Small Business Server 2003 cuts costs

By Brian Livingston

Are you responsible for a company or a workgroup that has 5 to 75 users connected to a server at any one time? Have you decided to upgrade your network to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003? If so, you can save money by purchasing the software in a bundle called Small Business Server (SBS) 2003, says Harry Brelsford, the founder of SMB Nation, a consulting site that sponsors workshops and publishes books on SBS.

If you plan to use Microsoft SQL Server 2000 in addition to Windows 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, the purchase of SBS 2003 Premium Edition, which includes SQL Server, can also be a good investment, Brelsford says.

Interest in SBS 2003 has been stimulated recently by an Editor’s Choice award given to the product by PC Magazine, which reviewed the software in the Feb. 3, 2004, edition of the publication. SBS bested the Novell Small Business Suite and several other integration products to take the top honor.

To be sure, installing either the Standard or the Premium Edition of SBS 2003 tends to “lock you into” the above-mentioned Microsoft applications. But if using Microsoft software is your company’s strategy anyway, you might as well know about the pricing bundles that the Redmond company is offering.

To review SBS 2003 myself, I purchased a new Hewlett-Packard Model d220 personal computer – a low-end server with a 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 CPU, a 40 GB hard drive, and 768 MB of RAM – from Seattle Micro, an authorized HP dealer. I then installed the Premium Edition of SBS 2003, with Brelsford assisting me in the configuration and tuning of the system.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2004-01-29: