SBS 2003 To Do List Explored! [Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

howdy – i am harry brelsford (ceo, smb nation at and I am the author of the infamous SBS 2003 purple book. I am posting up a few pages per day until the SBS 2008 product ships – so enjoy in good health.

Today we start our journey to look at the famous To Do List in SBS 2003 and review the Security Best Practices link.



To Do List: In Order!

So with the finer points of Server Management console behind us, it’s time to get down tonight! Let’s start by planning the SBS 2003 Methodology ballad. Few things in the deployment of SBS exemplify the notion that SBS is a ready-made network in a box (or SMB consulting practice in a box for us consultants) than the existence and brilliance of the To Do List. We’ll spend tons of time walking through the To Do List here.

But back to the brilliance part. The To Do List has been engineered to be your deployment approach for all of the SBS servers you’ll ever install. You start at the top and work your way to the bottom. This structured approach, whether you install one or 1000 SBS server machines, should be honored. Don’t be like a Boeing IT employee here in Seattle who likes to say, while installing SBS 2003 at her church over a weekend, “I don’t use the To Do List or the Server Management console at Boeing, so we’re not going to use it here on this holy site!” Such pompous thinking is truly short-sighted in successfully deploying SBS 2003 and can result in an unsatisfactory outcome. But BY FOLLOWING THE TO DO LIST, you can be assured of a positive outcome each and every time when you set up SBS 2003. You heard this breaking news here first!

So that said, let’s start at the top and work down the To Do List. You’ll start by noticing the To Do List is divided into Network Tasks and Management Tasks. That’s because the SBS development team, in its wisdom, determined that folks wanted to see it play out that way with task sets divided between network and management.

BEST PRACTICE: Note that you and I will indeed complete the To Do List in order as part of the SPRINGERS methodology. You would expect this. However, I don’t have to walk through the entire To Do List in this chapter; instead, I’ll take you through the first seven links. I leave the Configure Fax, Configure Monitoring, and Configure Backup links to be completed in order in later chapters.

Remember the mantra, mates: Always complete the To Do List in order!

Network Tasks

There are five items under Network Tasks on the To Do List that we’ll walk through right now.

View Security Best Practices

Talk about a future book! You could clearly write a thick tome on security on small business networks, but I’ll leave that for another day. Rather, I point you to this link as a “primer” on top-of-mind security best practices to consider as you move forth in deploying your SBS network. In fact, it’d be good to visit this link with each SBS server you deploy so that you don’t overlook a security best practice. When you select View Security Best Practices, you’ll read details on the following 16 topics:


1. Protecting your network from the Internet by using a firewall


2. Configuring password policies


3. Configuring secure remote access to the network


4. Renaming the Administrator account


5. Implementing an antivirus solution


6. Managing backups


7. Updating your software


8. Running security tools


9. Granting access permissions


10. Educating users


11. Not using your Windows Small Business Server as a workstation


12. Physically securing the server


13. Limiting user disk space


14. Keeping up-to-date on security information


15. Auditing failed logon events and account lockouts


16. Using monitoring tools


BEST PRACTICE: Regarding item #13 above, you would want to know that SBS 2003 implements a disk quota for users in the Add User Wizard. Specifically, for a user the disk space is limited to 1024 MB and a warning is sent at 900 MB. This can be manually modified later.

When you complete reading this list, please close the Small Business Server Help and Information screen that is open and return to the To Do List. Check

 Visit for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

the Done box next to View Security Best Practices (you check off each To Do List item as its completed, which is a nice touch!).


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