Friday , 24 March 2017
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Exchange Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003

Let me first say, Exchange Server alone sucks. It’s too damn difficult to configure, and requires alot of registry editing and doesn’t have POP3 connector to download emails into exchange accounts.

I was trying to get Exchange Server 2003 working on my Windows 2003 Server for the past few days, and with some effort it worked. It takes almost 5 to 10 mins to shutdown the Exchange Server and reboot, and doesn’t have anything to guide you through. You’ll definitely have to be very good with your knowledge of Exchange Server 2003 to be able to set it up. Not for someone like me who knows nuts about infrastructure.

The purpose of setting up Exchange Server 2003 was to have a central repository of my emails, contacts, appointments all at my home server, and able to sync with my notebook, any web-enabled device, and at home. Right now I’ve problems trying to keep everything in sync manually, which reduces my productivity that requires me to go home to read my emails, and recopying mails from my notebook to my desktop.

Let me stress again, Exchange Server 2003 is NOT for dummies like me who wants to do advance stuff like that.

Let me stop lamenting on Exchange Server 2003. Then I decided, what the heck, why don’t I just re-format and install Small Business Server 2003 instead. I must say, SBS 2003 is one of the easiest and the most effortless setting up ever. Although installation takes a few hours (I took almost 6 hours to install and configure everything), after all that long wait, everything appears as a wizard. They have wizards for almost everything. And a very intuitive System Manager, with everything I need to configure at my fingertips. They have this TO-DO thingy after installation that tells you what you need to configure, and they have wizards for everything.

And did I mention they have a wizard to set up your POP3 connector? It’s so simple and effortless. They included a POP3 connector into the Exchange Server. You just have to key in your pop server, username and password, and where the mails will go into. And of course the frequency of checking your pop server.

Simply wonderful. I also love the Certificate Wizard where they help you to create a self-signed certificate for you. You’re able to replace the name to your internet fqdn, instead of the intranet name which I seem to be creating ALWAYS. Like I said, I’m a infra dummy.

Furthermore, it takes only a 1-2 mins to reboot, much much faster than Exchange Server 2003 stand alone on Windows 2003.

Did I mention they have a wizard that helps you set up your AD and lan and everything else?

It’s good stuff. I recommend it to everyone who’s setting up a business, especially a SOHO, which is quite popular in Singapore.

Alrighty, enough praising. It rocks.

About Justin Lee

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4 comments

  1. One thing to remember that most people/orgs stillwon’t want to operation SBS simply because it would largely require they host the server in their own environment. Thereby putting the responsibility of purchasing the hardware and administering the system back on the org, which most are happy outsourcing to hosting providers.

    SBS 2003 is wonderful (much better than 2000), but until one (org) is ready to spare the cash and effort to host services in-house, they may not be ready. Otherwise, yes it is a great all-in-one solution package for the small business indeed.

  2. Actually, from what I’ve gathered in the purchasing side, there are quite a few requests to buy SBS 2003. Purchasing hardware is cheap now, as SBS 2003 doesn’t really need a powerful computer for a small company. Take my Pentium 3 850mhz dual processor. It’s good enough. The only problem I see is just getting more RAM. That’s more important than the Ghz.

    Usually a company would already have sme sort of network/internet/intranet within their workplace. SBS is just a plug in and use. It’s fantastic for Singapore’s environment where there’s alot of small businesses.

    Do you know any hosting providers that uses SBS or provides a server that uses SBS?

  3. Hosting SBS externally and offering your AD for all the Internet? Not a good deployment prospective….

    It is ideally suited for a closed internal environment, with only the necessary ports open to communicate with the outside world.

  4. Hmm. Okay. But I think SBS is quite useful for mobile and remote businesses where the company/business doesn’t have a fix place, or the people are always on the move. Like me. 🙂

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