My spin: I’ve always been a fan of Microsoft’s Small Business Server. It’s low cost, integrated suite of products make it relatively easy and economical for small businesses to have all the critical components they need for their server environment.
Anchor Desk: I wanted an Exchange server for e-mail, calendaring, and contact management, and I really like SharePoint for collaboration. I also like SBS’s close link to Office 2003 and Windows XP Pro. So for me, SBS makes sense.
(In fact, my friend Susan Bradley, the well-known SBS Diva, thinks of the three–SBS, Office 2003, and Win XP Pro–almost as an integrated system. Indeed, SBS really expects to see clients using XP Pro, Outlook 2003 is actually included with SBS, and SharePoint and Office are tied together for collaboration from within Office apps.)
I also wanted a file server to which I could redirect all the My Document folders on my various machines. My server hardware has a RAID drive and tape backup, so I know all those documents are safe and sound.
Another thing that attracted me to SBS: The combination of mail and file server software in one box means I can see all my mail and files from wherever I happen to be, using either the built-in VPN or the remote server management tools.
SBS 2003 has some features that full-fare Windows Server 2003 doesn’t, but should. For example: e-mailed server status reports and notifications; and the remote Web workplace, which makes it easy to access your desktop from a remote Web browser. This same technology allows me to manage a headless (no screen, no keyboard) server from wherever I am. (full story)
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