Preface to Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book

Hi gang – you know what? Over the next few months, I will post up a passage a day as a virtual book reading from the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) book I co-authored and published. This book is now out of print and its time to let it out in the wild! Today we look at the PREFACE.




Welcome to Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices! This book is an advanced guide to Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003), an attractively priced product that’s offered in two editions in the current release (standard and premium). SBS 2003 combines the key infrastructure and application elements that small businesses prize.

Of course, I’m preaching to the choir! As experienced SBSers (fans, users, and sometimes abusers of SB S), you the various readers of this text already know the basics about SBS 2003. Perhaps you learned about SBS 2003 at a class or seminar. Or maybe you’ve installed it for your own use. More likely you’ve deployed SBS for one or more clients. Lastly, you might be very experienced with a prior version of SBS and thus are confident in rocketing right into this advanced SBS 2003 text (welcome aboard!).

Respecting your status as an intermediate or better user of SBS, this book won’t retell the basic SBS 2003 story already covered in my introductory book, Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices. However, visit if you want to learn more about the SBS product.

And now, assumptions about your SBS 2003 product awareness safely made, let’s move forward and set expectations for this book (after all, that is the basic job of a preface, you know!).



What This Book Is About

This book is about taking your skill as an SBSer to the next level—to an advanced
level. The next sections describe how this book will help you get to that level.

Advanced Topics

The topics in this book address the sorts of advanced issues you’re likely to consider after having gained some experience with SBS 2003. The discussions herein also reflect contemporary topics of the day, things that have emerged since the October 2003 release of SBS 2003 at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. As you might imagine, subjects that were initially important have since been upstaged by other issues that are even more important and more current and that warrant advanced discussion. While building up a stockpile of advanced SBS topics and factoids to present to you within the covers of this book, my writing team and I looked both in the mirror and into the steely eyes of our clients; we scoured newsgroups, we read e-mails sent to us from users very much like yourself, and we even overheard interesting conversations within the Redmond hallways of Microsoft itself!

A Winning Writing Team

Please forgive, I think I mentioned my writing team without first personally introducing them. Meet the team with my words (also see the individual author bios early in the Front Matter of this book).

·         Harry Brelsford. That’s me, of course J. I’m responsible for the Pref­ace, Chapter 1 covering introduction and advanced planning topics, and also Chapter 3 on licensing issues.

·         Chris Angelini. A hardware guru who has penned tons of articles focusing on hardware, Chris authored Chapter 2 of this text.

·         Steven Banks. An all-around SMB consultant with the proper bal­ance of business and technical skill sets, Steven’s status as a reseller and Microsoft partner made him uniquely qualified to handle Chap­ter 3 on licensing.

·                  Andy Goodman. A long-time SBSer who is also an SBS MVP, Andy is well qualified to tackle the advanced SBS deployment issue, which he’s done in Chapter 4 of this book.

·         Frank Ohlhorst. The technology editor at CRN magazine, Frank is an experienced SBSer. Because his duties at CRN include running the test lab, Frank is in the unique position for Chapter 5 to discuss third-party tools for SBS 2003.

·         Michael Klein. With his well-established New York City SBS consult­ing practice focused on the legal community, Michael is all about fos­tering strong communications with his clients. Ergo, he was the natural choice for knocking out an advanced Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 chapter, Chapter 6.

·         Jonathan Hassell. A long-time SBS writer, Jonathan is a multi-trick pony, with his current book on “hardening Windows” doing very well. Because he wrote a book a couple of years ago on SharePoint tech­nologies, Jonathan was selected for Chapter 7 of this book, the advanced Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services chapter.

·         Wayne Small. A “tall poppy” from down under, Australian SBS MVP Wayne Small was selected to write Chapter 8 because of his overriding excitement about the mobility features of SBS 2003. His experience as an SBS professional is evident.

·         Alan Shrater. A renascence man in the SBS community, Alan is an accountant (CPA), developer (Microsoft SQL Server), and networking consultant based in Colorado. Alan was charged with the task of telling the story of advanced SQL Server 2000 in SBS 2003, which he’s accomplished while keeping a keen eye focused on “business purpose.” Alan wrote Chapter 9 of this book.

·         Kevin Royalty. The first words that come to mind with regard to Kevin are “extensive experience!” Kevin stepped up to write Chapter 10 on advanced faxing topics.

·                       Susan Bradley. The queen of the SBS newsgroups (Microsoft and Yahoo!), Susan was ready, able, and willing to share her advanced

knowledge of SB S-related security in Chapter 11, from which we will all benefit.

·                       Thomas Shinder. A world-renowned security author in the Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server area, Thomas is a big fan of SBS and he has taken this book to the next level by focusing his efforts on ISA Server 2004, which is available to SBS 2003 premium owners! Thomas co-authored Chapter 12.

·                       Bea Mulzer. She is the Queen Bea of SBS and hails from Florida. She is well-know for striking a balance between complex technical issues and business matters in the SBS community.

·                       Lawrence Rodis. Larry comes from the big leagues (enterprise-level) where he learned first-hand the importance of network monitoring and appropriate responses. Thank God Larry embraced SBS many years ago and is a kind soul who likes to share his knowledge freely, which he has done here in Chapter 13.

·                       Jeff Middleton. I have saved the introduction of perhaps the most esteemed contributor for last. If you’ve ever posted to the Microsoft- supported SBS newsgroups, you’ve bumped into Jeff, who was one of the very first SBS MVPs. Jeff has written two world class chap­ters for this book, Chapter 14 on disaster recovery and Chapter 15 about migration.

You can learn more about each writing team member by reviewing their individual biographies in the front matter of this book.

In fact, I should explain how this team came into being. While on Walkabout in Australia, while peddling a bike through parts of Europe, and even while enjoying the simple respite on my beloved Bainbridge Island outside Seattle—always and forever while pondering SBS life—I concluded that the only way to write an advanced SBS text that would be truly meaningful would be to assemble a world class team of writers such as has seldom been assembled before. As a result, I gathered a writing team for this book that is the New York Yankees of the SBS world! (For those overseas readers who are perhaps unfamiliar, the

New York Yankees are a dominant baseball team in Major League Baseball in the USA and Canada.)

Given that advanced topics by their very nature tend to be specializations, it serves that no one person could successfully write an entire advanced book, worthy of five-star reviews on, about a product as broad and diverse as SBS. This book is the combined effort of a team of subject matter experts who have bared their analytical SBS souls in the chapters that follow, delivering substantial and practical information based on each writer’s individual area of expertise. I’m delighted that such an outstanding team has taken time from their busy schedules to come together and contribute in many ways to the betterment of all SBSers.

The gathered effort of this superstar writing team had but one ultimate goal— that you would come out the winner! Let’s face it. You have paid good money for this book. We the writing team have done our best and we hope that this book will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.


My role during the creation of this book has in many ways been like being the conductor of an SBS symphony. Having assembled a first-class orchestra of SBS virtuosos, it was then my responsibility to bring order to individual fine works, in order to create a magnificent concerto through which to present the collective SBS expertise! I applied the following guiding principles as I led this effort:

• Individual acknowledgement. The beginning of each chapter notes which member of the writing team authored the words that follow. Not only do these acknowledgements allow you to applaud the proper persons; they also allow you to glean something about each writer, a contextual insight into what each author has written. Certainly the writer from Manhattan Island in New York City might have a much different perspective about SBS than does the laid-back mellow dude on Bainbridge Island (hey, that’s me!). Why? Because there’s a big difference between a “New York minute” and the slow pace of life on Bainbridge Island, and clients are likely to have different demands as a result.

·                       Academic freedom. As the publisher of this volume, I not only encour­aged the expression of personal and professional opinions in the con­tributed works, but I also lead the march in defending the rights of the writers to express such sentiments! Write on!

·                       First person. In the ongoing effort of SMB Nation Press to avoid ever publishing “another boring computer book” dominated by corporate communication standards that originate from the Dark Ages, I nudged all of the writing team members to write in the first person. I wanted them to be able to write from their hearts, presenting you with the au­thority and credibility of their firsthand experience. Also, it was with great pleasure that I allowed, even encouraged, bragging! I encouraged the writers to point you to other books they’ve written for other pub­lishers, because it’s likely that the chapters these excellent writers have contributed here will wet your appetite for more of their existing works.

·                       Consistent tone. My job has been to take the diverse writing styles of multiple authors and attempt to lay down a consistent tone throughout this book, to improve readability without compromising the expressive freedoms of the writers. (And I thought writing an entire book as a solo author was hard!) Seriously, my goal has been for this book not to appear as a collection of individual white papers but as a coordinated and collective work.

·                       Real World. Some publishers seem to suffer from tunnel vision, only presenting information related to Microsoft offerings while ignoring all other third-party applications that might be beneficial to customers. They also seem to steer clear of offering war stories from the trenches. Not so this book! Within these pages you’ll find a refreshing real-world view of advanced SBS that includes war stories as well as third-party product information to assist you.

·                       Third-party view of Microsoft. As third-party writers who aren’t finan­cially beholden to Microsoft for our day jobs, we (the writing team) provide an essential outsider’s view of Microsoft and the SBS product. This third-party perspective perhaps is even one of the reasons why

you selected this book over (or in addition to) other materials such as Microsoft SBS-related white papers.

·         Less Humor and No Dogs! An advanced SBS book necessarily ad­dresses important and serious issues related to the SBS product. Unlike my introductory and intermediate SBS books that incorporate humor and Springer Spaniels Limited (a sample company for the storyline), this book deemphasizes the humor to appeal to the more serious-minded SBSer who is seeking SBS advanced answers.

·         Make Love, Not War. This book represents at its core the ability for SBSers of all types, such as the diverse team of writers who contrib­uted to this volume, to come together to work for a common, meaning­ful end—in this case to provide you, the reader, with an interesting and useful advanced text!


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!


Leave a comment

Filed under Book

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s