If you are setting up a network of up to 75 users, one of the more
economical choices available is Windows Small Business Server (SBS)
2003. The price of the operating system (say for 10 users) is around
$1,800. While that does not sound significantly less than the
"full-blown" Windows Server 2003, the cost is significantly less if you
consider everything that ships with SBS at no additional cost. The
basic version of SBS includes SharePoint, Exchange Server and Outlook,
while the Premium version includes SQL Server and ISA Server. In
addition to this, if you purchase a good backup software solution like
Veritas Backup Exec, the Small Business Version of the backup software
includes an agent for Exchange Server and ends up costing you (if you
use Exchange Server) less than 1/2 the cost of Backup Exec for Windows
2003 Server since the Exchange Server license must be purchased
separately for that version and costs more than the basic backup
In addition to cost, SBS is almost entirely installed via wizards and
this simplifies the installation process and prevents a lot of the
configuration errors that often occur during an integrated Windows
Server installation. The various parts of the puzzle are far more
easily installed in SBS than in Windows Server. Chances are, once the
installation is finished, all the parts will "talk well" to one another
and the conflicts should be relatively few and easy to resolve.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that SBS expects to be the SOLE master of your network.
The documentation explains that your SBS server must be the Domain
Controller and must be installed at the "root of the forest". So, if
you decide a few years down the road (for whatever reason) that you wish
to transfer a part of you network load to another server, SBS is REALLY
reluctant to share the sandbox with another server. In theory, of
course, anything is possible. The reality is that the very simplicity
of your original install created a pretty "closed" system and migration
of DNS and Active Directory and other issues which is relatively simple
between two Windows Servers becomes a bit of a nightmare when one of the
servers is a SBS.
This is not necessarily a reason for avoiding Small Business Server.
If, however, you decide to expand your network down the road, you might
be looking at scrapping your investment in your Small Business Server.
So Les Connor was sharing with me this email from a Canadian listserve...and the first part of the post ...man it is warming my heart...but then we get to that "bad news" part.
Man oh man... how wrong can Ray be.
Ray... I have not ONE but two servers in my network and I have some file storage and live communication server on the second one. And in fact in the R2 era we will be able to easily and cheaply add a Windows Server, an Exchange server or a SQL 2005 workgroup for the price of that server OS.. with no cal cost. THEN comes the kicker.. Ray, Ray, Ray...once a SBS box hits that 75 user limit or whatever thing that you need to be big server land for ...like trusts and what not... you just go through the Transition pack. You don't scrap anything. You keep your investment.
The only thing unique about SBS is that it must hold all the FSMO roles and be the primary domain controller...that doesn't mean that it can't share the wealth and have addiitonal servers. No you can't put Exchange on another box, or the parts that come with SBS but that doesn't mean you can't add additional servers. And honestly... get good hardware and I don't need additional servers.
And for those folks that argue "well but you have all your eggs in one basket in SBS" to that I argue... yeah but it's one well looked after and monitored basket. And honestly I find this ironic when everyone else in big server land are doing virtualization ...that they are sticking like 10 servers on one physical machine and folks think what we do in SBSland is crazy.
How can it be..how many years after SBS 2003 shipped that folks can get it so wrong? What marketing information are they reading? Where are they getting this stuff? Why is the message not getting to the marketplace?
It just amazes me how people get SBS so wrong.
So let's recap class..... additional domain controllers.. CAN DO... additional servers... CAN DO.... grow into big server land parts if needed... CAN DO..... Remote Web workplace that NO ONE ELSE HAS..... HAVE THAT.
Come on marketing.... get that message out there of what SBS is...because people out here are not getting the message of what SBS truly and really is.. it does not limit me or my firm AT ALL.