Setup a Business Network for $700
- This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to completely setting up a Microsoft Network for your business
- Why are we doing it? Because we think your tech savvy computer person can get you most of the way there, then we can help you with the rest and be your IT partner as your business grows and your needs increase and change
- After completing this tutorial you will have fully operational Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 controlled network including:
- Network Management and reporting tools
- Permission based file sharing and user groups
- SharePoint intranet capabilities (internal website for company use)
- Exchange server 2007 email with with webmail access and mobile support
- Remote Web Workplace for accessing your network and information remotely
- Printer management and more
- Google Apps mail system for spam filtering and emergency mail server support
please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org put “SBS 2008″ in the email subject
The end result of following this guide will give you a small business network that utilizes Microsoft technologies to manage your network, host your email resulting in a private network hosted onsite at your office. We will use Google Apps for business (Free version for up to 10 users) to act as a mail relay server that will scrub all incoming email for SPAM and then relay a copy to your new server where it will be accepted by Microsoft Exchange 2007. In the event of a problem at your office (internet connection issue, mail server crash or other disaster) all mail will continue to flow and be captured by Google where users can login and continue to manage email.
Your primary domain (you probably already have a website) will be associated with the “front end” email server, Google Apps. The secondary domain you purchase will be associated with your new server and we’ll call that the “back end” email server and the secondary domain. As an example, your main website, mywebsite.COM will accept all email at google and then forward to your new server mywebsite.NET. All email accounts will be .COM so when you reply your message goes back out to recipient and the loop is complete. When that person writes to you again, it will be to .COM, so Google gets the message and delivers to .NET server at your business (Microsoft Exchange). Remember, even from the .NET exchange server your replies go out as .COM so the loop/relay stays intact.
Part 1: Register and configure your domain names and Google account
From reading above you know you need 2 domain names, your primary one (which you probably already have) and a secondary one to “attach” to your new server. go to www.namecheap.com to purchase your second one (or both if you don’t have one at all). If you would like us to host your website and DNS, send an email email@example.com with your new domain login info and we’ll hop on board and take care of it for you. We’ll setup a hosting account and make sure your MX records (email records) point to google apps for the primary email account and then point your secondary domain to your new server.
- go to Google Apps Free area and sign up your primary domain (the domain name you already have or just registered). Go through all their steps and follow the instructions to setup your MX records (or we can help you, see above). Then create all your users. When this is setup properly your company will now be using google apps for email and all message will be delivered to the google apps mailboxes.
- Now go back to your secondary domain at www.namecheap.com and make sure that’s pointed towards a webhost OR use their DNS
management tools and just keep the website “parked” (don’t use it). All you really need for this domain is to point the .NET address (or whatever you register) to your new server. Using the DNS management tools create two A records, one will be remote.yourcompany.net and will point to the WAN IP of your business router. The other is called yourcompany.net and will also point to that IP. Here is what our DNS record looks like in Web Host Manager for our secondary domain / new server mail / .NET
- Remember, your email will hit the google mail first at firstname.lastname@example.org then you will set your email account in google apps to forward the message to email@example.com (your new server with exchange email). Right now you are GOOD with your Google setup. After your server is installed and exchange mailboxes setup we’ll go back to Google and setup the forwarder
Part 2: Purchase all your hardware and D/L SBS 2008
- Now we will purchase the desktop PC which will ultimately be converted into a server along with 2 external drives to be used as backups. The desktop we bought was new Dell Inspiron from the Dell Outlet. Our model came with a realtek ethernet adapter (this is important as you will need the proper driver during the server installation for it to work properly). Here is the driver package that worked. More on this when we go to install the server, but feel free to d/l this now if you use the same computer as we did (search the outlet for this, worked great for us and cost $389)
- next purchase is 2 internal replica drives of your new system. I’m having you get 2 internal drives and 2 hard drive cases so you become familiar with handling bare hard drives. Its all very easy and very necessary in the event of a disaster.. so… buy all this. If you don’t care about backup, plan on using an online service exclusively or just like living on the edge you can skip this and proceed. Internal 1 TB 7200 3.5″ desktop drive x 2 and 3.5″ Hard Drive enclosure x2. When the drives arrive pop them in the enclosures and they are ready to be attached to the new server once is installed. You can then use the built-in server 2008 backup software to backup your freshly installed server or use a free tool like this to clone the drives
Part 3: Setup your Desktop and install your server
Now comes the fun part. This involves booting up the desktop and getting a basic user in windows 7 setup. From there we will resize the 1 TB drive and then download and burn the SBS 2008 install disc. Once all that is complete we’ll restart and boot from the disc and install on the new partition. The end result will be a desktop that has both the original windows 7 and SBS 2008 installed on it. WE will use it only as SBS 2008 but in the event of a problem it will be nice to boot into windows 7 and re-image the SBS 2008 partition if necessary.
- Unpack and setup your windows 7 OS making sure to set an admin account and password
- Hit the start button and then RIGHT click on COMPUTER and select MANAGE and then select disk management (below)
- You now want to select your main drive that say OS and shrink this to about 100 GB which will leave around 850 or so for you to create a new partition, D. Create that partition and format it now you are ready to move to the next step
- Download SBS disc images here (registration required) – this is all free
- You will then need to burn the images to DVD so you can boot of them. If you are not familiar with this, download and install imgburn here and then open the image file you d/l from Microsoft and burn it to a blank DVD
- Now with DVD 1 of SBS 2008 in your drive restart the computer and hit F12 as it starts
- Get to the boot menu and select your cd/dvd drive and watch for it to ask you to hit a key, hit that key quick or it will boot back into win7. Most of the install process is straightforward with many NEXT and YES and entering company information. The key thing here is getting your network adapter installed so the installatio can continue. Have an ethernet cable plugged into your adapter and connected to your router so its ready be on the internet when the adapter is active. You will also say YES to installing updates as you install SBS 2008
- With those key tips in mind (step 13 above) your end result should be a very basic installation of server 2008 that is now ready to be configured
Part 4: Configure your server
The rest is coming soon… stay tuned! and feel free to contact us by leaving a comment or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org