Build a Small Business Server

Small Business Server

Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home

Matt Clapham and Jesper Johansson

At a Glance:

  • What's so cool about SBS?
  • Managing maintenance and updates
  • Networking, Active Directory, and security
  • New features in SBS 2003 R2

We're hardcore IT guys at heart, and we want well-managed, smooth-running computers—not only at work, but at home as well. We're willing to put some time into making that happen. We're

also privacy and security geeks. We like running things ourselves to retain the desired level of freedom and control.

We wanted an affordable solution that would provide easily shared resources (files, calendars, printing, and so on) to benefit all family members. We wanted an integrated solution that was familiar to us so we didn't have to cobble together a smattering of independent pieces. We wanted a flexible solution that could be expanded upon to do new things later. Enter Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS R2).

SBS R2 is based on Windows Server® 2003 SP1, but with a number of enhancements and additions that make it an ideal base platform for a home network server. From providing secure communications and seamless single sign-on, to storing pictures and serving up a Web page for family and friends, SBS R2 can handle it all. For a typical home network, the server doesn't even need to be terribly powerful. Any reasonably modern system with a fair bit of RAM (at least 512MB) and hard disk space (80GB or so) will do.

The whole premise of using a server in the home makes us sound pretty geeky, but there are actually some really good reasons to do so, apart from the innate coolness factor it will garner you at neighborhood parties! For instance, all the other parents may know the difference between a knuckleball, a free throw, and a field goal, but how many of them have a centralized backup system for their home network?

With SBS, and particularly with the R2 release, we have fundamentally changed our approach to home networking. SBS actually makes it possible to use at home many of the same techniques that we currently employ on much larger corporate networks. In addition, it gives us a safer, smaller, and more predictable environment to test products that we would otherwise not get to experiment with as IT professionals.

Related posts: