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What Do I Need For A New Business Network?!

1463 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  undershot
The company I work for requires a solid network setting up, and as I'm the only one with a bit of computer knowledge I've been assigned the job, but have no experience in anything above basic home networking.

Current setup...
There's currently 6 new computers, 5 with windows 7 Home Premium, and 1 with Professional. All use pop3 e-mail (through BT) within Windows Live Mail. They all have the same software installed, and all files (except e-mails) are saved onto a server.

The server is an old computer with windows server 2003 installed, which has 2 shared folders, Shared and Private. These folders have a script that is supposed to back them up onto an external HDD, but the backing up is very hit and miss.

Desired setup...
I'd like to have a system set up where everyone has a network wide user name, an individual folder on the server, access to the Shared folder, and select users having access to the Private folder. The server would also require some good stability, and an efficient back up system.

I would also like a new e-mail system establishing. My girlfriends work has a system where they all use Microsoft Outlook and can share calendars, contacts, etc. A similar system would be good. The current problem with our e-mail is that peoples inboxes are in the GB's, which could do with being stored on the server, and BT's e-mail servers can only hold 40mb of info (which I've set to remove from the server after 5 days), but when large files are sent, inboxes become full and the e-mail becomes unusable for the following 5 days. Is there a way of centralising the e-mail storage, and making the server somehow bypass BT's 40mb storage?

There'll be money available for the operation, whether that be for a new server, upgrading OS's or server software.

Any steps in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

...and sorry for the long post.
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It was a mistake to get Win7 home considering what you desire to do.

What level of network wiring do you have? Cat5e hopefully?

Here is what would be recommended;

Hire a network administrator to set this up.
2008 SBS which includes exchange for email [and calendars/etc]
New server hardware with mirrored hard drives and 4-6gigs ram
Tape backup unit attached to the server with enough tapes to do 5 day a week full backups for two weeks. One weeks worth would be stored off site for disaster recovery.
5 Win7 pro installs so you can join all pcs to the server domain.
Gigabit switch with a gigabit card in the server. Have to assume all the pcs have gig capable cards in them. Just comes down to if the wiring supports gig.

You would want to get a business domain name so your ISP could redirect email [mx record] to your email server. This way your email is [email protected]

All the rest concerning shares and folders would be setup by the admin you hire to set all of this up.
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Thanks for the insight. I've put forward a proposal to the management ad will just have to wait and see what they say.

Out of interest, is SBS easy enough to set up if I get an opportunity to try a separate test server in my own time?
Welcome to TSF,

You may definitely give it a try. Is it easy to set up? If this is going to be your first time, the answer will be NO. Lots of reading, maybe training will be better.
Out of interest, is SBS easy enough to set up if I get an opportunity to try a separate test server in my own time?
BTW...SBS 2011 just came out, you should consider getting this.
Ok then, I've had a bit more of an in depth look into the set up of the network. The first thing I've discovered is how expensive the things going to be!

I'm sticking with all the same equipment with a possible future investment in raid (just want to get the thing up and running first!). But when it comes to software, I'm guessing I'll have to upgrade the 5 computers with home premium to professional, then purchase SBS 2011 which comes with 5 CALs, then on top of that an additional 2 for the in office users. There's also site technicians who carry lap tops around who require email, so would these guys also require a user CAL to allow for them to gain a username so they can log onto the webmail? If so, that's another 5 CALs. That would mean at least 12 CALs in total. And in addition to this, do printers require CALs too?...

...Not cheap. Is there any way to work around the CALs? Dont Microsoft think we spend enough on the OS and upgrading the desktops to Professional?!
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials might be best fitted for your business. This version shd be out by the time that you have decided to migrate.
Price also includes a 25 user account limit and CALs are not required. Have a read here regarding Licensing.
Printers doesn't need licensing. :grin:
And don't forget to include the costs of a network person to set this up.

If you think its expensive now just wait to see what the cost is not properly setup.
Very impt, good point and the scary part. :grin:
And don't forget to include the costs of a network person to set this up.
I'm going to be adventurous and try ClearOS as an alternative. Wish me luck!
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