My notes from today’s Microsoft Partner Program webcast…

Requirements

Requirements for primary server

Processor 64-bit only, 2GHz minimum, maximum of 4 physical sockets (no limit on the number of cores)
Memory 4GB RAM minimum.
32GB RAM maximum.
OS Drive Partition 60GB minimum.
DVD-ROM Bootable from system BIOS
Network Adapter 1 x 100Mbps Ethernet adapteber
Monitor / video adapter Minimum 1024×768
Network devices Router that supports IPv4 NAT
Internet Connection Required
Firewall External firewall required

Requirements for second server (if you’re running SBS2008 Premium Edition)

Processor 2GHz (can be x86 OR x64)
Memory 2GB RAM minimum.
32GB RAM maximum.
OS Partition 10GB minimum.
40GB recommended.

To enable backup, you need minimum of 1 external drive (this must be a separate physical disk from any of the disks holding any of the SBS components / data).

Installation planning, and creating the Answer File

Microsoft provides a Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Worksheet.

The new Answer File Tools allows you to streamline the installation, and make your installations consistent.  Allows options for whether to do installation attended or unattended, time zone, ewhether to install OneCare for Server and ForeFront for Exchange, fully qualified internal domain name, network settings, root certification authority name, etc.  To run, Insert SBS2008 DVD1 on Windows XP or Vista and run SBSAfg.exe.

When you are MIGRATING to SBS2008, you MUST use the Answer File Tool.  The tool will guide you through the process.

You can use the Answer File while doing either an OEM or Manual install.  Simply load unattended.xml file onto a USB Key.

Clients must be on Windows XP Business SP2 (or higher) or Windows Vista Business / Ultimate.

Preparing the network

When you are ready to deploy, configure your network such that your router/firewall is configured as 192.168.x.1, and that your SBS2008 machine is configured as 192.168.x.2.

The “Connect to the Internet” wizard will look for a router at 192.168.x.1 and 192.168.x.254.  If it finds the router, it verifies NAT functionality to make sure it can connect to the Internet.  Then it configures DHCP on SBS, and requests the router to turn off DHCP.  The resulting DHCP on SBS2008 is configured to be almost identical to the DHCP scope that was configured on the router.

If SBS2008 cannot automatically configure your router, you must (1) disable DHCP on your router, and (2) forward the following ports to 19.168.x.2:

  • SMTP – TCP 25
  • HTTP – TCP 80
  • HTTPS – TCP 443
  • HTTPS for SharePoint – TCP 987
  • VPN – TCP 1723
  • Note that port 4125 is NO LONGER NEEDED, as terminal services now goes through TS Gateway, which transfers traffic across port 443

Windows SBS installation will fail if the following conditions exist:

  • The computer doesn’t have a NIC
  • There is no link light
  • The computer is not connected to a local router
  • The computer is connected directly to the Internet and getting an Internet address instead of a local address

Windows SBS Installation – After the first phase (baseline setup) is complete

The first step that you are prompted for is to confirm that the date, time, and timezone are correct (important for server migrations).

Next, you are prompted to go online and get any critical updates.  This includes any updates that they put out to improve the installation process, as well as any security or performance related patches.

The next thing that runs is the networking discovery, which will attempt to connect out through the router, try to auto-configure the network, etc.  If it can’t configure the router (or if you haven’t forwarded the ports yourself), it won’t go out and get the latest updates.

Next screens prompt for information about the business (name, address, etc), the server name and internal domain name (if running with an answer file, it also prompts you for FQDN, which lets you specify an extension other than .local), and network administrator name / username / password.

You are then prompted for whether you want to install Windows Live OneCare for Server and/or Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server.  Both of these are 120-day trial versions.

All information you entered is then confirmed, as the server name and internal domain name cannot be changed after the installation is complete.  This is not shown if you are using an unattended answer file.

Installation is then performed, and if all is successful you receive a “Successful installation” screen.

Sometimes there may be minor issues, which will be reported in an “Installation Issues” window.  Each issue has a help topic associated with it to walk you through resolving the issue.

Connect to the Internet Wizard (CTIW)

Detects the presence of a DHCP server and requests that you turn it off.

Detects existing routers.

Configures the network.

Detects and Internet connection.

Internet Address Management Wizard

Launch Partners:  GoDaddy, Register.com, eNomCentral.

Allows you to purchase a domain name and automatically configure DNS with the appropriate records.  Keeps those records up to date over time.  Also manages Dynamic DNS for your environment (if necessary) and will update your IP address at the registrar.  Configures mail.domain.com, www.domain.com, and remote.domain.com.

Automatically configures:  Outlook Anywehre, Exchange, Remote Web Workplace, Mobile Device connectivity, Certificates.

Configure Internet Mail Wizard

Can configure your mail to go out through a smart host, which is useful if you are on a dynamic IP address, so your email is not flagged as spam.

Move Data Wizards

By default, everything gets installed onto Drive 0.  You can then move the data onto a different drive after installation.  Microsoft recommends separating application and user data from the system drive, using the storage migration tools that are available after setup.  RAID 1 recommended for system drive, and RAID 1 or RAID 5 for user data drive.

Backup and Storage page, Storage tab provides information about all of the drives, available space, etc.

There are a series of tasks on the right side of the screen that allow you to move the Microsoft Exchange Server data, Windows SharePoint Services data, Users’ shared data, User’s redirected documents, and Windows Update Repository data.

The interface prompts you to back up your data before it does any data moving.

Read more posts from John R. Pattison about Windows Small Business Server 2008