Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Unleashed - page 23


Small Business Server (SBS) is not just another upgrade or bundle that should be purchased to be more secure or to stay current. At eight years old, SBS 2003 is a proven competitive distinguisher to thousands of small businesses around the world. SBS provides the small business owner and the teams with access to company data anywhere and anytime; extremely easy systems for communicating with customers and prospects; the ability to store retrievable tidbits needed in the daily running of the business; the storage, management, and backup of communication with customers and prospects; PDA mobility integration; reliable automatic backups to reduce risk and downtime; redundancy of data from laptop machines to a central repository to reduce the risk when equipment is lost; collaborative tools for small teams, partner firms, and relations; templates for best practice methodology documentation, marketing material, and contracts; low-cost alternatives to enterprise-level options and features; and organized electronic document management.

Gone are the days when business owners needed to fight with complex backup routines that do not capture all the data on individual machines. Nor does the small business owner have to tolerate high levels of data loss and high levels of risk with the redundancy a server environment offers. SBS enables small businesses to use the core key pieces of technology that help them solve their most critical needs while remaining easy to support, install, and manage.

Part II: SBS 2003 Installation



CHAPTER 3 Planning a New SBS Installation


CHAPTER 4 Installing SBS 2003 SP1 on a New Server

Chapter 3. Planning a New SBS Installation


  • Knowing the Client Base

  • Planning for Correct Licensing

  • Planning the Network

  • Planning the Storage Layout

The ideal situation for an SBS installation is bringing a new server into a non-networked environment, or at least an environment without an existing server. Although comparatively few SBS installations match this scenario, it's not as uncommon as you might think. Plus, there are other situations where a fresh installation of SBS, as opposed to an upgrade or migration, might be the best scenario. Regardless of the actual installation approach you may choose, many aspects of the customer's network environment must be considered when bringing SBS into the mix. This chapter focuses on gathering the information necessary to successfully bring the SBS product into any environment. Based on the information covered in this chapter, a small business consultant or internal IT support professional should be able to build a proposal to outline how the network and server will be configured.

Knowing the Client Base

The biggest mistake many new consultants and IT professionals can make is proposing a solution that does not meet the needs of the client. I have seen far too many instances where a technologist implemented a solution that she was comfortable with that just didn't match the business environment. Chapter 2, "Making the Business Case for SBS," discussed the business aspects of determining whether SBS was a fit for a particular instance. Operating on the assumption that the SBS technology makes business sense, let's now take a look at the technical side of the puzzle.

Before acquiring equipment and starting the installation, you need to collect some technical information related to the existing and desired infrastructure. The more information you can collect up front, the smoother the installation and configuration process will be down the road. The following are some basic questions you will likely need answered. A more detailed examination of other aspects of the installation follows. Questions that should be asked before attempting an SBS installation include

  • How many users are in the organization?

  • How many devices are in the organization?

  • What is the geographic layout of the organization (one site, multiple sites, and so on)?

  • What desktop technologies are being used? (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Linux, and so on)

  • What is the connection to the Internet?

  • Does the organization have an existing domain name for the Web?

  • Does the organization have an existing email domain name and provider?

  • Does the organization have users who want to work remotely, either from home or while traveling for business?

  • Does the organization want to restrict or track access to external websites?

  • How many printers are in the organization? How many of them need to be shared?

  • Does the organization have a FAX machine? Will the organization be using the FAX services of SBS?

  • Does the organization have or need a terminal server?