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Run SBS 2003 in virtual mode or replace it with PDC substitute

I run a small business.  It has 5 workstations.  We currently use Small Business Server 2003 server.  We don’t use Exchange; we use gmail accounts; they work well for us.  Small Business Server 2003 is quite old.

Our HP ML150 server is getting old and cranky.  It freezes on occasion.  The warranty expired long ago and HP will not sell a warranty for it.

The parts of Small Business Server 2003 I like is its ability to authenticate users.  I hire temporary workers; I can assign them an account; they use that account and then I can terminate the account.

The other feature I like is Small Business Server 2003 can handle 2 network cards.  One card is used for the internal network.  The other is used to access the internet.

We don’t use Sql Server.

Since my budget is very tight I was thinking about replacing the server with a refurbished workstation running Windows 7 pro.   I can get a decent z210 for about $400.  I could run our copy of Small Business Server 2003 on this workstation using Virtualbox.   But I figured if the workstation had 2 network cards, how would I get Windows 7 to understand how to use 2 network cards and how to get Small Business Server 2003 to understand the workstation host has 2 network cards in it and, well, I figure I would have all kinds  of problems.

My question:
Q1.)  Since authentication is desired and low cost , what if I loaded something like Turnkey onto the workstation?  (see link http://www.turnkeylinux.org/domain-controller )  

Q2.) How well does this product work ?  

Q3.) What problems have you had with this product?

Q4.  )   What must be done to configure this product to work with 2 network cards as I do now with Small Business Server 2003?

May be you have a better solution?

Thank you for your help
3 Solutions
Billy RothTech Team VolunteerCommented:
Virtual box can have multiple bridged ethernet adapters.  You can bridge them to multiple physical nics if that is your requirement.  Just about every modern OS supports multiple NIC's, so that should not be a major concern, find the one that works for you. If you are happy with SBS 2003, virtualizing it should be an easy fix if you don't care about support.
Win 8 Pro automatically supports Hyper-v (with the right support on the MB) (see link below...most hardware would support this today)


There is a lot of support for Hyper-V, and it is easy to connect multiple NICs after you virtualize your current server

If affordable, I  would also move up to Server 2012 essentials (virtualized) as your main server to get up to date on features and support ability...especially since your email wouldn't be an issue.
Cris HannaCommented:
How many users do you have.  SBS 2003 is not supported in a virtual environment and trying to make the two Nic thing work.  if you're under 10 users consider Windows Foundation Server.  If you're under 25 users, consider either Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Server Essential 2012.  virtualization is supported for those
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