Best Small Business Server Software

Package selection begins here.

You can select one of the four base installations (Gateway, Infrastructure, Office, Communications) that will automatically pick from the packages listed. Once you've picked your base installation, you can also add other packages from the listing in the bottom half of the screen. After you've made your final selection, click the Install button at the bottom of the screen and the process will begin.

Depending on how many packages you've selected, this process can take some time (for example, the Office core minus the VPN and adding the OpenChange Server is a whopping 750 packages). You'll be presented with a package confirmation window (Figure B). Click OK to proceed with the installation.

Figure B

Confirmation of package installation.

After the installation of the packages is complete, you'll have to take care of the initial configuration of Zentyal. This mostly consists of defining a network interface for external traffic and one for internal traffic (though Zentyal only requires one interface). You also must choose the local domain associated with your server.Figure A Finally, you must set the server as either standalone or to retrieve user information from an Active Directory server.

Eventually, your Zentyal server will be complete and you can log in and start setting it up to meet your company needs. You'll also gain access to the Zentyal Dashboard (Figure C).

Figure C

The Zentyal Dashboard.

From the Zentyal Dashboard, you can manage every aspect of your server. As you go through each module, you'll find Zentyal does a great job of guiding you to the right modules. For example, I jumped right to the OpenChange setup, only to be directed to the Virtual Domains and DNS modules first (Figure D).

Figure D

Zentyal helps to guide you through setup.

At this point, you have plenty to set up. What you set up will depend on your needs and what you've installed. Should you find a feature/functionality missing, you can go to Dashboard, then to Core | Software Management, and add the missing components.

If you're looking for a drop-in replacement for Windows Small Business Server, look no further than Zentyal. It has all the features you're used to enjoying, but without the associated costs. Small- to mid-sized businesses now have the perfect solution with the perfect price tag.

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