which windows server to buy for small company?

Currently running Windows xp workstations in a peer to peer atmosphere.
Software used as Databases are Quickbooks and Access.  The databases are saved on an xp machine that all users share. Quickbooks 2005 and Microsoft Access 2003.
When there are issues with Databases I remote in using Go to My Pc and fix issues.
Files are stored on everyones computers.
The business is at a point where we need to centralize everything so all users can get to from their own desktops vs moving to different computers.
Our email is just web based.
We are debating on whether to go with a Windows SBS Server or Windows 2003 Server.
Can you, in detail recommend one over the other keeping in mind the following objectives.
Quickbooks will be saved on the server with several different company databases which employees will have user specific rights(either from Server sign on or within Quickbooks) that will be opened at the same time.

Access will also be on the server and shared by many people at the same time.

There will be a need to have remote access to users computers and servers.
We also want to start to digitize our forms and save to the server to retrieve when needed.
If there is something I am missing or needs to be addressed please feel free to add.
Thanks
kcassoneAsked:
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I can't think of a single reason why a small business with the requirements you note would want anything other than Small Business Server -

*It's cheaper than standard server
*It includes Exchange Server 2003 (and is FAR cheaper than standard server + standard exchange server)
*It is more easily managed
*It provides remote access capabilities (Remote Web Workplace) that Standard server does not.

That said, you should be sure you understand some key facts:
You cannot run SBS as a terminal server (not sure if that's what you were going for, but you say "Access will also be on the server and shared by many people at the same time." and the only way this can work as I'm interpreting that statement (assuming you have the appropriate licenses) is by using terminal services).

That said, here's the recommendation based on what you are describing:

SBS 2003 R2 Standard Edition
Configure it to host and run your own e-mail
Saving files from Quickbooks on the server should not be a problem for EITHER SBS or standard.
Storing the Access file on the server should not be a problem, but accessing Access if Access is only installed on the server WILL be a problem for SBS.  It will be LESS of a problem for 2003 Server, but you will still require Client Access Licenses which tend to run $84-$125 each, minimum of 5.

Just to be clear, you CAN have a Terminal server on an SBS network, just the SBS server CANNOT be the Terminal Server itself.

I would ditch go to my PC and setup a VPN with the server, connect to the VPN and then repair the file.
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CircleblueCommented:
1)  How many desktops are involved?  If it is more than 50 (though SBS is able to do 75, as I understand the performance drops off at about 50 workstations), then go with Windows 2k3.  

SBS can do everything Windows 2k3 can do in your scenario...but it also adds Exchange.  You may not need or want Exchange capabilities at this point, but it gives you room to grow.  And it costs less.   To purchace Win 2k3 and Exchange seperately would be about 2 grand, and SBS is about 500.  That is just the software itself, and not the licenses for all of the users or machines for Win 2k3 and Exchange.  With SBS you only have to buy one set of licenses.  

SBS is a superior product to Win 2k3 in terms of pricing because it includes, Exchange, Sharepoint,  Remote access to desktops, and all the regular server features of Win 2k3.  It is easier to configure and should provide a lower overhead in operational and licensing costs.  

It all comes down to how big is your network and how much can you spend.  Bottom line.  
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intekraCommented:
I also recommend SBS 2003 for your situation, dependant on the number of computers and users; however it doesn't seem to me like there are many at all.

Also, from an administration and setup standpoint SBS is by far easier and more admin friendly in my opinion.

Wizards replace a lot of the tedious manual tasks from previous.
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Hypercat (Deb)Connect With a Mentor Commented:
SBS is the best choice for you unless you have more than 75 users - from what you've said I doubt that's the case.  SBS will be able to meet all of your needs, and is also much easier to administer for the beginning system administrator, if you are one of those.  Some important additional comments:

1.  If you want to share Quickbooks databases among numerous users, you need to purchase the multi-user network version of Quickbooks, if you haven't already.
2.  SBS includes Exchange, which gives you the option of hosting your own email.  If you don't want to do that (or not at first anyway), SBS includes a piece of software called the SBS POP3 Connector that will allow you to connect from the server to POP3 mailboxes and download them directly. This avoids the need for each user to have his/her individual computer configured to download POP email separately - it's much more efficient.*
3.  Exchange also allows you to share calendars, contacts, and tasks among all users, providing a much better company environment for employees to work cooperatively on projects.
4.  SBS includes Sharepoint and a company intranet, both sites being created automatically through wizards, for an even better cooperative work environment.  Not every company can or will go to the effort to benefit from this, but it is an effort that can easily pay for itself if your environment warrants it.
5.  SBS also includes Remote Web Workplace.  This is a website that allows your users to connect to your server remotely and use Outlook Web Access for remote email and/or connect to their workstations using Remote Desktop to work directly on their own desktop as if they were in the office.*
6.  Your storage requirements (for scans and other data) will need to be taken into consideration when you configure the hardware.  You might want to consider a NAS device rather than having your server handle all of the file storage directly.

*In order to host your own email through Exchange and/or to use Remote Web Workplace, you will need to have a static IP address (can be supplied by your ISP).

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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
P.S. I failed to mention with Remote Web Workplace that if you log on as an Administrator, you can also remote in to your server through this website to do administrative tasks, fix problems, etc.
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tomcahillCommented:
I agree SBS is the best way to go for 50 or less users.

Check out http://www.cahillsolutions.com/sbs.aspx

You are best suited to implement this with a SBS Specialist.  They can show you the proper way to do things and get you started on the right foot.  From that point on it is a simple setup to self-administer most things.
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intekraCommented:
tomcahill: That link is borderline spam.

The Why SBS link is more of a sales pitch than an informative writing, and filled with technical errors.

Shame shame.
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tomcahillCommented:
I am very curious to see the moderators repsonse.  Spam was not my intention at all.  
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