SBS 2011 Question

K_Wilke
K_Wilke used Ask the Experts™
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Hello all,
Excuse my newbie questions on SBS 2011 (if that is the latest version of SBS).
Most of my clients are on Windows Standard server (either 2003 or 2008) and I have never had to dive into the SBS realm.
I have a new client that has two PCs.  He needs a server for all his critical data so obviously SBS would be the best option.
My questions:
1)  Can we run SBS without using Exchange?  He only has one email address and does not want to do Exchange whatsoever.
2)  Can SBS be setup so that he can remotely connect to the server if he is out of town?  He will have a static IP address.
3)  I am very familiar with Backup Exec to do backups.  He will have an internal backup unit in the new server.  Will Backup Exec work correctly with SBS?
I am looking at having 3 hard drives that are each 500 gig with stripping and at least 6 gig of RAM.  Will SBS work with this configuration?
Thanks,
Kelly W.
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
SBS 2011 Essentials would seem to be the best option.  It does NOT come with Exchange and does not require any additional CALs (unless you add a second server for Remote Desktop Services or something like that - basic access for up to 25 users is fully covered (you CANNOT go above 25 users though - you'd have to replace the server OS)).

SBS Essentials also provides workstation backup and wizards for management as well as Remote Web App which allows for EASY remote access to the server and files.

SBS 2011 Standard comes with Exchange, supports up to 75 users but requires CALs that cost at least $75 each above 5.  Further, SBS is a VERY stable platform and one I highly recommend - PROVIDED you install it as it was intended to operate - if you went with the Standard version you very much should use Exchange.

BackupExec, I would expect to work on SBS platforms fine - except that it's made by a horrible company who doesn't know how to code properly - so before getting it, I strongly recommend you contact Symantec Support and verify the versions you want to use (or better still, use a different product.  They told one of my clients SBS 2008 was not supported by BackupExec 12.0 (maybe it was 12.5) even though the box CLEARLY stated it was... brilliant minds over there at symantec... absolutely brilliant.
Commented:
1. You can Run sbs without running exchange.  On the couple I have, I installed normally, then disable the services at startup, in case they want it later.
2. It can be setup to run remotely, you will need to turn on Remote Desktop, add him to the authorized users, and remember to forward tcp port 3389 on yourrouter to his internal IP of the server.
3. It might.  The Exchange back up is usually where it gets strange on backups, but it sounds like you won't be using the Exchange feature, so the other stuff shoudl be fine.
4. I would recommend 8 GB of ram, since it will be easier to justify the costs now, then wanting to do it later.
5. The hard drives, if you have the budget, I would do 5 drives.  The os/application drive as a RAID1, and then your data/exchange drive as RAID5.  It will work fine as you put, but I woudl try to split the drive workload as much as I could.

As a side note, why does he need a server for two PCs?  He may just need a cheap NAS to store his work files, then use custom RDP ports to allow him to remote to his office workstation while he is away?   Also, installing SBS into an existing domain needs to be done with an Answer file, so look into how to do that before you start.  You want to look up "migration mode" SBS installations.
Following up on what people above have said, do not use Backup Exec.  There is no point, especially for what you are describing above.  While many years ago it was a good product, they've thoroughly destroyed it over the years.  I've not used the newest version, but don't intend to look at it, as it is, for smaller businesses, a complete waste of money given the built in backup utilities present, especially in something like SBS 2011.
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Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
" He needs a server for all his critical data so obviously SBS would be the best option."

The number of PCs is not alone what makes SBS the "best" option. Windows Server 2008 R2 is cheaper than SBS 2011 Standard, so if you don't need Exchange, a standard server would be a better option. As leew says, SBS Essentials may be better still. With a business that small, Windows Foundation Server is also a very real option.  In short, SBS 2011 Standard is a *GREAT* product, but don't assume it is the best just because it has "small business" in its name, and don't try to shoe-horn it into places it doesn't fit well....like places that don't want internal Exchange. In this instance, go with something else.

-Cliff
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
The cost of SBS Essentials + the RWA features - especially when the company explicitly WANTS remote access - would make Essentials better than Foundation.  If remote access would not be needed, then Foundation is definitely an option - As is later adding Foundation if you want a terminal server for the small environment.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
We have a video explanation of the RWA features on our YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUAva3ukzlI&feature=player_profilepage

SBSe 2011 would be your best bet.

The built-in backup based upon WSB is an excellent backup system with really good recoverability options. We have used it to recover full servers right down to individual files.

Philip

Author

Commented:
Okay, remote access is a need for him so SBS Essentials would be the best, correct?
And SBS Essentials comes with built in backup software, correct?
What if after we get SBS Essentials and two or three years down the road he wants to do Exchange, can that be added to SBS Essentials?
Thanks,
Kelly W.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
No, you cannot add Exchange to SBS Essentials.  You CAN add HOSTED Exchange to Essentials, but if he wanted to run the mail in-house, you'd have to start over (migrate) to SBS Standard (as a best option).

SBS Essentials comes with backup for the workstations and should be able to backup the server itself to an external hard disk (or a rotation of external hard disks).  But it cannot use tape.

Author

Commented:
Exactly what I was looking for.

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