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									                                              Networking Basics
Networking Basics .............              Your company has many ongoing needs: to better organise
What Does a
                                              and safeguard business information, to communicate
Network Do? .......................2
                                              effectively and professionally with customers and suppliers,
                                              and to make the most of your existing computers and
Introduction to                               office equipment.
Networking ..........................3
                                              Introducing the right technology into your business can help
Some More                                     you accomplish these goals and save you time and money,
Server Basics ........................5       keeping you focused on your business, not on technology.
What Servers Can Do                           The foundation of an effective technology solution starts
For Your Business...............6             with a network.

Choosing the Right
Server Solution ................ 0                  
What Does a Network Do?
A network is a group of interconnected computers that allows you to share information and resources
(such as printers) from one computer to another. A network with the right software helps you increase
employee productivity and reduce costs.

For example, in a network with Windows® Small       Businesses that use networks find that the
Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS 2003 R2), multiple     investment pays for itself quickly through
employees can access the internet or company        increased productivity. According to a survey
email at the same time, and share the same fax      published by*, increased employee
machine or other office equipment. A network        productivity and reduced operating costs help
with Windows SBS 2003 R2 can help you save          pay for software, hardware, installation and
time and money, protect your business data          support costs – on average, within five months.
and increase efficiencies in your business.

                                                    * ‘Windows Small Business Server 2003
                                                    Out-of-the-Box ROI for Small Business’ white paper.
Introduction to Networking
The two most common types of networks are peer-to-peer and client/server. Both networks serve
the same purpose – they allow users to share information or resources.

Peer-to-Peer Networks

The most basic way to allow multiple users       they can do. For example, peer-to-peer networks
to share information or resources, such as       have no centralised security safeguards.
printers and fax machines, is to connect         Information and resources are shared from
multiple computers in a peer-to-peer network.    each computer, and if one computer shuts
A common method for setting up a peer-to-        down, loses power, or loses data, it is impossible
peer network is to connect computers running     to access the information on that computer.
workgroup or client software, such as the        Peer-to-peer networks also tend to slow down
Microsoft® Windows Vista® operating system,      when more than five computers are connected.
to a hub or to use a wireless access point.
While this is a simple, low-cost solution,
peer-to-peer networks are limited in what

                                                                      Peer-to-peer networks
                                                                      are the most basic
                                                                      type of network.   3
Client/Server Networks

In a client/server network, a single computer       Also, because the server acts as a single
(the server hardware) is used to store and          access point, your internet connection can
manage information and resources in a central       be monitored and controlled, which enhances
location. That computer is loaded with server       your network security.
software that is designed to perform specific       The computers in your business may show
tasks and provide specific services such as file    markedly improved performance in a client/
sharing, print processing, internet connectivity    server network because they don’t have to
and email for each of the network’s ‘client’        perform functions for other computers, such as
computers. The clients in the client/server         storing large amounts of data or running heavy
network can be individual computers, printers,      software applications; the server takes on all
or other remote devices (for example, Windows       this heavy lifting.
Mobile® powered Pocket PCs or Smartphones).
                                                    With one centralised access point for
Client/server networks provide tools and services   information and resources, users are not
that can help your business achieve dramatic        dependent on information housed on each
time and cost savings, revolutionising the way      other’s computers, as they are in a peer-to-
you do your work. For example, with a client/       peer network. In addition, servers can enhance
server network you can use fewer printers and       the security of your business data by providing
distribute faxes electronically, which results in   controlled access to files and data such as
lower hardware costs and increased productivity.    financial information, documents and business
The server can back up information, which can       presentations.
save you time and prevent data loss.


        Client                            Server
                                        With client/server networks, you can centralise files,
                                        share printers and an internet connection, which can lead
                                        to greater productivity and cost savings.

Some More Server Basics
Servers play a pivotal role in a network, providing significant time – and cost-saving benefits.

Server Operating Systems

Most server operating systems control security       This means that any business can take
and allow you to decide the specific users,          advantage of the benefits of servers and client/
computers, or devices that can access server         server networking.
resources, as well as how they can use those         Microsoft expressly designed Windows SBS 2003
resources. Server operating systems also allow       R2 for businesses with 2 to 75 computers that
other server-specific programs, or server            are looking for an affordable and complete
applications, to run. For example, a server          network solution. This Microsoft server software
can run a line-of-business application –             provides essential networking and internet
such as accounting software – that client            connection-sharing capabilities so that you
computers can access.                                can efficiently share resources and information
                                                     from a central place and across your business.
Server Applications                                  Windows SBS 2003 R2 also gives you more
Applications are the software instructions           professional ways to connect with your
that execute a task or a specific set of tasks.      customers from the office or a remote location,
Personal computer applications perform tasks         and the tools and infrastructure you need to
for the user of the application. Server computer     keep your business up and running securely –
applications can perform volumes of tasks            at a cost your business can afford.
simultaneously for many users. At one time,
only large companies could afford servers
because of the cost and complexity of buying,
maintaining and administering them. This is no
longer the case. New technologies designed
specifically for businesses like yours provide
solutions at lower costs with simplified server
administration and maintenance.   5
What Servers Can Do for Your Business
Now that you have some background on the components of a client/server network,
you need to know what a server can do for your business – and what benefits you gain
from a client/server network.

Central Data Storage and Backup                       deliver a preconfigured internal website, or
                                                      ‘intranet,’ where you and your employees can
Storing files on a server – rather than on
                                                      store, update, and share all your vital business
individual computer hard disk drives – reduces
                                                      information, such as customer contacts, financial
the need for employees to back up files on
                                                      records and email, in one central location.
individual computers. With a peer-to-peer
network, if an employee’s computer crashes and        Finally, servers make it possible to use many
files are lost, it can take days to reconstruct the   server-based business applications, such as
system and months to re-create the lost work.         accounting, business planning and contact
Maintaining control of document versions can          management software, which share a
also be a challenging, cumbersome task that           centralised database so that all employees can
can result in wasted time and a hit to your           work from the same information. Microsoft SQL
company’s credibility if the wrong version            Server™ 2005 Workgroup Edition, the powerful,
of a document is released.                            integrated data management and reporting
                                                      solution that comes with Windows SBS 2003
Improved Team Performance                             R2 Premium Edition, easily supports your
                                                      company’s business applications.
With a client/server network, servers can be
configured for centralised data storage, which
makes it much easier for co-workers to access
documents and work together on projects.
Windows SBS 2003 R2 includes Microsoft
Windows SharePoint® Services technology to
Shared Printing, Fax, and                         Security
Internet Connections
                                                  Servers can enhance security by letting you
With server technology, you can reduce the        control the contact your employees and others
number of printers and fax machines you need      have with the internet. Firewall technology
to efficiently run your business.                 helps control internet communication so that
Through the Microsoft Shared Fax Service          you can better protect your business from
in Windows SBS 2003 R2, the server can be         unauthorised users who try to access your
configured to automatically route print jobs      company’s computers through the internet.
to your central printer, and incoming faxes       Some server systems, such as Windows SBS
can be digitised and delivered directly to each   2003 R2 Premium Edition, have a built-in firewall.
employee’s computer. A single, shared internet    This Microsoft server software includes Microsoft
connection eliminates the need for various        Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004,
cable modems or DSL connections and multiple      which provides a built-in firewall for enhanced
configurations that require support. Managing     security and offers tools for managing and
a single account is much simpler, and server-     monitoring employee internet access.
monitoring features let you track and control
                                                  In addition, you can install software on your
employee internet use.
                                                  server that provides security settings to let you
A server system can make sharing your business    establish different access levels for different
assets across your network quick and easy,        employees, vendors, or clients who access
and will ultimately help you save money.          your network. You must ensure that the server
                                                  in your business provides adequate protection
                                                  for your network.
Email and Calendars

While it is possible to outsource your email       With Windows SBS 2003 R2, you also get
to an internet service provider (ISP), there are   Outlook 2003 (also supports Outlook 2007)
significant advantages to hosting your own         for managing and organising email messages,
email system. Having an in-house email system      schedules and contacts.
brings an element of professionalism and
sophistication to your company communications      Internal Company Website
while improving efficiency and organisation.       An intranet is a website that is accessible
Hosting your own system allows you to:             only to authorised users within a network.
• Create and remove addresses as needed.           A company intranet typically contains shared
  Personnel changes won’t require a call to        business documents such as contracts, product
  your ISP.                                        and price lists, budgets, and marketing
• Create multiple, customer-mail addresses such
  as, which can         Intranets can increase employee productivity
  be delivered to the appropriate persons email    by giving individuals the ability to store and
  inbox or distributed to a group of people.       easily access files, applications or internal
                                                   information. Intranets are a powerful way for
Only a few servers for businesses with 2 to 75
                                                   employees to work together. Some server
computers have an integrated, easy-to-use
                                                   software, such as Windows SBS 2003 R2,
email system that is reliable and will grow with
                                                   comes with a built-in intranet.
your business. Microsoft Exchange Server
2003 technology, a streamlined email system,
is part of Windows SBS 2003 R2. It gives
your business a professional email presence
and offers your employees a way to access
their email on the web – through Microsoft
Office Outlook® web Access.

Network Administration                               Growth

Some server systems still require complex            Server flexibility refers to how a system responds
configuration to run smoothly; others can be         and performs as the number of users grows.
simple and cost effective to administer.             Flexibility is one of the major strengths of the
The use of an information technology (IT)            client/server network, because you can simply
consultant is advisable for initial set up and       add another server when needed.
maintenance, but with the right server system,       Experiencing dramatic growth? Upgrading to a
routine tasks such as recovering lost documents      more robust system may be in order, and a good
are easy for you to perform.                         first server makes upgrades smooth and easy.
With Windows SBS 2003 R2, you can select a           Windows SBS 2003 R2 can grow with your
Microsoft Small Business Specialist as your IT       business, keeping pace with your changing
consultant to set up your system. Designed with      demands. Because your data is managed from
simplicity in mind, this Microsoft server software   a central location, adding new computers and
is easy to install, manage, and use.                 applications is a straightforward task. Windows
For additional cost savings, a server can be         SBS 2003 R2 provides a ‘technology building
configured to continually monitor itself. Windows    block’ so you can install additional servers as
SBS 2003 R2 produces a daily email report on the     your needs change.
health of the Microsoft software in your network.    And if you outgrow the 75 user/device
And with remote monitoring capabilities, your        parameters with Windows SBS 2003 R2,
IT consultant will be able to assist you without     you can migrate easily to full stand-alone
driving to your office, so a quick response          Microsoft server products with the Windows
and lower costs for support can be realised.         SBS 2003 R2 Transition Pack. This protects
Make sure your server system gives you the           your initial investment.
information you need to identify and solve           It’s a good idea to consider your strategy for
problems quickly.                                    managing the growth of your business and your
                                                     technology needs. Make sure you have a system
                                                     that can grow with your business needs.   
Choosing the Right Server Solution
If you are choosing a network for your business or thinking of changing the type of network
you already have, a client/server network can offer the security, collaboration, professionalism
and manageability that you are looking for.

One choice to consider is Windows Small               and to streamline your customer communications
Business Server 2003 R2, which you can use to         – so you can run a successful business today and
keep your business running and your data secure,      into the future.
to increase your efficiencies and cost savings,

Is Your Business Ready for a Server? Learn more at

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