SBS 2003 R2 setup and DHCP and Internet questions !

I currently have 4 pc's connected to the internet (atlantic broadband) into a wireless router and sharing the internet with the router providing the DHCP for the internet and workgroup.

I just bought a dell server with SBS 2003 R2. It has 2 ethernet ports.
The purpose of the server is for in-house email and public calendering with outlook 2003.
I also purchased 2 Dell's Firebox's to hook up this office and our other office in a different city and to make a VPN between the offices. The firebox has an easy WYSIWYG setup(claimed by a dell tech)

Now for my questions:

How do I handle DHCP for communicating to the internet and to establish the connection between all pc's? Is it thru the server ?

Do I need to setup Active Directory?

I want each computer to still get the internet connection. Does the internet go to the dell server and then shared to each pc?

Obviously I've never setup SBS 2003, so I am open to any advice to help me accomplish these goals.
Do I run the cable modem line into the
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You need to hire someone who is experienced with SBS to install it.

If you don't, you run the SERIOUS RISK of costing yourself MORE in the long run.  SBS is an easy to manage, VERY STABLE system... when it's setup PROPERLY.  And someone who JUST knows Windows server is NOT QUALIFIED to setup SBS properly (I know - I was such a person and I screwed up my first install severely).

Yes, You NEED to setup Active Directory - if you don't you are violating licensing and it's probable that the server will reboot itself hourly after a 1-3 week grace period.

I will say, If you ARE intending to LEARN this so you can do it for other people - and you SERIOUSLY want to understand it, then get some books and set things up MULTIPLE times - even if you think you got it right, wipe and reinstall at least twice - LEARN how to set it up and ALWAYS use the wizards.
Jerry SolomonNetwork  AdministratorCommented:
OK, here goes:

You may want to consider bringing a local IT company to help you with this--the benefits are great, but there's alot to be done to set it up.
If you want to give it a go yourself, here are some highlights:

You are going to want to join the workstations to the SBS domain you create in the wizard when you first turn on the new server. In order to join a domain, the workstations must be 200 pro, xp pro, or Vista business, or vista ultimate. when you join a computer to a domain, the user profile is different, so you need to be aware that you will need to move over profile stuff. My preferred way of doing this is with the File settings transfer wizard. You also need to decide if your SBS will also be your mail server, or if you will have users pop their email into the exchange mailboxes in Outlook--SBS tries to be your mail server if you're not careful, but that's another chapter.
here are the basic steps:

Answer to your question:  Small Business server out of the box runs both DHCP and Active Directory.
You can use another DHCP server AS LONG AS you set the primary DNS server to be the IP of the SBS.
most SBS servers only have 1 network card, so the wizard will recognize that, and not set up routing, which means the internet does not go through the new server.

1. Go through the SBS wizard, and Give your SBS a static IP--trust me.

3. On the workstaions, use the file and settings transfer wizard to back up the settings on each computer to a location on its own hard drive, then join the new domain, and run the wizard to bring the settings back in.

I do this weekly, but for a first-timer this is a big job, so have someone you can call if you get stuck. I know I nearly freaked out my first time.

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You can keep the setup (more or less) the way it is now.

- Give your server a static IP outside that DHCP range like .2 or .254
- Only connect one of it's Ethernet ports (you've already got a router, no need to add another).
- I would use AD, and create a domain.
- I'd advise you to run DNS on your server as well.
- Change the DNS address given through the DHCP to your server

I can't really go into more detail than that otherwise i'd be typing an essay, AD and DNS are reasonably easy to setup, if you look there'll be some nice HOW-TO's somewhere on the net.

Good Luck!
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Let me ask about Jerry the Great's comment about SBS wanting to be THE mail server.
What's your opinion about making it the email server for pop and in-house?
Is it better having the individual machines get their email via pop3  as they are doing now and then setup outlook to get the in-house email from the server?

The main benefit of doing it through a local Mail server is that:
- You have a single point of administration
- Spam / AV filters can be easily implemented
- Automatic backups
- The ability to create Distribution groups
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you try to setup Exchange without Exchange being THE mail server, you could end up having mail delivery problems for users on Exchange.  There are ways to do it, but they are not advisable because they increase your management requirements.  

Using Exchange to store mail allows for FAR easier backups and when implemented properly, easy access via portable phones, web, and office systems.

But again, you clearly aren't familiar with this - and if you are not intending to LEARN it - DEEPLY LEARN IT, you are ASKING for trouble.  Could it be setup without professional help - yes... just like you COULD rebuild a car engine without a mechanic's help... but the odds of doing it right go up dramatically when you get professional help.
Jerry SolomonNetwork  AdministratorCommented:

To personally respond to your question about making SBS THE main server, there are 2 things you would need to do to set it up this way.

1. Either get a static IP for your internet (if you don't already) or ask your email provider if they can be a smarthost for your email service.

2. Modify your company's DNS MX records to ensure email is delivered to the right place (either your static IP, or you ISP's.)

The reason for making SBS THE mail server is that Outlook really wants to send email through Exchange if it is present, regardless of the user's email settings. this is what I alluded to, and the other experts reinforced. You can research and see there are always other ways, but this is the most stable way.

PS to reinforce another comment above, ALWAYS use the wizards with SBS--it is a customized server build, and settings outside the wizards have weird manifestations--don't be smarter than the computer-- swallow your pride and use the wizards--"connect to the internet" being the most common one for most changes.

good luck!
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