Chapter One: Introduction [Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Gday mates – Harry Brelsford here – co-author and publisher of the advanced SBS 2003 book. I like to hold daily virtual book reaidngs by posting up a passage or two. LEts start with Chapter 1 and the introductory babble. Here you go!


Introduction and Planning

BY Harry Brelsford (Bainbridge Island, WA)

Welcome to the first chapter of the world’s first advanced book about Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 (hereafter referred to as SBS)! We begin by taking the current pulse of the world of SBS, and then go on to bring to light some critical planning issues for you to consider. We will be discussing many important topics across the pages of this book. This chapter provides the introductory and planning discussion components that precede the more technical discussion.

As of This Writing

As of this writing, following are some of the beats I’ve noted about the current pulse of SBS 2003, both for the product and its surrounding culture.

·                       SBS 2003 is both a bundle of joy as well as a bundle of Microsoft solutions that sit atop the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (standard edition) operating system. For a closer look at the specific compo­nents that are included in SBS 2003, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, see Of course, as an experi­enced user you already know that SBS 2003 comes in two flavors, standard and premium.

·                       A three day Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) course for SBS 2003 is available that addresses the broader area of small and medium busi­ness (SMB) networking. Feedback from some folks who’ve attended


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this course indicates that it provides plenty of technical depth, balanced with practical business education. Personally, I support the course as a genuine attempt by Microsoft to balance the technical and business realities of working with SBS 2003. However, be aware that some course attendees who went hoping to be exposed to the “C” code underneath SBS 2003 commented that the course was “too light.” You be the judge.

·         Microsoft also offers a certification exam for SBS 2003 that, like the MOC course, balances the technical and business aspects of using this product. Some folks like the exam; some folks don’t. For more infor­mation about the MOC course or the certification exam, visit

·         The SBS marketing and development team apparently felt that the SBS 2003 setup process is relatively straightforward, so they did not make a setup video for partners, and only provided a thin manual and setup configuration checklist in the product box. If you would like step- by-step procedures for setup of SBS 2003, these are provided in my introductory text, Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices.



·                       Microsoft has been enjoying much success with this release of SBS (earlier versions were less successful by comparison), and the com­pany has created some interesting and enticing incentives related to the product. For example, there have been bundled promotions for SBS 2003 involving Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System, and also Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 1.2. (You’ll find more information about this bundle in the next section.) Note that Microsoft expected to enjoy a 100 percent sales increase with SBS 2003 over the previous release. These sales goals have been exceeded, according to unnamed sources.

·                       Additions. There have been additions to the SBS 2003 product during its life to date. For example, if you own the premium edition, you are eligible to receive a copy of Microsoft’s BizTalk Server software.

·           Subtractions. Several components have been removed from the prod­uct and are not part of SBS 2003. The Shared Modem Service failed the 2002 internal Microsoft security review and consequently was

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removed from the SBS 2003 product. Also, the Microsoft Exchange product team removed the internal instant messaging capability from Exchange Server 2003 (this capability was present in Exchange 2000 Server).

BEST PRACTICE: I devote more than forty pages of my introductory text, Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices, to introducing SBS 2003. As an advanced SBSer, you’re already well familiar with the introductory stuff, so I won’t repeat it here. However, if you do desire a refresher on introductory and intermediate topics, my earlier volume is just what you need. Otherwise, let’s march on ahead and continue our review of the current SBS landscape.

What’s Working

In surveying SBSland for this chapter, I looked at existing client sites, spoke to other SBS consultants, heard from readers of my previous SBS books, touched base with numerous stakeholders (such as SBS MVPs and members of the SBS product team at Microsoft), and talked at length with attendees at my SMB Nation Summit workshops. Following is the consensus regarding what’s working with SBS 2003.



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!


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