Monday, 20 August 2007

SBS - Getting familiar with SBS via the Wizards

For those of us who may have come from an Enterprise background, using the built in SBS wizards is almost completely foreign to us.

For those of us who may have come from a non IT background, the SBS wizards are also pretty much foreign.

When there is a need to interact with the SBS based management features for those who may be the on-site "technical" person, the wizards can be very helpful towards accomplishing most of the mundane server management for things like user and computer accounts. Getting that on-site "technical" person comfortable with the wizards is our task.

The beauty of the SBS wizards is the fact that they work for everyone. Whether that one be someone who has no need or desire to understand what they do, or for those who may have come from another IT related background and are interested in delving into the various changes they make. They just work.

There is also another neat aspect to the wizards: They are an excellent way to facilitate training on the various server components installed on SBS. For someone like us who manage SBS domains for a living, this is the best way to delve into the various server components to figure out just what is happening and where. For us, it is essentially mandatory that we be willing to do that. Having an in-depth knowledge of the SBS setup will always be beneficial especially in the case of a troublesome server.

Oh, and by the way, if we run into a troublesome SBS box, having used the wizards means we are working with a box that is consistent throughout. These boxes are complicated. When the SBS box is setup without the wizards, any combination of settings, or series of settings, or methodology of setup, may change between SBS box setup. This introduces the "human factor" into the setup or troubleshooting which can be dangerous to the health of the SBS box.

The SBS wizard's methodology for making changes, that is the changes they make, are a window into the "proper" way, as deigned by the Microsoft SBS team, to setup the SBS box.

Whether we realize it or not, the SBS wizards make changes in many ways both seen and unseen.

For those who advocate the setup and management of SBS without the wizards, it is the unseen aspects of what the wizards do that may come back to haunt.

Yes, it is possible to setup the SBS box without them. But, doing it that way may actually be a lot more time consuming than by using the ToDo and wizard method.

The stock out of the box wizard based setup of SBS will suit most client's needs. There will be customization required in some cases. But, those changes should be accomplished after the fact.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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