Advice - solution for a company server

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I need to estabiilish a new solution for my company (rather small). We now
need a company server that should handle 10 workstations - to provide users
with opportuninty of sharing their project files and to set their own e-mail
accounts on it. We already have a proper machine (as I was told), but I
don't know which software will be good enough for this task, and of course
it shall be not expensive - we are only interested in the genuine software.
My colleagues told me about some Linux OS, but we don't want to pay for the
server administration right now, and no-one in my team knows this systems.
Can you help me to choose a right software?
 Shall Windows Small Business Server 2003 be a good solution (can a common
computer user operate it?), or do we really need an adminitrator to handle
one of the Unix systems?

Thanks in advance,

Re: Advice - solution for a company server

On 2005-09-26, Soft <happsz> blabbed:
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I'm not quite sure what "the genuine software" is, but I assume you mean
legitimately licensed software.  For an office of that size Windows
Small Business Server 2003 should work fine.  Mind your are
significantly limiting your future expansion with WSBS2003 it is missing
alot of the advanced features even windows server 2003 provides.

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Linux is free, economically speaking, you can generally download a free
copy directly from the website of the company who is providing it (eg:
Redhat, Debian, Slackware, etc.)  Most of the services that run ontop of
Linux are also free software (eg: Sendmail, Apache, courier-*, Samba, etc.)

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Windows is probally somewhat easier because it's entirely graphically
configurable.  *nix of any variety is probally somewhat more
maintainable in the long run due to it being flat text for most configs.

Regardless which system you choose you need a competant admin.  If you
go with windows you should get someone at least familar with managing a
small network and applying security patches and getting some basic
degree of security on the system.  If you hire a *nix admin the same
basic requirements need to be met.

Re: Advice - solution for a company server

On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 15:52:38 +0200, Soft wrote:

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You would need someone knowledgeable to set up either system. However, if
the Linux system is set up correctly, you can just let it run without
needing further interaction. ie. no need to be careful about updating
anti-virus and the like.
As for the distro, I'd choose ones like Suse, Debian Stable or Redhat
Enterprise(or a free clone of such as Centos or Whitebox). These all have
easy to use graphical install and config tools to get most tasks done.
If the system is mission critical, you might like to either invest in
Enterprise Linux with it's paid for support structure, or get an
Administrator to set up and watch over the system for you. He doesn't even
need to be full time. I have a contract with a few small offices I've set
up here in Paris whereby they pay a small monthly fee for me to remotely
check and update their network once or twice a week.

Jafar Calley
SysAdmin -
See the latest Mars and Saturn images

Re: Advice - solution for a company server

Jafar As-Sadiq Calley wrote:
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Good advice. You should have someone knowledgeable set up your system
and monitor it frequently for the first couple of weeks until it is
running smoothly. Then a remote admin once in a while will probably be
enough. While Linux does not have the big target painted on its back
that Windows does, Linux is still vulnerable and must be maintained,
patched, and upgraded regularly. Most modern distributions have very
easy upgrade and patch utilities that most anyone can be trained to use.

Run tripwire (or its like) and don't use the machine for routine work.
If it is only doing one specific job and does not have a bunch of
end-user toys running the machine should be pretty stable. Make sure you
are running a good firewall at the periphery.

I have been using Ubuntu recently and it is quite user friendly and has
a well maintained Debian archive that is easy to use. I have also used
RedHat for years and have found it to be a very good enterprise choice.

Good luck

Barton L. Phillips
Applied Technology Resources, Inc.
Tel: (818)652-9850

Re: Advice - solution for a company server

"Soft" <happsz(at)> wrote in message
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In addition to Windows SBS, look at Novell SBS based on SuSE Linux.  I have
not set one up, but Novell's past SBS based on Netware had everytthing
needed.  The Microsoft SBS is very nice, as you asked about and others have


Re: Advice - solution for a company server

On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 15:52:38 +0200, Soft wrote:

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You're asking for help in choosing the right software, so let's start with

What must the software do?
What functions must it perform to be considered a success for your
    - Does it need to serve files?
    - Does it need to be a print server?
    - Does it need to be a web server?
    - Does it need to be a database server?
    - Does it need to be a firewall?
    - Does it need to be a backup server for all your desktops?
    - Is there particular software you need to run your business that
      has a platform dependency?

What are the measures of success?
    - Does it need to be reliable? If so, how reliable?
    - Does it need to automatically restart after power outages?
    - Does it need a lot of support/configuration/care and feeding?
        - How much is too much?

What are the budget constraints around the system?

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(can a
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You need an administrator anyway.

Chris "Saundo" Saunderson   
Unix/CCNA/CCDA Guy           Powered by Linux and the Orb.          

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