Small Business Server 2008

By the end of this year, the SBS 2008 portfolio will finally officially be out, and it will change some of the decisions that you have to make on your customers’ behalf.

In Windows Small Business Server 2008, the biggest change will be memory. Microsoft recommended 1Gb of memory in SBS 2003. For SBS 2008, you’ll be installing a minimum of 4Gb. You’ll also need to double the clock speed – SBS 2003 had a recommended 1GHZ processor speed, and while the 2008 version will support that, a 2GHz speed is recommended. Much of the increase will be down to the 64-bit requirement – you’ll need a 64-bit machine to run SBS 2008, thanks to the inclusion of Exchange Server 2007.On the upside, whereas SBS 2003 required another license if you wanted to run a separate server for compute-intensive database applications, SBS 2008 Premium includes a license for a second server out of the box. The second server can be physical or virtual and like Windows Server Standard you get a 1+1 licence so that if your second server is running on a virtual machine you can also run a copy of the OS on a physical machine to host or manage it. If the second server is running virtually on the same machine, remember to increase the hardware specification significantly.

There will still be Standard and Premium editions of Windows SBS, but the premium edition will no longer include ISA Server. Instead, Microsoft is substituting OneCare for Servers, and a 120-day trial of Forefront. The other significant point for SBS 2008 Premium is that Microsoft has reverted to providing SQL Server, rather than SQL Server Workgroup Edition.

Microsoft will also plug the hole between SBS and a la carte Windows Server with Windows Essential Business Server, aimed at medium-sized firms with up to 300 PCs. Again shipping in two editions, it’ll feature three servers, covering management, security and messaging. The Premium version will add database functionality, too.

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If you're supporting en users who need to transfer files by FTP occasionally, explaining how to use FTP every time can get frustrating. Map an FTP site as a custom network location and they can do it through the familiar Explorer window. If you only have a couple of machines you can choose Tools >Map Network Drive… in Explorer and click the link 'Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures' to open a wizard that creates a network location. Select 'Choose a custom network location', type in the FTP address and fill in the user name and password. You can also create mapped drives and network places on the Environment tab of the user's Active Directory object - but if you have a lot of users to set up, put it in the logon script for the user profile under Active Directory Users and Computers.
If you're running into problems with Group Policy Objects, check this handy summary of the rules at read more


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