Let’s deal with the reasons to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and I think a list is in order here, with an explanation below:
So why is 64-bit Windows Server 2008 a good idea? Simply put it makes far better use of your server hardware – it is faster! 64-bit processors have been out for ages but Windows Server 2003 (as supplied with SBS 2003) was 32-bit only and this limited the power of the processors and more importantly limited the amount of memory the server could use. We could explain fully but it is boring, the key fact is that SBS 2003 maxed out at 3.5 Gigabytes memory and SBS 2008 doesn’t!
You can have oodles and oodles of memory… and more memory makes it faster! This means a well specified SBS 2008 server is far better at coping with email & intranet & hosting websites & remote viewing & secure remote access.
In fact if you go for the premium version of SBS 2008 you get to install SBS components on more than one server which was not allowed on SBS 2003. For the medium sized business this splitting of roles further improves performance.
Second, Exchange Server 2007 – simply put it is better than Exchange Server 2003 and whilst it was a leap for us server admins (!) it has some really great benefits.
The new SBS Console really does mean that you guys, yes you, could look after a good percentage of your server if you so desired. The SBS Console is designed for the small business owner to use – collecting all the main tasks you would want to complete into one nice graphical interface.
Diagknows is more than happy to train you on using the SBS Console so that you can add new users, check on quota’s, add printers – stuff you traditionally pay an IT company to do… wait a second am I shooting myself in the foot here!
The Wizards in the SBS Console are great and are often performing a number of complex changes that would take a decent server admin a fair bit of time to complete.
Next is the quite stupendous Windows Server Backup software. It does not support tapes but if you read our Backup technology page you will see that this is fine with Diagknows.
If you just want to back everything up daily to an external hard drive as an image it is great. You can even (and Diagknows has tested this) rebuild your entire server from bare bones (in a disaster) in a matter of hours with just the SBS 2008 DVD and the backup drive – all done, all users back, all email back and all data back with NO configuration required.
Diagknows really recommends SBS 2008 and has many happy customers whose day to day support requirements have significantly dropped since migrating from SBS 2003. However Microsoft have not rested on their significant laurels and have created SBS 2011.