Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Windows Small Business Server 2003 Query


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
For work I have been tasked with looking at replacing our two old Novell 5.1 Servers.

The scenario at the minute is that we have these two servers located in two separate offices. The two offices are linked via a VPN system which links router to router (VPN capable routers). The two servers use the old IPX protocol, which I understand is a Novell specific protocol.

What I first considered was a gradual migration from Novell to the new server system. I have consulted two supposed experts for pricing, but I am getting conflicying advice.

The first suggests Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 will serve the job for both offices, stating that this is the cheapest way of moving to a Microsoft Server product.

The second says we must, if we want a server in each office use full Windows server 2003, because two SBS servers cannot co-exist on the network even though they are in two offices using two private IP ranges (I think they are 10.0.X.X and 192.168.X.X, they are definitely totally different).

Both firms say that the Novell machines must be ripped out when the new ones takes up residence.

Does anyone know which so called expert is correct? I am thinking possibly the second option is simply a way of making us spend more money.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

The second says we must, if we want a server in each office use full Windows server 2003, because two SBS servers cannot co-exist on the network even though they are in two offices using two private IP ranges (I think they are 10.0.X.X and 192.168.X.X, they are definitely totally different).

this depends on what we're calling network.....if you're talking domains...then yes SBS can only have one instance in any one domain (MS doesn't expect a small business to be running more than one domain controller)...if you've got two separate domains then you can have more than one SBS server in the physical network


Both firms say that the Novell machines must be ripped out when the new ones takes up residence.

this is less than accurate...putting a new computer in while the old ones are up isn't going to cause issues as long as you're not trying to connect to both novell and SBS from the same client at the same time (all depends on who's doing the authenticating)....so you could do a slow roll out (i.e. one pc at a time switching from the novel system over to the windows system)


so basically we need more info to tell you who's got the right answer

what's the current structure?
is there one "domain" context in your current novel tree? (i hate novel by the way...netware sucks and so does ipx)
how many clients are there in both locations?
  • 0

#3
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
We don't have domains as such.

Both Novell servers are listed with the same context, but because they are IPX, they are blind to the existance of the other. Basically the servers act as centralised file stores nothing more.

Each site has only five users, but often there may be six or seven computers at any site if someone goes there with a laptop

What else do you need to know?
  • 0

#4
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
i guess a basic "what you want to get out of this"

are you wanting to use a domain structure to allow for authentication and things like that or is that not an issue?
are you just wanting a place to put a bunch of files on?
is everyone right now basically using a stand alone computer that connects back to the novel machine just for files?
  • 0

#5
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
At the moment the server allows a store for Sage Accounts and word excel etc, so yes I guess its little more than a central file store.

I understand SBS 2003 comes with Exchange Server as well, so I would like to explore what this may give.

Apart from this my mind is open to what we may gain.

I have been told peer to peer may work, but the boss has experienced the security of Novell as in being able to lock down certain folders, so wishes to maintain that.
  • 0

#6
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
well...the ability to lock down folders can be gotten from other methods as well

couple more questions...are you happy with your current email provider? can you use outlook with them? any issues with keeping that the way that it is? what's your main drive towards exchange (not trying to sway your ideas one way or another...just looking for the best idea....some "contractors" sway small businesses into things they don't need)
  • 0

#7
sari

sari

    GeekU Admin

  • Administrator
  • 20,959 posts
  • MVP
I have to wonder the same thing as dsenette concerning email and Exchange. Exchange seems like it would be extra administrative work for such a small scenario, especially if you have to maintain it on 2 servers in 2 locations. As an admin for an SBS2003 server, there are a lot of things I loke about it as far as ease of administration, but if dsenette can help you with a solution that also meets your needs, I would be more than wiiling to believe that his solution is a good one.

It may be that you're only using what you have as a central file store because that's all you've really had available to you. You do have to think about permissions, remote access, group policies, and all the other things that could benefit you, but full-blown Windows Server 2003 just seems like overkill for your situation.
  • 0

#8
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
The only reason for looking at Exchange is that it was suggested by the contractor concerned.

At the moment we have one machine accessing email, then I personally have to forward mails to the appropriate people using Micrisift Mail (the internal messaging type that came originally with Windows 95.

I think what the contractor is doing is looking at a complete overhaul to bring us up do date with what is possible. Whether we need it is another matter.
  • 0

#9
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

At the moment we have one machine accessing email, then I personally have to forward mails to the appropriate people using Micrisift Mail (the internal messaging type that came originally with Windows 95.

......that sounds horrible...does this mean that there's only one email address for your company (i'm going to have to assume so since there's really no other reason for one person to process EVERYONE's email)....if that's the case...then exchange isn't going to make a difference for you....

who's your ISP? why do you only have the one email address?
  • 0

#10
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
also...i don't want you to think i'm avoiding the question or wasting any time here....i've got some ideas for alternate configurations (that could be cheaper in the long run)....i'm just trying to get the total picture
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
What we have is one pop3 email address, its *********@**********.com

We also have a domain name &&&&&&&.co.uk. As I understand it with the domain name registration company we can have up to 20 email aliases on the .co.uk address e.g.1234@&&&&&&&&.co.uk, 5678@&&&&&&&.co.uk etc etc.

From what I have understood so far everything that is sent to the registered domain name is redirected to the ISP address so it all falls into one pop3 server account. The way it has been explained is that the exchange server included with Small Business Server will pick up mail from the pop3 account and then distribute it within the company. There are some folks that benefit from emails at the moment that do not (and do not want) computers, so for some points I will still find myself receiving and printing email messages for them.

So I suppose lookign at it realistically some kind of email server (not necessarily Exchange) may be of benefit although we do not have it at the moment.

The primary concern however is security of confidential data held on the servers.

I am also thinking now, do I need two servers, or if one can be seen from the other network (not currently possible with the Novell IPX network we have at the minute) can I manage with only one server? Would it be efficient with a broadband router to router VPN
  • 0

#12
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

We also have a domain name &&&&&&&.co.uk. As I understand it with the domain name registration company we can have up to 20 email aliases on the .co.uk address e.g.1234@&&&&&&&&.co.uk, 5678@&&&&&&&.co.uk etc etc.

From what I have understood so far everything that is sent to the registered domain name is redirected to the ISP address so it all falls into one pop3 server account. The way it has been explained is that the exchange server included with Small Business Server will pick up mail from the pop3 account and then distribute it within the company. There are some folks that benefit from emails at the moment that do not (and do not want) computers, so for some points I will still find myself receiving and printing email messages for them.

ok....you need to discuss this with your domain registration company...but...if you've got 20 email addresses available with the registrar.....then you can have 20 seperate mail boxes on their pop server...if they're doing hosted mail.....the normal method of delivering email is NOT to agregate email accounts into one mailbox.....

this may need some better investigation though.....when someone sends someone at your company an email do they send it to company@company.co.uk or do they send it to joesmith@company.co.uk, janesmith@company.co.uk, rogerhammerstein@company.co.uk etc.. and they all show up in company@company.co.uk?...trying to understand this completely

MOST (if not all ISPs) offer hosted email...the same as hotmail.com or gmail.com or aol.com...and many of them allow you to use any domain name you choose for said email...is your DNS registrar the same as your ISP? are you paying for hosted mail through them?

The primary concern however is security of confidential data held on the servers.

I am also thinking now, do I need two servers, or if one can be seen from the other network (not currently possible with the Novell IPX network we have at the minute) can I manage with only one server? Would it be efficient with a broadband router to router VPN

extremely doable...through the VPN (controlled by your router) you've got site to site connection....in theory if it's set up correctly right now you should be able to ping computerA at officeA from computerB from officeB through the VPN...if you can't...it can be made to where that works with some relatively simple router configs

at which point a single server (either SBS or otherwise) could be accessed from either end of the wire..

ANOTHER solution (which may be easier for you to support in house rather than using contracted IT services) is a NAS (network attached storage)....a NAS is basically a box of hard drives with a network card in it....there are a lot of enterprise level NAS devices (http://www.tigerdire....asp?CatId=2672) around that offer really large storage volumes as well as enhanced security...most enterprise level NAS devices allow for you to either create local authentication profiles, or tie in to domain authentication profiles (novel, microsoft's active directory, radius, ldap queries, etc..) which means you can create folders within the NAS root and assign user permissions to these folders....so userA can have access to folders A, B, and C, but not D etc.. they're usually really easy to manage as well...most of them have webmanagement portals that allow you to configure everything about the device etc... many of them also support FTP...either internal or external or both...you usually just have to make some routing rules and modify some ACLS in your router to make the thing accessible from the internet (and thereby the entire planet)

of course this is one solution...the other solution would be to have either one or two SBS servers that are hosting your files etc...i'm just concerned that the management of this equipment might be a little more difficult than something as simple as a NAS...you've got to know some prerequisite information to run an SBS server....and there's a big difference between running SBS in a workgroup or creating a domain (client/server) structure within your network....both options should be fully explored with regards to SBS...

in a workgroup environment (basically what you've got now)...all of the authentication takes place on the client...not the server...so you can have 12 users named JSmith if you've got 12 computers...but you can never be sure that they're all the same JSmith (one could be John one could be Joan)...this leads to certain issues...such as always having to enter a username/password when connecting to your file server...another disadvantage is the use of computer policies etc.. (like who's got the rights to get to what, what programs can they use, all the way down to what desktop wallpaper they have) are controlled by the local machine as well...so if you've got a broad sweeping change in policy you've got to go to each machine to change those settings by hand

in a domain environment all of the authentication takes place on the server...so you can only ever have one user named JSmith (JSmith would be John...if Joan wants a user she'd have to be JoanS or something to that effect) so you always know that that user (the user account not necessarily the person behind the keyboard) is who you think they are...which ties in to domain policies, file permissions, and local computer policies....if a computer is a member of a domain...you can make a policy change on the domain controller (main PC) and it will automatically make those setting changes on the client computers. for file access if you set folderA on the server to only allow userA to get in...then that's always how it will be no matter which computer userA logs in from


all of these options come with overhead and management costs (money or time)...so it's best to evaluate all the options....if you don't have a strong in house IT group that's capable of managing a windows server out of the box...you might try thinking smaller....with the small amount of people you're talking about in your office...a domain structure might be overkill (i've built domains for as few as 3 users...but thats for a specific project with a specific reason)...

my biggest concern at the moment is your email situation....if we can get the details on that straight the decision will become clearer
  • 0

#13
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
The ISP and the domain registration are with two different companies. At present all mail to the 'anyname'@company.co.uk goes to a 'btinternet.com' address, the domain name company sorts that. The ISP is a company calle entanet, but its paid for through a reseller. OUr Senior Partner has his own email address - maick@company.co.uk, which is diverted by the domain co to his own btinternet address, this keepes that private. That is a seperate pop3 account that it diverts to.

Have I got it right that I can, with a domain situation, I can make any computer that someone logs into look like every other machine they will log into? I have one particular user that logs into two machines and I get the constant complaint that one machine looks different to the other. She is basically a pain in the bum!

I can at present ping any computer at either end of the vpn. There are two separate IP ranges, 10.0.0.x and 192.168.0.x.
  • 0

#14
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

The ISP and the domain registration are with two different companies. At present all mail to the 'anyname'@company.co.uk goes to a 'btinternet.com' address, the domain name company sorts that. The ISP is a company calle entanet, but its paid for through a reseller. OUr Senior Partner has his own email address - maick@company.co.uk, which is diverted by the domain co to his own btinternet address, this keepes that private. That is a seperate pop3 account that it diverts to.


ok...here's another question on this....how much does it cost through BT to get more email addresses? does the domain registration company offer any kind of mail hosting (they seem to be doing mail forwarding....which is a little odd if they don't do mail hosting)? if the registrar does offer mail hosting how much is it?

Have I got it right that I can, with a domain situation, I can make any computer that someone logs into look like every other machine they will log into? I have one particular user that logs into two machines and I get the constant complaint that one machine looks different to the other. She is basically a pain in the bum!

something like that...there are a few ways of doing this with a domain structure...

one of them is to use roaming profiles....with a roaming profile you basically make some settings that copy the key file locations on a desktop to the server (mainly my documents, the desktop and some of the application setting folders)...then when they log on at a desktop computer instead of using the local copy of the profile..it retrieves the files from the server so that the desktop they log on to looks basically exactly the same no matter where they are....some caveats to this are that roaming profiles CAN take up a lot of space (with 15 or less users it won't be as much as 200 roaming profiles....though if one person decides to store 200 1gb files on their desktop then that profile is going to take up 200 gb on the server and take about 25 minutes to log the user in at the workstation), if the workstations aren't configured the same (as in the same software installed on each...at least software that would be involved with the profile like office etc..) then the profile could fail to run correctly...and some other concerns involving pulling an entire user profile down from the network

the other is through the magical world of group policy (group policy is awesome)...with group policies you can, from the server, define just about everything possible on the local machine...you can lock out settings (like dissallow users from changing the walpaper or screensaver) you can "push" applications to install at logon,...pretty much anything (with obvious limitations)...

BOTH of these methods require prior knowledge of domain administration....it's not really something you can learn on the fly (you can...but i wouldn't try in a production environment)
  • 0

#15
Daz3210

Daz3210

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
I can get more email addresses via BT I think FOC.

The domain name co will do a pop3 or IMAP account for £19.99 per year per account, with 50mB storage and 1gB per month transfer. I have to admit I have never really looked too much at email before, I have just muddled along with what we had. This has come through from when internet was all dial up and we just had one computer that had net access.

The idea of everyones desktop being controllable is attractive, but I would baulk at having to provide massive amounts of storage space to accomodate this. One advantage I could see though is that it would (may) stop folks keeping files on their desktop PC's which may not be backed up as a result.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP