installing SBS 2011 in workgroup

Hello Experts,

I have a small office with ten computers/users. I would like to install Small Business Server 2011 essentials to act as a file/backup server with RAID fault tolerance but do not want to create a domain environment.

Does anyone know if SBS 2011 essentials can be installed without joining a domain?

Thanks!
SaxitalisAsked:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No, but if all you want is backup & a server why give M$FT any of your money?  Put LINUX on a PC, or get a small NAS appliance and put your disks in that (Go RAID for redundancy, of course).
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No, but if all you want is backup & a server why give M$FT any of your money?  Put LINUX on a PC, or get a small NAS appliance and put your disks in that (Go RAID for redundancy, of course).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Why do you want the hassle of a workgroup?  A domain, especially one based on the wizards of an Essentials server, is MUCH easier to setup and manage.

But bottom line, you CANNOT run Essentials as a workgroup.  You can do things like set it up as a domain and simply not join it to a domain (a really silly thing to do in my opinion) in which case, it runs much like it would in a workgroup.  Or you can buy a server with Windows Server 2012 Foundation edition (MAX 15 users, no CALs) - THAT server can remain in a workgroup.

As for the linux solution - it's a great one.  *IF* you know linux.  People often recommend linux as a solution thinking the ONLY costs one can possibly have (or at least implying it) is in licensing.  They forget that learning, recovery, and management costs ALL play in and that's where linux tends to fail miserably.  It's INCREDIBLY POWERFUL... *IF* you know it.  If you don't, it's a potential nightmare.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
SBS Essentials *must* create a domain and be a domain controller. However, with that said, for client PC backup, the client machines do not need to be joined to the domain. You can leave them in a workgroup and install the connector software.

With that said, I don't know *why* you'd want to do this. Even for simple file backup/file server duties, centralized account management and password control alone make a domain easier to manage and the complexities of AD are hidden behind the SBS console. There is very little reason NOT to run a domain. (Even in the Linux world, to address the other anti-MSFT poster, OpenLDAP is popular for a reason...)

I'd recommend giving it a good trial run. You may discover you appreciate the domain environment Essentials provides.
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SaxitalisAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments all. Can you install a NAS device on a Win XP/Win 7 workgroup to backup (designated paths) of all the computers on the network?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Windows Storage Server Essentials - a Western Digital Sentinel system would seem ideal... if you want to sacrifice ease of use and manageability.
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SaxitalisAuthor Commented:
Why do you need Windows storage server essentials - wouldn't a sentinel work fine by itself??
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
A Sentinel RUNS Windows Storage Server - it comes with it.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Go to http://www.nasreview.com  and pick one.
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SaxitalisAuthor Commented:
I don't want to use  a domain right away because this is a VERY remote location with zero IT support.  Windows storage server on NAS will work...

Thanks again all!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would say that's even MORE of a reason to use a domain - you can control more settings from the server and you wouldn't have to have someone on site go to all systems and make changes.
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