09 February 2011

SBS 2008 Advice

Take all this with a grain of salt, as some observations may simply be my fault. Also, as times changes these things might change too.
  • Make sure to install Windows Server 2008 SP2 after installing SBS 2008. Some media may come with SP2 already preloaded. You can use the normal SP2 package that’s also used for Vista and the normal Server 2008
  • Do not install SBS rollup updates before completing the configuration wizard. This is extremely counter-intuitive, but is described on the Official SBS blog
  • Installing Exchange 2007 SP2 requires you to follow special considerations Here
  • Installing WSUS 3.0 SP2, which is needed to support Windows 7, is currently not recommended. I was able to do this without issues on my lab machines, but others have reported issues doing this on machines that were in production. If you’re deploying a new SBS server, this should probably be safe to go. But make sure to test functionality afterward.
  • Always use the answer file to deploy SBS 2008. This will make it possible to choose a custom domain name. Read my post about choosing your AD DNS namespace
  • Do whatever tasks you can do using the SBS console. Resist of using the normal administration tools as much as possible, as you can break SBS with them easily.
  • Ensure that the AV software you install is compatible with WS08 x64. Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager works well – Forefront Client Security on the other hand requires a seperate server running 32bit Windows for management. You may consider deploying FCS unmanaged in smaller environments, and configure FCS using the FCS ADM File
  • Use servers with the Xeon 5500 CPUs. Consider using an E5530 or faster CPU. Using two CPUs (for a total of 16 virtual and 8 physical cores) makes little sense.
  • Buy enough memory. Lots of it. Really. I mean it. You’ll need lots and lots of memory. I would consider 12GB to bare minimum. In a 3x4GB configuration which makes the most sense for the Xeon 5500 setups, this is quite cheap. Consider more memory if you intend to run SQL Server as, consider bumping the memory to 24GB. Remember that you can only use the first 8 slots in a single socket machine.
  • Buy enough disks. A good starting layout is 8x147GB 2.5″ disks. Use a RAID 1 for the OS, another RAID1 for Exchange and Sharepoint, and a RAID10 for Data and WSUS. This is all up for debate of course, and it might make sense to consider other disk layouts.
If you have any additions, think i’m wrong somewhere just send in a comment.


  1. Looks like good advice even though it's over my head. :)

  2. Nice tips, my new rig is gonna have 8gb of DDR3 for sure

  3. I realize now that I should say Fu*k You to microsoft and learn Linux and it's server capabilities instead. I can't be positive, but I think linux will take over in the future for use as the Server OS. Possibly for its speed, but probably for it's extremely low cost of free.

  4. Great advice, I'll have to go through this a few times to fully understand. Look forward to more of this in the future.