What is Windows Small Business Server 2008?

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Windows Small Business Server 2008 (Windows SBS 2008) is an all-in-one solution that helps you keep your data more secure, your company more productive, and image more professional. It provides many of the features that larger companies use, such as e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, support for mobile devices, file and printer sharing, backup, and restore—all at one affordable price. Windows SBS 2008 adds value to your organization in the following ways:

Affordable, integrated solution.   Windows SBS 2008 is designed for small organizations. It works with existing technology, builds on Microsoft best practices, and delivers a comprehensive network at an affordable price. With Windows SBS 2008, you can do the following:

  • Work more efficiently by using a single administrative console, which gives you a daily view of your computers and servers and makes it easier to manage common IT tasks.

  • Enjoy compatibility and scalability. As your business needs change, Windows SBS 2008 can change with you. You can easily add users, servers, and applications, and you can expand into other Microsoft technologies.

  • Access the network while you are away from the office. By using Windows SBS 2008 Remote Web Workplace, users can check their e-mail and calendars; can connect to a computer at work; and can access the company's internal Web site. With the appropriate permissions, users can also perform certain administrative tasks.

  • Share resources and equipment, such as Internet access, printers, and fax machines, to get the most value from your technology investments.

  • Work confidently with a top performing network that is based on Windows Server 2008 technologies.

Protect business data.   Windows SBS 2008 helps protect your vital business data from being lost, by backing up the data on your network and by helping you to recover data that is accidentally deleted. Windows SBS 2008 helps you do the following:

  • Protect your data from malicious attacks, viruses, and spam.

  • Keep your computers and servers current with the latest updates.

  • Get better control over your organization and your business data with daily and weekly reports about the health and security of your network.

  • Get an at-a-glance snapshot of the security and health of your computers and servers.

Grow business capacity.   Windows SBS 2008 provides remote access to your business contacts, calendars, e-mail, files, and other resources from any Internet-connected computer, virtually anywhere at any time, so you can be productive while you are away from the office or on the road. With Windows SBS 2008, you can do the following:

  • Use the most recent x64-based software and hardware.

  • Use a central repository to store and share information.

  • Connect with customers, vendors, and suppliers easily and professionally, with access to contacts, appointments, and files from any Internet-connected computer or Windows Mobile–powered SmartPhone. You can respond even when you are away from the office.

  • Create or enhance your business presence online with marketing tools and services from Microsoft Office Live Small Business, so you can differentiate your business and present a more professional image to your customers.

For a detailed introduction to Windows SBS 2008, see the Product Overview (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=145376).

For more information about Microsoft Office Live Small Business, see the Microsoft Office Live Small Business home page (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=145377).

Design philosophy

Windows SBS 2008 is designed for small organizations. Because of their size and limited resources, small organizations typically do not employ a full-time IT person to manage their network. Instead, the network (if one exists) is managed by the business owner or by another employee who has some computer experience. And yet, despite this limitation, small organizations have the same technology needs as mid-size or enterprise-level organizations: file and printer sharing, e-mail, and Internet access, to name a few. This is where the features in Windows SBS 2008 can really pay off.

Windows SBS 2008 provides many of the same "bells and whistles" that larger organizations with dedicated IT staff enjoy, but at a much lower cost to install and maintain. Windows SBS 2008 does this by bringing together numerous Microsoft server applications and technologies. Additionally, Windows SBS 2008 has a specially designed management console and numerous wizards that simplify how you do common or complex tasks. The management console and the wizards work together to provide a consistent “cookie-cutter” approach to configuring the server. This helps to ensure that the multiple technologies installed on the server do not conflict with each other.

To accomplish this, Windows SBS 2008 changes some of the configurations in the server applications and services that are included—like Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition, Windows Server Update Services 3.0, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. To improve manageability, Windows SBS 2008 takes many of the everyday tasks that enterprise IT pros are used to doing in Windows Server with Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins and exposes the tasks as wizards. The wizards are easier for non-professionals to use, and they "tune" certain settings for small organizations.

Windows SBS 2008 uses the Windows SBS Console to organize related tasks. Also, it often fully configures a feature by using a single wizard and a small amount of user input, rather than several snap-ins, services, and properties pages. This differs significantly from the model in many large enterprises, where one administrator is responsible for user management, another for mailbox management, another for connectivity, etc.

This section describes the basic technologies that are built in to Windows SBS 2008, and it points out key differences that result from integrating the technologies on to one server. As an enterprise IT pro, you are probably familiar with the technologies, but you might be surprised by some of the differences that result from integrating them.

Built on technologies in Windows Server 2008 Standard

At the foundation of Windows SBS 2008 is Windows Server 2008 Standard. Windows Server 2008 Standard includes a flexible and robust set of features, including Web tools, virtualization technologies, security enhancements, and administration technologies. It delivers a rich user experience, helps secure your network infrastructure, and helps improve productivity in your organization.

Simplified user experience

Integrated Setup.   Windows SBS 2008 integrates multiple server technologies. Therefore, you do not need to identify, purchase, install, or manage multiple products and technologies. The Windows SBS 2008 Installation Wizard integrates the setup and configuration of all applications and technologies in Windows SBS 2008. After completing installation, the administrator performs Getting Started Tasks that configure and customize features to meet the needs of the organization. Compared with installing and configuring Microsoft product technologies individually, the Windows SBS 2008 Installation Wizard significantly reduces the time it takes to deploy a new server.

Centralized task oriented console.   Windows SBS 2008 includes the Windows SBS Console, which makes it easier to configure and manage your Windows SBS 2008 network. By using the Windows SBS Console, you can accomplish various server management tasks. The Windows SBS Console is discussed in more detail later in this article.

Preconfigured network settings

Active Directory.   During server installation, Windows SBS 2008 automatically configures Active Directory Directory Services to function specifically for the Windows SBS 2008 network. Therefore, you do not need to devote much time to configuring or managing Active Directory.

Windows SBS 2008 positions the server at the root of the Active Directory forest, where it holds the operations master roles. This is non-negotiable. A server that is running Windows SBS 2008 must be located at the root of the forest. Additionally, you cannot transfer the operations master roles to any other servers in the Windows SBS 2008 network. The Active Directory structure in Windows SBS 2008 is a forest that contains one tree in the Windows SBS 2008 domain.

DHCP.   As a best practice, it is recommended that you run the DHCP Server service on the server. During installation, Windows SBS 2008 enables and configures the DHCP Server service to assign IP addresses to the computers and devices on the network. However, you can configure another computer or a router to run DHCP.

Windows SBS 2008 supports only one network adapter. Therefore, the server does not support multi-homed scenarios. When you run the Connect to the Internet Wizard or the Fix My Network Wizard, any additional network adapters are disabled.

If the Windows SBS 2008 network does not function correctly, you can use the Fix My Network Wizard to reset the server to the default configuration.

DNS.   DNS is required for Active Directory. Therefore, the DNS service is always installed and running. Windows SBS 2008 is always installed as a domain controller. It operates on the assumption that there are no other DNS servers on the network, and it handles the DNS services alone.

The DNS service that is running on the server is intended to resolve internal network names only. The DNS service is set to listen on the internal network card only. It passes on requests for host names that it does not recognize to a DNS forwarder. The forwarders in this case are the DNS servers at your Internet service provider (ISP).

Certificate authority.   Windows SBS 2008 uses a certificate to verify the identity of the server. The certificate also encrypts data over the Internet when a user performs any of the following tasks:

  • Accesses Remote Web Workplace

  • Uses Outlook Anywhere

  • Connects to the server by using a Windows Mobile–powered device

The default installation of Windows SBS 2008 configures a “self-issued” certificate. However, it is recommended that you obtain a “trusted” certificate from an Internet certificate authority.