We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

SBS Load Balance

SeanNij asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi all, trust you are well.

One of these questions that dont have a right or wrong answer i dont think, but more a good advice please.

I have a client who has been running an SBS 2003 since 2003. Server is an old Dual CPU Pentium 3 with a couple of SCSI Drives.

Over time they have grown to 40users, added AutoCad Vault, Accounting Package, SQL Database, Access database etc etc.

Server is really slowing down, and hard drive activity is constantly high.

Looking at improving, would you build a whole new awesome server with 15k drives etc and go through the whole process of migrating the SBS (SBS Migration) and setting up workstations again, or would you suggest an additional server or two running windows server 2003/8 standard and move off the accounts or databases or users shared folder etc keeping the exchange and AD on the original server?


Watch Question

I believe replacing the server with a "state of the art" one is the best way forward, in terms of costs. May be you can get away with having an additional server and took the Access & Accounting package off the original one but I would automatically recommend you to consider replacing a 5 year old server anyway, in particular it has a P3 processor.

Migration is not that bad if you plan it thoroughly. If it is the first time you doing this I recommend you spend $200 on a migration tool called Swing-it. You can have a look on this website http://www.sbsmigration.com - if you do a search on Expert Exchange the tool is highly recommended by experts.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Well its a 6 year old server and if your looking after it then Id be looking to get rid before it costs you time and money. I would migrate evreyone to a new SBS box, you shouldnt have to do anything to the clients if you do it correctly.

Another (possibly better) option is to get a brand new super server and virtualise the existing SBS box, then create 1 or 2 new servers to deal with the excess workloads. Have them all runnning side by side on the new server.
Adding to my comment above ......

You can migrate to SBS2008. If you need SQL Server then you would get the Premium edition (I guess you are already using SBS2003 Premium if you are using SQL?). One feature of SBS2008 is it gives you an additional W2K8 server licence to put on an additional server and you can actually install the SQL Server part on this separate server, thus easing the workload on the SBS.


On that thought - SBS 2008 - what should i use as a firewall then?

Your always going to be better off using and extrnal hardware based firewall, cisco, watchguard etc.


If you are going for the Premium edition it comes with ISA. Or if you are using the Standard edition you can still buy ISA separately.

I think Cisco firewall would be quite expensive, so I would recommend SonicWall - I used TZ190 before and I think it is very afordable.


2008 premiun still come with ISA?
sorry my bad - it only comes in 2003
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.