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Top choices to make your business more productive

AlphaScan has found these Microsoft server products to be the most popular among small and medium businesses:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
  • Exchange Server 2010
  • Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Server Product Overviews

Use these summaries to help evaluate whether these Microsoft Server products could help your business.

Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 is the latest version of the Windows Server operating system. With built-in, enhanced Web and virtualisation capabilities, it is designed to increase the reliability and flexibility of your server infrastructure while helping save time and reduce costs. Powerful tools give you greater control over your servers, and streamline configuration and management tasks. Plus, enhanced security features work to harden the operating system to help protect your data and network and provide a solid, highly dependable foundation for your business.

 

There are several versions of Windows Server 2008 including Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter and more. However, the Standard Edition generally meets the needs of many small to medium-sized businesses.

 

Windows Server 2008 is a multipurpose operating system capable of handling a diverse set of server roles, depending on your needs, in either a centralised or distributed fashion. Some of these server roles include:

  • File and Print Services
  • Web Services
  • Hyper-V (Virtualisation)
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Terminal Services
  • Active Directory Domain Services, Lightweight Directory Services and Rights Management Services
  • Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and Fax Server
  • Windows Deployment Services

 

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003

Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS 2003 R2) is an advanced IT support solution designed to help you protect your data, do more with less, and connect with customers like never before. SBS 2003 R2 provides small to medium-sized businesses with many of the features used by large companies email, Internet connection, internal Web sites, remote access, support for mobile devices, file and printer sharing, backup and restore all in one affordable, integrated solution.

 

Include in Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 are the following:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 - file print and application sharing; firewall for security and data protection
  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services - internal company intranet for document and information sharing
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 and Outlook 2003 - email and messaging; shared calendaring
  • Microsoft Windows Server Update Services - automated patch and update management
  • Microsoft Shared Fax Service - fax from desktops; receive faxes via email or printer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition - integrated data management and reporting solution*
  • Microsoft Internet and Security Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 - firewall for multi-layer security; tools to manage and monitor internal Internet access*
  • Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003*

 

*Theses servers and product are only included in the Premium Edition of SBS 2003 R2.

Application Platforms

Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is a comprehensive, integrated data management and analysis software that enables organisations to reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run today's increasingly complex business applications. SQL Server 2005 allows companies to gain greater insight from their business information and achieve faster results for a competitive advantage.

 

Here's a quick summary of capabilities:

  • Enterprise Data Management
  • High Availability - failover clustering and database mirroring technology
  • Management Tools - an integrated suite of management tools and management application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Security Enhancements - database encryption, more secure default settings, password policy enforcement, granular permissions control, and an enhanced security model
  • Scalability - table partitioning, replication enhancements, and 64-bit support
  • Developer Productivity
  • Common Language Runtime (CLR) Integration - develop database objects using any Microsoft.NET language
  • Deep XML Integration - mew XML data type that enables storage of XML fragments or documents in SQL Server databases
  • Transact-SQL Enhancements - new query types and capability to use error handling in transactions
  • SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition - Full integration with SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 to rapidly build applications that extend data management to mobile devices
  • Business Intelligence
  • Analysis Services - a unified and integrated view of all your business data as the foundation for all of your traditional reporting, OLAP analysis, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) scorecards and data mining
  • Integration Services - SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is a next generation data integration platform that can integrate data from any source.
  • Reporting Services - SQL Server Reporting Services is a comprehensive, server-based reporting solution designed to help you author, manage, and deliver both paper-based and interactive Web-based reports.
  • Data Mining - SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) provides tools for data mining with which you can identify rules and patterns in your data, so that you can determine why things happen and predict what will happen in the future.

Business Productivity Platforms

Exchange Server 2010

Now, more than ever, your organisation requires cost-effective and flexible communication tools. With Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 you can achieve new levels of reliability and performance with features that simplify your administration, help protect your communications, and delight your users by meeting their demands for greater mobility.

 

Microsoft Exchange Server, the cornerstone of Microsoft's Unified Communications solution, is a flexible and reliable messaging platform that can help you lower your messaging costs by 50-80%, increase productivity with anywhere access to business communications, and safeguard your business with protection and compliance capabilities that help you manage risk.

 

Lower IT costs with a flexible and reliable platform

Pressure to optimise your IT infrastructure for ever-changing business conditions requires you to be agile, so investing in solutions that provide reliability and choice is critical. Exchange Server 2010 gives you the flexibility to tailor your deployment to your unique needs and provides a simplified way to help keep e-mail continuously available for your users.

 

This flexibility and simplified availability comes from innovations to the core platform that Exchange is built on. These innovations deliver numerous advances in performance, scalability, and reliability advancements, while lowering the total cost of ownership 50-80%.

 

A new, unified approach to high availability and disaster recovery helps achieve new levels of reliability as it reduces the complexity and cost of delivering business continuity up to 80%. With new features, such as Database Availability Groups and online mailbox moves, you can more easily and confidently implement mailbox resiliency with database-level replication and failover, all with familiar Exchange management tools.

 

Delight users with anywhere access to communications

 

Your business success relies on technology solutions that make your users more productive. With Exchange Server 2010 you can cost effectively provide your users the freedom to securely access all of their communications-e-mail, voice mail, instant messaging, and more-from virtually any platform, Web-browser, or device to get more done wherever they are.

 

Your users live their business lives in their inboxes, but the ever-growing flow of information through those inboxes affects productivity and profitability.

 

With Exchange Server 2010 enhancements, your users can increase their productivity and more easily collaborate with each other and their business partners.

 

Manage risk with protection and compliance capabilities

 

A growing number of applications and devices access your e-mail infrastructure, so it is more important than ever that you consider the protection of your mission critical e-mail data when you choose an e-mail solution. Your organization has many reasons to protect and archive e-mail, from regulatory concerns to internal organizational governance. Exchange 2010 delivers integrated information protection, control, and compliance tools focused on helping you simplify and automate this process.

 

Optimised for Software-plus-Services

 

Exchange Server 2010 was designed, developed, and tested with the Microsoft Software-plus-Services strategy at its core. Choose from on-premise deployment with Exchange 2010, a Microsoft-hosted service with Exchange Online, or a seamless mix of both. You can decide when and how you take advantage of on-premise, hosted, cloud-based, and hybrid solutions without interrupting or changing the experience for your users.

 

Exchange Server 2007

You can manage a reliable messaging system with built-in protection against spam and viruses, while providing anywhere access to e-mail, voicemail, calendars, and contacts. Your people will appreciate the ability to stay in touch using a wide variety of devices.

 

Capabilities and features of Exchange Server 2007 include:

  • Built-in Protection
  • Anti-spam and Anti-virus - built-in defenses against spam and phishing e-mail as well as additional integrated filtering and multi-engine scanning capabilities provide advanced protection.*
  • Compliance - controls for messages in transport or requiring retention and journaling help meet organisational, legal and regulatory compliance requirements
  • Business Continuity - New data replication capabilities (local and clustered) keep the system highly available while limiting the need and frequency for tape backup
  • Confidential Messaging - new encryption features for both internal and Internet-based messages help protect the confidentiality of messages in transit.
  • Anywhere Access
  • Unified Messaging - email, faxes, and voicemail all delivered to your inbox, plus voice access from any standard phone
  • Web-Based Messaging - Outlook-like experience from any web browser including powerful search and ability to view different types of attachments
  • Mobile Messaging - improved email and calendaring on mobile devices, plus enhanced device and security policy control
  • Collaboration and Productivity - enhanced calendaring, out-of-office, resource booking and meeting scheduling capabilities simplify collaboration and increase productivity
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Performance and Scalability - improved storage efficiency through the extended memory and larger cache of x64-based architecture
  • Administration - new graphical and command-line interfaces offer improved manageability and increased automation while integrated tools simplify maintenance
  • Deployment - modular setup and server provisioning based on server roles, as well as capabilities to automatically discover Outlook and mobile clients
  • Extensibility - new web services-based application programming interface (API) and .NET integration via Exchange Management Shell tasks enable rapid development for custom and third-party applications

What's the right solution for your business?

AlphaScan can help your small to medium-sized business evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of new technology. If you need an IT strategic plan or IT services, we can help. Contact us or learn more about AlphaScan Care.