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Windows Small Business Server 2003

Small Business Server 2003

In this hi-tech age, most of the businesses rely on Information Technology for carrying out the day to day activities. Information Technology has become the back bone of many small and big businesses, and life line for few. When IT is a boon to your business it can be tedious to manage and maintain this infrastructure. This may lead to you spending most of your time solving the IT issues instead of utilizing it to deal with your business issues and increase your productivity.

The Small Business Server Operating System can be of great help in creating a faster and efficient business environment. They provide e-mail and internet connectivity, file and printer sharing, knowledge sharing and collaboration, remote access, support for mobile devices; fast and flexible deployment, efficient monitoring and built-in backup and restore facility.

Windows Small Business Server 2003:

The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 is built on the robust Windows Server 2003 Operating System. Its secure and manageable supporting a wide range of third party solutions to face everyday business management challenges.

Contents of Windows Small Business Server 2003:

Windows Small Business Server 2003 is a package of different software products that run on single server. It is available in two different editions, Standard Edition and Premium Edition. The Standard Edition comprises of Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server, and Outlook. It comes with five Client Access Licenses, either for each user or for each computer. The Premium Edition includes all the above and also SQL Server, ISA Server, and FrontPage.

Microsoft has a practice of constantly improving its software, and it keeps coming up with new revisions and updates. Windows Small Business Server is also being recently updated. They call this version Windows Small Business Server 2003:R2.

The contents of Windows Small Business Server 2003 after all the updates and their features are discussed here. Windows Server 2003 is a safe and useful operating system and has file print, application sharing, and firewall features and

Microsoft Windows Share Point Services that are required for internal company website (intranet) and are useful in document and information sharing is the other important content of Small Business Server 2003. Also included are Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft office Outlook 2003 with special features like E-mail and messaging services with expanded mailbox limits of up to 75 GB, shared calendaring, shared fax service that works with fewer phone lines from desktops and has enabled receiving of faxes via e-mail or printer, Windows Server update services that help in automatic network wide patch and update management, and daily reporting service for the status of desktop and on functioning of servers that run Microsoft software.

The premium edition includes MS SQL server 2005 workgroup edition in the revised version of Small Business Server 2003, which provides powerful and integrated data management and reporting solutions.

The ISA server 2004 that also comes with the revised premium edition provides firewall for multi-layer security and tools to manage internal internet access.

The MS Office FrontPage 2003 is also provided with the revised premium edition which is helpful tool in developing the web sites.

Features of Small Business Server 2003:

1. Quick Start setup chart guides pictorially through the setup steps, making it easier to setup as compared to previous versions.

2. Windows 2000 and XP clients are directly supported by Small Business Server 2003.

3. Its Easy and simple to maintain through wizards that guide you. This can be done by a user who is well-informed about the network configuration, users and computers.

4. For the end users the file sharing, printing, sending and receiving e-mails and fax has become fast and easy.

5. Exchange filters the attachments and keeps the users PC safe from Trojan Horses and viruses, the junk mail filter in Outlook 2003 helps to deal with spam.

6. Enhanced support for remote and mobile users is available.

7. Highly reliable, just a restart will help in fixing the problems if any occur.

8. The firewall in Premium Edition works better and provides high security.

9. Its competitively priced making it best fit for companies running on low budgets as well.

Drawbacks of Small Business Server 2003:

1. Its not Do-It-Yourself simple, basic knowledge of Microsoft Windows servers is mandatory to setup and run this version. A person with good knowledge of Windows Business Servers is necessary for managing advanced issues.

2. PCs running the versions prior to windows 2000 need to be configured manually.

3. You can have only 75 workstations connected to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 and you can not have multiple Windows Small Business Server 2003 systems in one domain. This is a problem for business with even 1 more workstation in the network.

4. When setting up users on client systems, they are given local administrator accounts, which is not safe from system security point of view.

5. You need to protect the server by using antivirus and spam-blocking tools when accessing mails remotely through Outlook Web Access.

6. The firewall in Standard edition is touchy as to its settings and hence its settings shouldnt be changed, instead an external firewall has to be used.

7. You can not install the programs that come with Windows Small Business Server on any system other than the server running Windows Small Business Server 2003 itself, to make different SQL server and Exchange server you need to buy a different copy of these servers, costing you more money and It is not a good practice to run all these critical servers from a single server system as the Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition does.

Comparison with other Small Business Servers available:

In Short, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 is designed such that it has become small businesses friendly. Windows Small Business Server 2003 has low cost as compared to the Linux alternatives. When compared to Apples Mac OS X Server and Red hat Enterprise Linux ES, Windows Small Business Server 2003 is offering extensive features and tighter integration of various applications and services. But the Apples Mac OS X Server is much easy to install and use as compared to Windows Small Business Server 2003.

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