Planning a New Installation of Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS)
In this chapter
- Knowing the Client Base
- Planning for Correct Licensing
- Planning the Network
- Planning the Storage Layout
The ideal situation for an SBS installation is bringing a new server into a non-networked environment, or at least an environment without an existing server. Although comparatively few SBS installations match this scenario, it's not as uncommon as you might think. Plus, there are other situations where a fresh installation of SBS, as opposed to an upgrade or migration, might be the best scenario. Regardless of the actual installation approach you may choose, many aspects of the customer's network environment must be considered when bringing SBS into the mix. This chapter focuses on gathering the information necessary to successfully bring the SBS product into any environment. Based on the information covered in this chapter, a small business consultant or internal IT support professional should be able to build a proposal to outline how the network and server will be configured.
Knowing the Client Base
The biggest mistake many new consultants and IT professionals can make is proposing a solution that does not meet the needs of the client. I have seen far too many instances where a technologist implemented a solution that she was comfortable with that just didn’t match the business environment. Chapter 2, "Making the Business Case for SBS," discussed the business aspects of determining whether SBS was a fit for a particular instance. Operating on the assumption that the SBS technology makes business sense, let’s now take a look at the technical side of the puzzle.
Before acquiring equipment and starting the installation, you need to collect some technical information related to the existing and desired infrastructure. The more information you can collect up front, the smoother the installation and configuration process will be down the road. The following are some basic questions you will likely need answered. A more detailed examination of other aspects of the installation follows. Questions that should be asked before attempting an SBS installation include
- How many users are in the organization?
- How many devices are in the organization?
- What is the geographic layout of the organization (one site, multiple sites, and so on)?
- What desktop technologies are being used? (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Linux, and so on)
- What is the connection to the Internet?
- Does the organization have an existing domain name for the Web?
- Does the organization have an existing email domain name and provider?
- Does the organization have users who want to work remotely, either from home or while traveling for business?
- Does the organization want to restrict or track access to external websites?
- How many printers are in the organization? How many of them need to be shared?
- Does the organization have a FAX machine? Will the organization be using the FAX services of SBS?
- Does the organization have or need a terminal server?