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want to use windows small business server 2008 sbs2008 as file server only - tune up, get rid of wasting resources and sluggish behaviour

Posted on 2011-03-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
because of ending microsoft support for windows 2000, some of my customers with only about 3-5 clients needed to upgrade to sbs2008, as it is the cheapest version and they don't need more.

infact the functionality as a file server is enough.

now my experiences began with freaking out about the sluggish behaviour of the freshly set up sbs2008, although no user load was on the system, the sbs console was rotating with warnings about critical updates, sometimes it blocked clients access to the server.

i googled and analyzed a lot with the taskmanager and found out, that sbs console, exchange, iis, wsus sql is putting such a load (cpu, memory, disk) on the server, that there is almost no capacity for the tiny user applications.

now after uninstalling wsus, establishing normal windows updates and disabling the sbs console, i'm at the point of having a nice, medium fast server, me and my customer are satisfied.

but i want to know a bit more:

can anyone explain me in simple words (i'm no guru) the interdepencies of

exchange, sql, iis, wsus?

the only thing i know is that wsus is established as a website within iis.

if my goal is a pure file server, how can i uninstall exchange (my customers clients contact pop3 directly), sql and iis without running into problems?

Question by:etusch
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 35069759
If you want a pure file server you should purchase Windows 2008 Server standard edition this will allow you to use just file server options with all ofthe extras you get with SBS 2008. I believe Standard edition is even cheaper or the same cost as Windows 2008 Server.

SBS servers are must have some services running like Domain Services to function properly.

Again if you want  just a file server purchase Windows 2008 Server Standard edition you are trying to make SBS server just a file server which is not what SBS is built for.
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 1200 total points
ID: 35070021
SBS is intended to be run with all services installed. Do not uninstall any services or you will have issues down the road installing service packs and updates. If you feel you need to, you can disable those services.

As dariusg if you are not going to use those features why buy them. SBS Std is in the same price range but CAL's are quite a bit more expensive so Server std would be a less expensive and simpler options.
If you have sites with less than 15 users another option is Windows Foundation Server 2008. It is a complete version of server std, but limited to 15 users. It is much less expensive, generally sold already installed on a server, and requires no CAL's making it very affordable. It is also not difficult to migrate it to server std should the number of users outgrow the server.

>>"can anyone explain me in simple words (i'm no guru) the interdepencies of exchange, sql, iis, wsus?":
Are you asking what they do, or how are they interdependent.
Exchange = e-mail server
SQL = database
IIS = web services
WSUS = deployment of windows updates
All are totally interrelated with DNS and Active directory. Changes to any one can permissions or access to any of the others. The Wizards are crucial as a result to assure that a simple change is applied to all services. For example if you change the IP of the server all of the following have to be updated; Exchange, Sharepoint, IIS, SQL, AD, DNS, and more. If you do not use wizards there is an extremely good chance you will 'break' the server.
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 800 total points
ID: 35072074
SBS MUST - there is no option in this - SBS MUST be a domain controller.  While you can butcher it and make it more of JUST a domain controller/file server, doing so puts your client at a disadvantage - if something ever happens to you and another consultant needs to fill in, they'll walk into a mess that they can't easily resolve issues on especially if they understand what to do and can potentially make it look like you don't know what you're doing if they start explaining to the client why everything is setup wrong.  

Take the time, learn the product, understand what it is and how it was designed to work, and you and your client will be much better off.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition MSRP: $1029, Requires CALs for each user beyond 5 at a cost of about $30
Small Business Server 2011 Standard MSRP: $1096 (virtually no change from SBS 2008), Requires CALs for each user beyond 5 at a cost of about $75
(Technically, each user requires a CAL, the above both come with 5 CALs).


Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Foundation Edition is an OEM only product that costs about $300 when purchased pre-installed on a Dell/HP server and is designed for small businesses of under 15 users, requiring no additional CALs.

If you just wanted a file server, you should have bought a NAS.  Windows Storage Server is a file-server only version of Windows and comes pre-installed on some NAS devices.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35086603
Many thanks for the detailed informations! You are great!

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