SBS 2003 Hardware Requirements [Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices]

Hiya – I am the publisher and co-author of the above title and I’m holding a virtual book reading – so enjoy this passage!

SBS 2003 Minimum and

Recommended Requirements

Microsoft’s responsibility as a developer is to ensure that its software works on the widest selection possible of available hardware, allowing a broad audience to enjoy SBS 2003. Thus, the minimum system requirements for SBS 2003 leave the door open to almost any computer from the preceding several years that still works. In the pages to come I’ll spend some time critically analyzing platform performance, to identify crucial sweet spots in balancing budget against an enjoyable user experience.

Table 2-1

 

Requirement

Minimum

Recommended

CPU speed

300 MHz

550 MHz or faster

RAM

256 MB

384 MB or higher (4 GB max)

Hard disk

4 GB of available
hard disk space.

4 GB of available
hard disk space.

Drive

CD-ROM

CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

Display

VGA or hardware that supports console redirection.

Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution monitor.

Other devices

·   Hardware that supports console redirection.

·   Ethernet network
interface card

from the Windows Server Catalog.

·   Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

· Two Ethernet network interface cards from the Windows Server Catalog.

Additional items and services required for Internet access

·   Internet access and payment of a separate fee to a service provider, for some server functionality. Local and/or long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.

·   Internet access and

payment of a separate fee to a service provider, for some server functionality. Local and/or long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.

·   Broadband or high-speed modem Internet

connection.


CHAPTER Chaper 2 1 So Understanding You Want to Hardwre Be an in SMB the SBS Consultant?!?! Environment

 

 

·   Broadband or
high-speed

modem Internet connection.

 

Additional

·   Dedicated Class 1

·  Dedicated Class 1 fax

items required

fax modem to use

modem to use fax service.

for networking

fax service.

·Pocket PC Phone

 

 

Edition 2003 or

 

 

Smartphone 2003 for

 

 

Outlook Mobile Access.

 

 

·Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000

 

 

Professional for client operating systems.

 

Microsoft’s minimum system requirements for SBS 2003 actually are very minimal. A 300 MHz processor, falling in the Pentium II or AMD K6-II families, takes us all the way back to 1998. Needless to say, that’s ancient technology that has no business being used in a modern server or workstation—especially when you consider that with the speed at which hardware falls in price, it’s actually very easy to buy even newer, faster components on the cheap. Even the recommended 550 MHz processor represents Intel’s very first Pentium III. While I’ve had clients abide by the more general Microsoft Windows XP recommended hardware guide, a week of the frustratingly slow performance that results is enough to sell them on the need for a more robust machine.

Similarly, systems with the minimum recommended 256 MB of RAM are also somewhat antiquated. Windows XP Professional Edition itself is slow enough on a client system with that much memory, so even if SBS 2003 will run with just 256 MB of RAM, it doesn’t mean you should try it. Unfortunately, the recommended 384 MB isn’t much better; but never fear, my personal suggestions are coming in the next section.

In both the minimum and recommended hard drive capacity categories, you’ll need at least 4 GB. Let me tell you, though, that 4 GB of storage space costs less today than a super-sized value meal at your local fast food restaurant, when you consider the price per gigabyte of less than one dollar. Make sure that you


have at least 4 GB—but trust me, you’ll want more. Besides, there are plenty of high-capacity drives that offer great performance at an affordable price tag.

While we’re discussing storage, note that the minimum CD-ROM requirement actually is reasonable for installing SBS 2003 and any supplemental applications. Microsoft suggests stepping up to a DVD-ROM drive, but really there’s little reason to do so unless you anticipate buying the DVD version of SBS 2003 or watching movies on your server. Actually, there’s an even better alternative to DVD-ROM, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Among the other SBS 2003 requirements, you’ll need at least VGA graphics and an Ethernet NIC or two. We’ll spend more time on both topics in the pages to come. These are simply the bare necessities.

cheers….harrybbbb

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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