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January 18, 2007

Why Small Business Server?


I have numerous e-mails in my mailbox with questions about Small Business Server. Some questions are more complicated but most of them are very basic and ask for a simple explanation of what SBS is.

I came up with the most commonly asked questions and decided to answer them here for everyone.

What is SBS?

Small Business Server is a suite of Microsoft server products combined together into one package. The products included in SBS are: Windows Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services, Exchange Server 2003, Shared Fax Service, SQL Server (included only with Premium Edition), ISA Server (included only with Premium Edition), and Office FrontPage (included only with Premium Edition).

All these products have been optimized to work together on a single hardware. The great thing about the SBS is that the price tag for the whole suite is just a fraction of you would have to pay if you were to buy the enterprise version of any one of these products.

Who would use SBS?

SBS is mostly for small businesses with 3 to about 50 users that need comprehensive server software solution. The maximum number of workstations that you can attach to a SBS is 75.

If you are a power user and want to create a small network at home, this would also be a product that you can try. Small Business Server is definitely not for a typical user or a medium size company.

Why would I want it?

Here is a short list of the reasons why:

  • You can have a central and secure place where you can store business data
  • You can enable access to shared documents from anywhere, anytime, and any device
  • You can have network security with internal firewall that is included with SBS
  • You can improve your business performance through collaboration tools included with SharePoint services
  • You have the ability to control critical updates on all your clients and servers
  • You can protect your business with backup solutions available with SBS
  • Your network can grow with your company
  • The price for the SBS is very reasonable and affordable by most small businesses.

What do I need to get to have SBS?

Here are the minimum requirements to run Small Business Server 2003 R2

  • SPU Speed – 750MHz (minimum); 1GHz (recommended)
  • Memory – 512MB of RAM (minimum); 1GB of RAM (recommended)
  • Hard Disk – 16 GB of available hard disk space
  • Display – Super VGA (800 x 600)
  • Other Devices – Ethernet NIC card, Keyboard and Mouse, high-speed Internet connection, Windows XP or 2000 Professional operating system for clients

For more information about SBS and hardware requirements visit

About the Author

(MCTS Active Directory, MCTS Vista, Network+, Linux+, Project+, PMP) is an experienced Network Support Specialist and an expert in Windows Server support. She graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a Bachelor degree in Network Technologies with highest honors. Gosia has over 8 years of technical and support experience and has worked as Systems Administrator for a high profile law firm, where she managed the Backup and Disaster Recovery plan. Gosia has been a part of the Train Signal team since 2006 as the Product Manager and has written many articles on a variety of topics, including Exchange Server 2007, Windows Vista, Small Business Server, and more.