Playing with SBS 2008 - 1
Although I've been in the SBS 2008 Beta program since the start, I haven't had the appropriate hardware to be able to play with it. I was able to access a few remote sites kindly set up by some of the SBS MVPs, and I even loaded SBS 2008 on a new server for a client, before I wiped it and installed the real (SBS 2003) system. But I've not had a system of my own to play with. Well, I didn't think I did. My notebook is 64 bit and when I first got it, I had Vista 64 running on it and figured that I could run the 64 bit version of Virtual PC to load SBS 2008 (a 64bit only system). Nope, couldn't do that. Never did it dawn on me, until recently, that I could purchase a second hard drive for my notebook and load SBS 2008 directly on it. So, I did!
My notebook is a Dell D830 with 4 GB RAM (the max it will hold and pretty much the minimum for SBS 2008). I looked for an appropriate hard drive for my system, a SATA notebook drive. The SBS MVPs recommended I spring for a 7200 RPM drive as performance would be miserable with a slower drive. I looked around and although I found some slightly lower prices, I decided to purchase a new drive from Dell. It cost a little more ($15) but it came with its own caddy so all i have to do is slip out the old drive (OK, I have to unscrew and couple of screws) and slip in the new drive (I leave the screws out until I put the old drive back in). I have another drive I bought for my previous notebook and I had to unscrew the drive from the caddy, then screw in the new, etc. A pain!)
On to installing SBS. I have the RC1 DVDs and was very impressed at the installation process, for the most part (a little on disappointments in a bit). The first screen asked me to select the drive I wanted to install it on (only one). There was a link to install drivers but I didn't need that. I had anticipated it would take a bit for it to format the new hard drive. Nope. It seemed to go right on installing. I did notice that the glide point mouse on my notebook didn't work, at least not until I got further into the install. My USB mouse did work so I was OK.
On my first run, I was just running 'RAW', meaning my notebook sitting here on my den chair with its normal connection to the world, WiFi. Well, naturally SBS didn't pick up on the WiFi NIC which is fine. But I do have a problem with the fact that it sat there looking for whatever it was looking for for quite some time before finally giving me a report that the network connection I was using was routable and that I needed to connect it to a router/modem. There was no indication of what IP address was being used nor any indication of how to configure an IP address. And it took a LONG time to give me that error. That was last night.
Tonight, I hooked up a small router (no external connection) which gave the SBS 2008 installation a 'proper' IP address. The installation went great, except it bombed at the end. I think it was because I selected the options to include OneCare and ForeFront Security for Exchange, which SBS 2008 provides as 120 day Trials. Since I don't have it connected to the Internet yet, it probably couldn't do whatever it needs to do for those trials. I restarted the whole installation, did NOT select the OneCare or ForeFront, and my install worked great, except it would have liked some online updates. I was most impressed with how quickly the installation went. With previous versions of SBS, installs took hours. This install only took about an hour (I didn't time it).
So much for Part 1 of my SBS 2008 Odyssey. I've been motivated by using this to present SBS 2008 to my SBS user group. We have a lot of material for several months of meetings.
Stay tuned as I continue to play with/learn about SBS 2008. Oh, and I still have CRM stuff to blog too.