70-282 exam cram: NIC and hardware stuff [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Hey there – I am the publisher for the above title and I like to host a virtual book reading on a daily basis. Today its all about the misc. hardware requirements to setup up Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS)

Network Interface Cards

At least one NIC (network interface card) is required for the Small Business Server to function. We recommend installing two network cards so the server can take advantage of the basic firewall included in SBS (NAT firewall). If you will be installing the Premium Edition and plan on using ISA Server 2004, you will have to install two NICs.

Disk Partitions

A single disk partition is required. There is no requirement to create multiple disk partitions, but if you choose to do so, there are several ways this can be done. When you partition a disk, each section functions as a physically separate disk. It is a good idea to decide where you would want to place Windows Small Business Server 2003 components prior to the server installation. Dividing up the storage makes sense even if you are using RAID hardware. By dividing the disk space into logical partitions, you can distribute the data, such as operating system files, continuously changing data files, and static storage —i.e. program files—onto different logical disks which will allow for backup segregation and easier disaster recovery.

• You can create partitions during the text-mode setup of the server installation. Minimum recommendation is at least 4 GB, but real-world experience recommends at least 10 GB or more if you have enough drive space available.

·           To setup software RAID, create the set after the setup process has completed.

·                       For a mass storage controller, such as SCSI, hardware RAID, or a Fibre Channel adapter, you might need to hit the F6 key at the beginning of the text-mode setup and then insert the manufacturer’s floppy with the driver files when prompted, or setup will not see any mass storage controllers and the install will be halted. You will know this when your first setup pass fails because the storage was not detected.

Due to NTFS file system dependencies, Active Directory and Exchange 2003 components will only function on Windows Small Business Server 2003, if the system partitions, as well as the partitions holding transaction logs, the database and binary files are formatted with the NTFS file system.

IMPORTANT: You should always choose NTFS as the file system for all partitions to receive the benefits of Shadow Copies, disk quotas, and encryptions in addition to NTFS permissions.

Also, beware of tricks on exams where blatantly false answers are provided to mislead you. For example, if you were to see a file system answer referring to HPFS (high performance file system), you would know this was a false answer on the 70-282 exam because HPFS is an OS\2 concept (IBM’s legacy operating system from the 1990s) and hasn’t been available on Microsoft network operating systems since the Windows NT Server 3.51 era.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (www.smbnation.com)

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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