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  • Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

    Originally planned to use Windows Server 2003 but advised to look at SBS.

    So, being a newcomer to Servers I'd appreciate some help & advice.

    Let me describe what we have and use right now, this too is what we wish to end up with.

    We have a rather ageing PC with NT4 Server operating system. There are 14 client PCs running various operating systems from Windows 98, 2000 & XP Pro (none are running XP Home).

    All 14 PCs save & retrieve files from the server e.g. Chis has a folder named Chris etc etc - nothing magical about that!

    The server is connected to a 3COM switch as is every other PC. Also, we have an ADSL modem/router connected to this switch. All IP addresses are dynamic and handled from the ADSL Modem Router. I'm unsure as to whether this is the best way or should the DHCP server in the modem/router be disabled and handled from the new SBS installation?

    I plan on purchasing a new PC as the server, any advice on this? I've practiced installing SBS 2003 on an old PC and that was very easy however, I found the process of promoting this PC to the domain server a little unerving!! I'm sure for the experienced this is just routine.

    I wish to make the domain name the same as the existing one ANLEWIS. I did this on my trial installation and it seemed to work. I did have some issues adding the passwords for a new user in that it insisted on a mix of upper & lowercase letters and some numbers - how can I make the password less strong?

    Anyway, that's about it, so any help or advice would be very gratefully received but keep it simple

    Cheers

    John

  • #2
    Re: Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

    For a small business, SBS gives you more for your money. As a matter of fact, the standard edition of SBS is less in cost than the standard edition of Server 2003, plus you get Exchange server.

    Right out of the box, SBS installs as a domain controller. There is no promoting it and it can't be demoted.

    When you run the the wizard to connect to the Internet, you are given the option to enable the password policy which will require strong passwords. If you cancel out of this option, strong passwords will not be required.

    Windows 98 computers will not connect to an SBS 2003 domain. Those computers should be updated. They can still access a share on the server, and they can collect e-mail using POP.

    The SBS server should be your DHCP server. There is more than just IP addresses being handed out by the SBS server. This additional information is critical to the proper operation of SBS. Your ISP's DNS server address(s) should be set up inside the DNS server properties on your SBS server. The primary DNS server for all your clients (and the server) should be the address of the server only.

    If you have data to transfer from the old server once this server is online, you will have to change the name of the old server or there will be a conflict.

    The advantage to buying Dell is that for a very nominal cost, you can get a 3-year, next business day on-site warranty. If you buy or build it locally, you may have more down time trying to diagnose or repair it if something happens. Your entire network will be down during this time and that won't look good. You have to factor in serviceability.
    Last edited by RobW; 16th December 2006, 14:38. Reason: spelling
    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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    • #3
      Re: Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

      Thanks very much for the great reply.

      I've a lot to learn but want to try and get this domain up and running myself. The help from this forum is great.

      I think I'll have to buy a book to get more info and build my knowledge. Maybe one from the 'for dummies' range

      The 'old' server is being replaced so I have no problems with conflict.

      As the server will only be used to share files and provide internet access it's probably the most simple way to start.

      Does Active Directory have to be installed as a process of setting the domain? I think I recall on my 'practice run installation', I had to install AD?

      John

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      • #4
        Re: Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

        SBS sets it's self up as an AD domain controller, there really isn't much to do on your part until the installation is completed.

        Once that is done you use the server managemnt console and some great wizards to configure Internet, users, printers, etc.

        When you do the install, keep the NIC on the server connected to something like a switch or hub. I recall in SBS 2000 if you did not do this, Automatic Private IP Addressing became enabled by default and then you couldn't pull and IP from a DHCP server without editing the registry.

        The help feature in SBS is excellent.

        Setting up workstations is easy too. On the workstation go START - RUN and type http://servername/connectcomputer
        Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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        • #5
          Re: Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

          Two important things:
          It is best if the server has two NICS in it: one for the LAN and one facing out as your connection to your ADSL router/modem. In this case SBS acts as a minor bump firewall to your LAN, but also controls DNS and DHCP - not your router.
          You cannot install SBS out of the box into an existing domain and preserve without either www.sbsmigration.com or help with upgrading your existing NT4 server to an Active Directory environment then http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884453.

          In anycase I recommend you get an SBSC (Small Business Specialist) in your region to hold your hand through this - and get recommendations about such a specialist from your peers.

          PS Just noticed that this is my 500th post so forgive the moment of self-indulgence!
          Last edited by teiger; 17th December 2006, 00:36. Reason: 500th Post
          TIA

          Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
          http://www.wintra.co.il/
          sigpic
          Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

          We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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          • #6
            Re: Advice on Installing SBS at my Business

            500 eh!! Click image for larger version

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            1 1 was a racehorse.
            2 2 was 1 2.
            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
            2 2 1 1 2

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