Setting up a business server isn't an easy proposition, especially for a small business with limited in-house expertise and substantially lower network demands than a large, corporate entity.
When you combine that with the unique security and expandability requirements of a smaller organization, it's not difficult to see why small businesses need server solutions that have been created to meet the needs of a smaller workplace.
Windows Small Business Server (SBS) software fits the bill – and then some. Its latest version, Microsoft SBS 2008, is chocked full of features and benefits that target the server issues that keep small business IT guys awake at night. The fact that it's priced right for small and medium-sized businesses doesn't hurt, either.
If you are currently in the process of implementing your first business server, we strongly recommend considering Microsoft SBS for your server software solution. But if your company is already using another solution, we still think it's worth your time to explore Microsoft's server software – starting with our Windows Small Business Server basics.
Windows Small Business Server is intended to be a fully integrated server suite that handles network infrastructure in business workplaces that require access for no more than 75 users or user workstations. The fact that Microsoft SBS targets small business office environments is a big plus for a lot of small business owners. Although pricing is aggressive, SBS offers smaller organizations the benefits of compatibility, scalability, comprehensive data security and remote access. Although maintenance requirements don't disappear entirely, the system has intentionally been created to be manageable by the IT assets that exist in the average small business.
Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 is available in both Standard and Premium editions. Both versions include small business-friendly applications that include Microsoft Exchange Server mail server, Internet Information Services (IIS) web server, Windows SharePoint Services for collaboration, Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS), Windows Server Update Services for update management across the network, and a fax server.
Under the Microsoft SBS licensing agreement and design restrictions, only a single computer is permitted to run the server software. Other servers will need to run a different server solution (e.g. Windows Server Standard Edition). Each edition of Windows SBS includes five client access licenses with the option of purchasing additional licenses for a fee.