network any new changes
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 20379317
Actually, sabioit, that's not entirely correct.  

SBS sells for $500 - see:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116304

Windows Server 2003 STandard sells for $900 - almost twice the cost.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116233

Besides, the asker states they have the Action Pack Subscription - so they already have an SBS Premium License and it only costs them $300.  Since they have both, I recommend using SBS - much easier to manage when setup properly.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 31411836
Thank you for your input, I had a couple of thoughts as to the direction I should proceed with. You have narrowed the path.
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