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livpie
09-13-2011, 10:23 PM
After reading the article on the MAPS subscription, I moved forward and purchased the subscription. Up until now, I have primarily worked with residential and small businesses using workgroups. As of late, I have come across a couple small businesses using Small Business Server 2003. They are using very limited functionality of the server and I think it is time that I start to learn how to maintenance them.
Before coming up with a master plan of my own as to how to tackle this, I thought I would ask for your opinions. I searched Technibble and found one article on SBS 2008 but it didn't go into a ton of details. So, any advice you can give me on how to go about forging ahead into this arena would be greatly appreciated.

krtechsolutions
09-14-2011, 02:53 AM
download a trial from microsoft and start playing, break it fix it break it fix it :p

silvano
09-14-2011, 03:16 AM
Heres a couple good podcast resources to start with:
http://www.podnutz.com/pro and http://www.mikenation.net

If you can afford it, I'd suggest setting up a small lab for learning on. 2 windows xp/low end comps and a decent dual core 64bit machine with 4gb+ should be enough for a nonproduction enviroment. Go through the setup, the joining of domains, setting up backups, new users, email, exchange settings, etc. Get familiar with the UI, the consoles, then start looking at common problems and fixes.

ProTech Support
09-14-2011, 06:19 AM
Heres a couple good podcast resources to start with:
http://www.podnutz.com/pro and http://www.mikenation.net

If you can afford it, I'd suggest setting up a small lab for learning on. 2 windows xp/low end comps and a decent dual core 64bit machine with 4gb+ should be enough for a nonproduction enviroment. Go through the setup, the joining of domains, setting up backups, new users, email, exchange settings, etc. Get familiar with the UI, the consoles, then start looking at common problems and fixes.

That is honestly the best way to do it. Honestly all of my knowledge on servers came from being thrown into the server world, and researching/breaking/fixing. For me I really found no benefit in randomly watching videos or reading e-books. Most of them wouldn't stick in my mind if I could not actually mimic it.

MobileTechie
09-14-2011, 09:21 AM
Just playing with it can lead to slow and unstructured learning. That's OK if you've got plenty of time, exposure to systems, a mentor to work with etc but if you're on your own it can drag needlessly. Just doing training can lead to knowledge without know-how. Both together work the best IMO.

What I did was to get the Trainsignal course for the SBS exam and go through that. Then I built a server, got SBS and set up my own business using it - referring to the training as I did it. Then using it on a daily basis means you do real-world tasks that make the training real.

Then it helps to look up problems on SBS forums and see if you can solve them. If you can't then you read the replies and go through the advice and see if you're lacking knowledge etc. Like any system, you find that there are especially common problems that crop up and learning about those is useful.

I happened to already have some Microsoft server training and experience which helps underpin what is going on under the hood. If you've not got that then you'll find the SBS-only training pretty shallow. It's very much about installing the system and an overview of the components and whilst this is very useful indeed, it also helps if you learn the common server stuff in more detail too: e.g. permissions, group policy and so on.

Lots of people dis the Microsoft training but for me it has been invaluable. I would not be a tech today without it and I certainly would not be working on servers. If you're looking to hit SBS 2003 to start off with, I would very much recommend getting the training for it (no need to pay for courses, just get the books/vids) but also taking the relevant exams for Server 2003 - the Server Admin one and the Network Infrastructure one. I found those to be excellent in learning the essentials of DNS, permissions, group policy, domains and so on.

it goes without saying you need hands-on experience but this is not in any way mutually exclusive to learning materials. Obviously different people learn best in different ways. I find that without an exam, I don't have the motivation to read an entire 3" thick book or learn a system by trial and error quickly enough. With the exam looming I do and the exam tests my understanding of it. Worked for me.

silvano
09-15-2011, 06:08 AM
Another basic resource on server 2008 (not SBS but good info) http://www.trainsignal.com/blog/free-computer-training-videos/free-server-2008-training-videos

Tony_Scarpelli
09-17-2011, 10:05 AM
Install it and use it fully. That requires learning in real time as you keep your system working.

You can download a 60 day free trial. Reinstall it every 60 days, you need the experience.

livpie
09-17-2011, 03:48 PM
Thanks Tony. I actually have the MAPS subscription now so I can install and use it indefinitely as long as I renew my subscription next year. I thought someone told me that you could only install the software on one machine and then your license was used up. If that is the case, I don't want to just install it on any machine. I would rather get a decent server, but at this point I am unsure what to buy and would most likely overbuy. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks to all!
Tom

FoolishTech
09-17-2011, 04:25 PM
Thanks Tony. I actually have the MAPS subscription now so I can install and use it indefinitely as long as I renew my subscription next year. I thought someone told me that you could only install the software on one machine and then your license was used up. If that is the case, I don't want to just install it on any machine. I would rather get a decent server, but at this point I am unsure what to buy and would most likely overbuy. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks to all!
Tom

Install it on any old machine and get familiar with it. Just don't activate it. Run it for the 60 days or whatever. Heck, reinstall it and set it up again from scratch several times on whatever hardware you have laying around. Repetition will do you only good in learning.

Figure out what it will do for your business, and go from there. Decide if you want to employ various technologies available to you, e.g. not just use it as a basic domain controller and AD, but use it for dhcp, dns, Exchange, Sharepoint, maybe WDS :D etc. This way you can see what your CPU/RAM/disk usage is going to be like, etc. Then build your actual server around what you'll need.

Later when you've got a few trial and error installations/configurations under your belt and you are getting familiar with the processes and tools, then you can install it and activate it on it's final hardware home.

Tony_Scarpelli
09-17-2011, 05:39 PM
I need to renew my MS access pack with MS.

I had one about 4 years ago and let it expire. The way they did it then was to give you 10 lic for your use only of each MS OS and each MS Office version, plus SBS server plus 10 clients and every product that they make 1 for each server version and 10 for each client.

Each came with 1 server lic or 10 client lic.

You could use each lic on a diff PC/server. If you sold the equipment, server or upgraded you simply wiped it off that equipment and installed it on the new one. Under no circumstance can you allow any of the lic to leave your possession.

So with that restriction, It wasn't like OEM in that you couldn't change it from one system to the other, you could. However, you must keep your lic active with annual subscription or uninstall all the software off all your systems.

So I could have one SBS server, another SBS Premium server and yet another BackOffice server. My office doesn't need all that power but I could set them up in a lab to play with and/or use to run my business.

As I recall they gave all versions of OS, NOS, other products back about 4 years or was it 6? It was a pretty thick portfolio of CD's/DVD's, maybe 100 disc's.

Now they offer it with out the physical DVD's but you can download it anytime you want it or pay $120 more to get the dvd's. I prefer the DVD's.

BTW- I prefer at least a quad core system, 8-12 gig ram for any SBS install with full services but I really hate seeing the little circle or time out errors. I have a client that is just barely chugging along with a duel core Xeon 1.86, 4 gig. I suspect it will get better with 8gig ram but that would probably just move the bottle neck to some place else.

For your play server buy this: http://www.evertek.com/viewpart.asp?auto=70995&cat=62

livpie
09-18-2011, 09:40 PM
I need to renew my MS access pack with MS.

I had one about 4 years ago and let it expire. The way they did it then was to give you 10 lic for your use only of each MS OS and each MS Office version, plus SBS server plus 10 clients and every product that they make 1 for each server version and 10 for each client.

Each came with 1 server lic or 10 client lic.

You could use each lic on a diff PC/server. If you sold the equipment, server or upgraded you simply wiped it off that equipment and installed it on the new one. Under no circumstance can you allow any of the lic to leave your possession.

So with that restriction, It wasn't like OEM in that you couldn't change it from one system to the other, you could. However, you must keep your lic active with annual subscription or uninstall all the software off all your systems.

So I could have one SBS server, another SBS Premium server and yet another BackOffice server. My office doesn't need all that power but I could set them up in a lab to play with and/or use to run my business.

As I recall they gave all versions of OS, NOS, other products back about 4 years or was it 6? It was a pretty thick portfolio of CD's/DVD's, maybe 100 disc's.

Now they offer it with out the physical DVD's but you can download it anytime you want it or pay $120 more to get the dvd's. I prefer the DVD's.

BTW- I prefer at least a quad core system, 8-12 gig ram for any SBS install with full services but I really hate seeing the little circle or time out errors. I have a client that is just barely chugging along with a duel core Xeon 1.86, 4 gig. I suspect it will get better with 8gig ram but that would probably just move the bottle neck to some place else.

For your play server buy this: http://www.evertek.com/viewpart.asp?auto=70995&cat=62

Tony,

Thanks for the link to the site. I had never heard of them before. The server you referenced seems like a great starting point and it is easy enough for me to add some additional RAM. I plan on purchasing it today and getting going full steam ahead. Thanks again for the recommendation!

Tom

livpie
09-26-2011, 01:49 PM
Excited my server is coming today. Anxious to get going with everything. Before I got ahead of myself, I wanted to get one more piece of input. I am wondering what is the best version of server to start with. My goal would be to pick the version of server that is most versatile in helping me learn all the versions of server. I also want to keep in mind the small business clients that I will most likely come across. My guess is that they will either have a version of 2008 or maybe even 2003. Here are the licenses I have at my disposal from my MAPS subscription.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise- 1 License
Windows Server 2008 CALs (not edition specific) 10 Licenses
Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server CALs 10 Licenses
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials 1 License
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 1 License
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 CALs 10 Licenses

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard 1 License
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard client access licenses (CALs) 10 Licenses
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Standard 1 License
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Standard CALs 10 Licenses
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise 1 License
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise CALs 10 Licenses
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 1 License
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 CALs 10 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 client management license (ML) 10 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 server ML Enterprise 3 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 Management Server 1 License
Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 server ML Enterprise 3 Licenses

Recommendations?

MobileTechie
09-26-2011, 05:27 PM
Out of that lot I'd say the most common one I see is probably 2008 R2

Tony_Scarpelli
09-26-2011, 07:06 PM
I'd start with 2008 Server. Set it up, add users, play with groups, add a network device or two, setup a backup like you might for a new client. Then read the logs and start developing an ability to understand the logs in event viewer (security, system, application).

Then I would, install exchange server on top of it and set it up. Play with it a while. Then I would start over with a 2008 server and terminal server.

I wouldn't necessarily start with SBS as it configures everything through a console which is not like the individual products. So start with the stand alone products and then when you are tired of them install the 2008 SBS Starndard and see how that sets up exchange, backups and such.

What I dealt with in the business to business space is about 75%-80% Peer to peer networking, or NT lite, what we call using a workstation as a server, and 10% or less Win 2000+ versions of server and maybe 5% have a Winserver+exchange server. I have not managed an SQL server yet in 18 years. It is more likely you deal with proxy, internet accelerator, remote desktop or remote access. I have setup and managed many Terminal servers or citrix servers.

MakoLogics
10-10-2011, 06:18 AM
Excited my server is coming today. Anxious to get going with everything. Before I got ahead of myself, I wanted to get one more piece of input. I am wondering what is the best version of server to start with. My goal would be to pick the version of server that is most versatile in helping me learn all the versions of server. I also want to keep in mind the small business clients that I will most likely come across. My guess is that they will either have a version of 2008 or maybe even 2003. Here are the licenses I have at my disposal from my MAPS subscription.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise- 1 License
Windows Server 2008 CALs (not edition specific) – 10 Licenses
Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server CALs – 10 Licenses
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials – 1 License
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – 1 License
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation – 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials – 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard – 1 License
Windows Small Business Server 2011 CALs – 10 Licenses

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard – 1 License
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard client access licenses (CALs) – 10 Licenses
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Standard – 1 License
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Standard CALs – 10 Licenses
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise – 1 License
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise CALs – 10 Licenses
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise – 1 License
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 CALs – 10 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 client management license (ML) – 10 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 server ML Enterprise – 3 Licenses
Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 Management Server – 1 License
Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 server ML Enterprise – 3 Licenses

Recommendations?



Server 2008 R2 is the most common setup. The problem your going to run into is not just learning SBS or Server R2 it's all the other BS that goes with it. SQL server, Exchange, sharepoint etc. If they have a server more than likely they have a decent router like Cisco asa 5505, thats something else you should learn. I am a decent Sys Admin but I will be honest, when it comes to major issues I bring my senior admin in and that runs me $80 an hour for his labor rate. We bill at $140/hr for Exchange, migrations etc so it's not bad for me. From a technical stand point I say be careful working on your clients servers not knowing it. Have a backup senior admin if you get in a bind and join Expert Exchange. That place is amazing when you get in a bind dealing with server issues that are not norm. I don't pretend to know everything, thats why I bring my senior admin or a network engineer to do some of the more difficult/specific things like migrations and corporate firewalls/routers. Running an IT company is tough enough with the client base we have, trying to keep up with and specialize in every technology myself is impossible.

I love the video SBS and R2 training, they are great. Linda or TrainSignal are the best.

Lastly, MOST companies are going away from SBS to a hosted solution for Exchange or Linux. Now a days most of my clients 95% are no longer on SBS because it's a major hog and have changed to just a app or file server with hosted mail solution. It's cheap and the overhead on a file server is nothing. I dont even place SBS servers anymore. I use R2 or Mac servers for just about everything.

LAconsult
10-23-2011, 04:23 AM
Also don't forget about Youtube/google video. There are some good tips on MS Servers there as well and free.

wimwauters
10-23-2011, 12:03 PM
Install it and use it fully. That requires learning in real time as you keep your system working.

You can download a 60 day free trial. Reinstall it every 60 days, you need the experience.

Don't forget you can 're-arm' the trial licenses up to 3 times too (this is official Microsoft stuff, just google it).

This undermines much of the Technet & MAPS subscription system, but I guess Microsoft are trying to compete with open source :cool:

Also don't forget about Youtube/google video. There are some good tips on MS Servers there as well and free.

Videos & tutorials are good to give you an initial overview of capabilities.

To actually learn & remember, you have to DO it. So just setup some virtual machines and start 'playing' (to a non-IT person, this 'playing' of ours is very boring...)