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Moving to Small Business Server

May 03, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft

I’m using a cable modem with a four-port SMC Router in a small workgroup environment whose hosts include one XP Pro and two Win 2000 Pro machines. I would like to replace a 2000 Pro OS with the Small Business Server OS, but I’m unaware of any surprises I might encounter. For instance, can I assign static IP addresses to all of my machines without running into trouble with my ISP or my router? All are set up with DHCP presently. Any other advice would be very appreciated.

– Via the Internet

Because you have what I will assume is a firewall-type router between you and your ISP that’s allowing you to share a single public IP address with multiple private machines, you can do pretty much whatever you would want in this case. Since you’re going to a server, I would suggest a few changes. The server should have a statically assigned IP address behind the firewall. Because you have DNS services running on the server, you will want to change the DHCP configuration on the router to point to your internal DNS server first. On the server where DNS services are running, you can configure forwarding so when a DNS request comes from one of the workstations that involves an external host, the server can forward the request to an outside DNS source and return the information to the workstation.

You don’t mention if you’re going to replace the hardware or just change the OS from Win 2K Pro to SBS. If you are not going to change the hardware, I would recommend removing the partitions on the existing system and let SBS set up things the way it wants. If you are given a choice between NTFS and FAT, go with NTFS; it’s more secure and uses the hard drive better than FAT could ever hope to. Before starting the OS install, do a quick check of your hardware to see if you’re going to have any compatibility problems or need to download drivers that aren’t included in the stock OS install.

 You indicate concern about running into a problem with your ISP. As long as you aren’t trying to host a Web page or have a service running on your connection that needs to be reached outside your firewall that isn’t permitted by the ISP’s acceptable use policy, you should be OK. I would also suggest you check with SMC to ensure you have the latest firmware installed on the box to help prevent an unwelcome visitor coming in from the outside.