Server choices - linux / MS?

By alexius ·
I am setting up a server for a small company (20 users). The requirements are:
* All mail to be dropped on server before being forwarded to users (mail server)
* All outgoing mail to go via server before being sent. (Bandwidth expensive in SA and user wants to cut down on mail being sent to other users on the internal network (often with large attachments) which need not be sent outside of internal network.
* Want to create a server cache for windows updats to prevent all 20 users downloading windows and virus updates independently (again unnecessary bandwidth)
* Want to have automatic backup of user data onto server (incremental) (what software would enable this?)

Any suggestions on the route to follow? Can I do this with Linux server? All users are windows users. Would I need for example MS Small Business Server - or are there cheaper solutions? Requirement is NOT for centralises data storage on server - only back up.

Help would be gratefully appreciated


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All Answers

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by BFilmFan In reply to Server choices - linux / ...

Assuming that you plan to spend time to download Windows security and anti-virus updates to the server, Linux will work for you.

Backup of user data will require a third-party utility and you can find a whole mess of them at

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Linux/windows server

by alexius In reply to Linux

Thanks for the reply, My lack of experience in working with 2 OS is a problem. If I do downloads of Windows etc - under Linux, how do I "get" these to the windows machines? Surely the windows machines will not read the updates from a Linux machine?
Secondly - any suggestions regarding Linux distro? I only have experience with Ubuntu and Kubuntu. Can I use the Ubuntu distro?

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My thoughs

by tmalo627 In reply to Server choices - linux / ...

If all of your client machines are Windows based, configuring a Windows server would be easier. Linux would work; it would just take a lot longer to set up. I'm not really familiar with Linux myself. But I know a Windows server would allow for WSUS and GPO's to take care of the Windows Updates automatically for you. I suppose it would be possible to direct the Windows client computers to a Linux server if you manually downloaded the updates as the previous poster suggested, but I wouldn't know how to do it.

But your needs for an email server and backup plan can be done with a Linux server without having to pay Microsoft's expensive licensing.

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I agree.

by ---TK--- In reply to My thoughs

WSUS and GPO's are huge!

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Server Choices

by Turin73 In reply to Server choices - linux / ...

Mmm, that is a hard choice. I would go with the Windows Small Business Server. You would need to learn less and give you great functionality. But you will have to pay for it. Although check out ebay. With Linux while the OS and some other apps are free and is a good product. You will have to learn it. So you would spend your time managing it. I don't know how you consider your time, but the cost for support, if you had to get it, and learning Linux is not worth it. But if you are prepared Linux will work.

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Windows - Small Business Server

by gsmith In reply to Server choices - linux / ...

If all of the clients are running windows you really want to go for windows server.

* WSUS will handle the windows updates automatically, which is something you can't do with Linux easily.

* For backup you can either write some scheduled tasks to copy the user's data to the server, RoboCopy or RSync could be used for this.

* For Email you will have to either use Exchange, probably the best option if all the clients are using Outlook. Exchange will also give your users shared calendaring, which is really great. Also something Linux servers don't do very well.

If they are using Thunderbird or some other mail client you can look at other mail server solutions.

MS Small Business Server would be a good choice, as it includes Exchange.

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SME Server

by alexius In reply to Server choices - linux / ...

Thanks guys - your input is very valuable. I have spent a lot of time on other forums and doing my own research and SME Server looks like the product that will meet my client's needs. Small Business Server would be the easiest fix - but is out of the race due to budget constraints.
Now the slog to find how to do the windows updates lies ahead!!!

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