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Sql server and exchange

Let me first say that I own my own computer company by myself. I have taken classes on most everything but have not been able to practice what i have learned so i look to you guys on here to help me some when  you can if i am having a problem.  I have just picked up a new client that is running exchange server and sql server. I am not very familiar with either of them and i was wondering if you guys or gals have any suggestions on a certain book or website that i can use to get the basics enough to feel that i can work on these.  I know what they both are, i just dont know how to maintain them or exactly how they work. I currently have the entire testout cd set for server 2003 that i am watching but im not sure if that will cover sql or exchange. Ty in advance for any help.
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bostonstaus
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bostonstaus
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jesusrulesmeCommented:
I would recommend getting a technet subscription from Microsoft, then getting very familiar with Virtual Server or Virtual PC.  You can install some test servers and install Exchange and SQL onto them to get more familiar.  Those are both tricky products, though, if you're just jumping in for the first time.  The best best would be for you to implement your own SBS server, on which you can learn both Exchange and SQL.  I usually learn best by jumping in, so you might want to setup an SBS server and actually start putting your mail on it.  Some stuff is hard to really get to know if you don't do it for real.  
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Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
Hi,
Agree with the above. There are also some good books on exchange you can get from such places as Amazon etc. Look for books that have good technical content. The mastering series from Mark Manasi have been good but he tends to do OS books.
Best of luck
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bostonstausAuthor Commented:
I will look into doing both of those. I assume i can just install sbs server on my xp machine using virtual pc?  I will also probably join technet. i will give this questions a few more days to see of any other suggestions come in then i will divide the points appropriatly on what i have used.
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Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
As long as your xp machine has a good amount of ram, you should be able to run a few virtual machines.
The technet subscribtion is the best investment as you get access to all the operating systems and servers so you can learn and understand the technology. Plus you can break it and learn how to fix!
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bostonstausAuthor Commented:
Forgive me is this is a stupid question. Im not very familiar with technet. Do they actually send me software or what?  What do i get for the 350 that i give them? I am very interested in doing it, just not sure what its all about.
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Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
Hi,
When you subscribe you can choose to have DVD's or just download options. Download only is normally cheper.
You get emails explaining how to logon to the technet website once you have paid your subscribtion (which is for 12 months).  You also get access to content on line such as RC software etc.
I started off with the DVD's which came each month, then switched to download only.
It's up to you.
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jesusrulesmeCommented:
The files you download are in ISO format.  You can get a utility like isoburn (or use a commercial product like Nero) to burn them to disks, or you can just capture the ISO images in Virtual PC (or Virtual Server or VMWare) and it allows you to install the software without even burning it to a disk.  This makes it very quick and easy to create new virtual machines of varying OSs without a bunch of burning.
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