Windows Server 2003 query

Pezerinno

Novice Member
Hi, I'm building a server and plan to use windows server 2003 OS and am just wondering if it would be ok to use this server as a normal PC doing simple tasks such as word, email & internet. The server will have enough power to do this as well as its other tasks but I'm wondering whether it would be like winxp for the non tech savy user? If possible it would save having another thin client.

Also while I'm here :D does anyone know what the windows server 2003 backup utility is like compared to norton ghost and the likes?

Thanks, Nick.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Yes, you can use Server 2003 to run Word, IE etc. Actually it is very similar to XP in most ways. The only thing you have to bear in mind is that if an application crashes the server, or you get a virus infection while browsing it will effect all the users of that server and possibly your data!

The backup utility (ntbackup) is the same as in XP, and I think it's quite good. However, a disk imaging program like Ghost will get you out of trouble more easily. Don't forget that programs like Ghost 'personal edition' will detect you are running on a server and may come up with an error message. Symantec would want you to buy the corporate/enterprise version!
 

Pezerinno

Novice Member
Thanks for the reply Stiggy :thumbsup:

What would be the best way to backup around 500GB of data every night? Tape is a bit too pricey unfortunately :(
 

BrianC

Novice Member
I use Windows Server 2003 as my main OS on my company laptop works perfectly for me and should for you as long as your hardware has a valid driver for 2003 as 2003 is far more fussy over drivers than XP.

How many iterations of the backup do you want to keep? If its just the latest one then I'd go for an external USB or Firewire HD and do a xcopy every evening. If you use the /D switch it will only copy over changed or new files greatly reducing backup times. If you need to keep more than one backup then you are looking at either a much larger external drive array or tape backup.
 

Pezerinno

Novice Member
Hi BrianC, all hardware should be good to go for win2003 as far as drivers go.

I guess I just need the latest backup copy. What sort of read/write speeds would I expect to get from an external firewire drive?

With windows 2003 is it possible to have everyones emails downloaded to the server then distributed to other PCs on the network when needed?

Thanks.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Nick25 said:
With windows 2003 is it possible to have everyones emails downloaded to the server then distributed to other PCs on the network when needed?
I've been asked this a few times!

There is a basic POP3 service in 2003 Server. There is a good article here giving an overview of how to set it up.
 

BrianC

Novice Member
With a USB 2 or Firewire external drive you should get very close to the same speed as you would with the drive in one of the IDE or SATA ports on the PC.

Using xcopy /d only the first backup will take any time the rest will be very quick (minutes at most) assuming you only change an average number of normal sized files.

Its worth tracking down the latest copy of Robocopy as its faster than xcopy and has a mirroring switch that will also remove files from the destination if they no longer exist on the source.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
If you go for the SBS edition of 2003 server, you get Exchange as part of the package.

However, a better bet for a home setup would be using Mercury Mail Transport with the standard edition of 2003.
It's free, it works excellently, and is probably a better mailserver than exchange anyway, in terms of sending/recieving POP/IMAP email :)
 

Pezerinno

Novice Member
Thanks The Dude, will keep that in mind. Not sure whether to go for the x32 or x64 edition of 2003? Are there any downsides with the X64 edition such as some progs not working or driver issues?
 

BrianC

Novice Member
There are issues with both drivers and software not working under the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2003, its not as bad as it was but it can still be an issue. I'd question why you would really need the 64 bit version as its biggest selling point is that it can address more RAM - and I very much doubt you'll be running out of that on a home or small business server.
 

Pezerinno

Novice Member
It was only purely because I'll be using a 64bit cpu so thought it might give a performance boost. I'll probably stick with the standard edition though.
 

originalbadboy

Active Member
The Dude said:
If you go for the SBS edition of 2003 server, you get Exchange as part of the package.

However, a better bet for a home setup would be using Mercury Mail Transport with the standard edition of 2003.
It's free, it works excellently, and is probably a better mailserver than exchange anyway, in terms of sending/recieving POP/IMAP email :)
SBS is Evil ...... :devil: ... Please dont purchase it ... :nono: :lease:
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
can't disagree there..... :D
 

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