Win2K3 Server to House Exchange Server and Organizations Files

By TBBrick ·
I know this sounds like a obvious question, but it's for an individual I know who works at a not-for-profit. She wants to use a Windows 2003 server to host the organizations' email via Exchange and to store the organization's user data files as well.

I've advised her strongly that is very dangerous to store any kind of corporate - organizational data/user files on any server with direct access to the internet and irrespective of the server's operating system.

However, she is skeptical as she considers it a waste of hardware resources to have a single program running on one server.

If my fellow computer experts could offer their opinions, I would appreciate it. No troll/zealot replies please. I know the various OS zealots would want her to use something else than W2K3/Exchange. That is not the issue. The issue is solely the danger of storing organizational data files on an Exchange (or any kind of internet access) server.

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agree, but

by Churdoo In reply to Win2K3 Server to House Ex ...

In concept I agree with you. However, in the world of a small business or small non-profits, it's oftentimes hard to justify the separate hardware in the interest of mere security ... lol

The MS answer to the puzzle is Small Business Server, as it is AD/Exchange Server/File Storage/etc. all rolled into one, and it has the security built in to minimize the exposure of an internet facing device. I'm not trying to redesign your O/S, SBS is W2K3 Server AND Exchange AND a bunch of other stuff and was designed (and priced) for this exact scenario. I know that the software pricing is not a huge factor with the donated MS software she can get through as a non-profit.

Either way, whether she does SBS or vanilla W2K3 server / exchange server, although the situation is not ideal, it's at least more secure today with default security of W2K3 Server than years past with the default (lack of) security settings of 2000, and if you put the whole thing behind a SOHO router/NAT appliance and expose only the ports that need to be exposed SMTP/HTTP/HTTPS for example, along with a solid anti-virus/anti-spam solution, her risk is minimized.

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Many Thanks Churdoo

by TBBrick In reply to agree, but

Thanks for the info on SBS. With the WinME and XP Home debacles, I've been suspicious of stripped-down "lite" version of MS products. When I first heard of SBS, it sounded like deja vu all over again.

So I take it SBS is as "secure" and reliable as W2K3? (Keeping in mind of course how one needs to keep up on patch mgmt et al.)

As for my friend, she's sticking to off-site mgmt of the email for now. She didn't say for sure, but I suspect that even with Techsoup, I think the prices of Exchange and the CALs were a bit too salty for the budget.

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