What is your preferred OS to use for a small business server?
Is getting an Exchange server really needed?
[spoiler]How expensive is it to actually use WIndows Server 2012 and is it worth it?[/spoiler]
I am currently trying to figure out Debian vs CentOS. They're both as stable as you can be. One is 3 years vs I think 10 years support and I heard CentOS has a very hard time in upgrading to newer versions unlike Debian.
People talk about yum vs apt-get. How much difference can there really be?
Currently I am running a Ubuntu server for this server box I am making and it works fine but I'd like to offer something stable to avoid headaches so I am looking into redoing the whole thing with Debian or CentOS. I have only used CentOS for remote servers only for the past several years and basically Ubuntu/Debian based for desktops and local machines for several years.
my boss insisted we set up an exchange server for our small business (~30 machines).
we're paying like 10k a year for all of the windows licenses we have. my boss wrote me up for going over budget.
You may not feel the same way, but I _want_ my servers to be as boring as possible and not need upgrades for years at a time. If your server runs your business and gets security patches, why would you want to update it frequently?
Has anyone used openchange to replace Exchange?
Many clients are used to WIndows Server 2003 and Exchange and if I could use OpenChange on modern Outlook that'd be brownie points for clients
i've tried it in a sandbox with decent results. to be completely honest there isn't much separating exchange from other email programs.
this right here. debian is awesome because once it's configured it will run for years without issue.
I think I will use Debian over CentOS as the UBuntu setup is great and I can easily replicate it again with Debian.
also can't see anything not having a Debian variant for installation and usage.
"Small Business Server" is such an expansive category that I can't even begin to give a recommendation. If you are only using it for one or two services, I would recommend paying for SaaS alternatives if at all possible, for the time- and cost-efficiency. You save way more in the long run compared to maintaining your own box and software. Focus on your business itself, not on how you cobble together the tools. That means unless your business is IT, spend as little time as possible on this-versus-that server.
Again, without knowing the business and what your explicit needs are, it's hard to give an actual recommendation or solution. Consequently my "Look into some quick-signup SaaS products" is only a general-case suggestion.
It's not my server, I make and setup the server and computers for other businesses. They want quickbooks 2014, file shares, and what not.
Many despise the cloud or thinking their business info is cloud hosted.
We've been running our site on Debian
Not sure how to answer your question without knowing what you plan to use it for, though.
Unless you need Windows-specific software, don't choose that. Linux is the industry standard, it's much more natural to configure, has a larger community, and more software.
>It's not my server
Ah okay. I thought you were asking what you should use for your own company.
If you're not the decision maker then, well, good luck.
>Many despise the cloud or thinking their business info is cloud hosted.
Indeed. Sometimes they might even LIKE "cloud" services but are required physical control of their data for regulatory reasons, and so forth.
>We've been running our site on Debian
>Not sure how to answer your question without knowing what you plan to use it for, though.
How's it been running?
One of my clients was quoted $8000 for a server. $1600 for the hardware, the rest was Windows Server 2012 and Exchange license keys for her computers
Stepped in, Told her a price 1/7th the cost for better hardware and same features. She's excited to try the Linux solution. She's heard about other companies going Linux too.
>Ah okay. I thought you were asking what you should use for your own company.
Well I'm a small time one person show. I have a dedicated hosted server running CentOS that just runs my websites, client portal, databases, and gameservers. Not the same though. I tend to use SaaS for most everything I do business related for myself.
>If you're not the decision maker then, well, good luck.
The businesses are deciding on on-site servers and prefer it. As for software, they just want the thing to work and have little downtime if possible.
That's sort of why I have a few companies who have signed me up as their on call IT man. Many like the idea of a physical IT guy coming in and doing the work while they continue working on what's possible to use instead of staying on a phone line doing things they ask you to do.
Remote access from support works usually but most likely a solid linux server should only go down from hardware breaking.
You're talking about if the desktops run windows?
Linux with SAMBA works perfectly fine completely with printers, user logins, private user home folders, etc.
Its easier to setup than even from Windows imo
>You're talking about if the desktops run windows?
>Linux with SAMBA works perfectly fine completely with printers, user logins, private user home folders, etc.
so, whatever linux with samba installed would work? ok, nice to know
>Its easier to setup than even from Windows imo
chances are if you don't need to run a linux server there is no reason to.
just use dreamspark and play around 2008 r2 and 2012, 08r2 is a proven version.
hell you could probably get away with something like home server if you want, depends entirely on how many clients they have and will expand to and what you actually need to do.
dont bother going to linux unless you have to
Dem quads. Also, now that CentOS is all cuddled up with RH, you get most of the upside of RHEL with no real cost unless you have money you just absolutely have to throw at a support agreement.
>Its easier to setup than even from Windows imo
11-14 is a step by step guide on how to easily setup SAMBA and use webmin to configure it
But what is the upside of RHEL in CentOS that I can't use in Debian. Cause I just downloaded Debian after trying to make a choice between CentOS and Debian for a few hours today and all I got was one uses yum and hard to upgrade vs one uses apt-get and LTS is only 3 years but upgrades easy and that I already know how to setup a Ubuntu server.
I don't know what to think
In my 3rd world pretty much all banks use windows servers (seen they run lync server), i doubt they would risk that much with win servers if /g/ says they are THAT bad
Testing is, amusingly, far more stable than Stable. Also far more up-to-date. I bet even Unstable is more stable than Stable. Half the time, I get kernel panics at boot with Stable. Stable is murderer.
Don't do this to me. I already spent hours deciding to download Debian 7.5 Stable over CentOS 7
Now my brain is hurting from the thought of making a decision that wasn't the best
>spent hours deciding to download
Why not just download them all at once, WHILE deciding, so that you can change your mind moment-to-moment if you damned well please, and have all the ISOs ready to go whenever you settle. Downloading and deciding are non-exclusive, concurrent operations, m'boy.
Don't use jessie for a server until it's frozen! You don't know what major application upgrades are going to come along and break everything.
Wheezy is fine, i have 10-15 servers running it with zero issues.
I downloaded Debian 7.5 DVD-2 torrent that was 4.4GBs in 2 minutes. Not an issue. The issue is which one I will use on basically ALL small business servers I am currently building and about to build soon (and in the future)
And this guy >>42960386 >>42960313
Is unnerving my shit with his Testing Debian being more Stable than Stable.
He's a little misguided imo.
Testing gets more up-to-date packages, true, but there are always backports, and Stable will also get all security updates. Period.
Testing CAN be better, but often that's for more userland desktop environments or people doing more cutting edge development of server on TOP of the Linux platform. You want something stable and unchanging to make it easier to support.
And when it comes to nit-picking between Debian channels there are edge cases where Testing is left broken for longer than Sid is (aka "unstable" even though it's really not), purely due to release cycle details of when updates and fixes roll from Sid to Testing.
But none of that matters to you, because you should use Stable and be A-OK.
I have genuinely found Testing to be more stable than Stable. If I can make it through the Stable installer (it often freezes indefinitely at unpredictable points (like just before language selection), requiring a reboot after leaving it for ten minutes to see if it straightens out) then I'll have the problem of kernel panics at boot. With Testing, no such problems exist.
>You want something stable and unchanging to make it easier to support.
Might as well just netinstall Testing and leave it as-is until the next iteration of Stable, which would be a good point to dist-upgrade.
OP is building servers for small businesses that he will support himself, at a cost/expense of other types of business for himself. You are seriously recommending a userland/desltop-oriented distro on top of a still-in-development file system?
>But btrfs has worked fine on my desktop for years!
That's fine, but there's a big difference between accepting risk on your personal data and assuming the risk for dozens of businesses with god-know-what use cases:
>Is getting an Exchange server really needed?
You're gonna need more than just a Exchange server for running a Business.
yum is much, much more user-friendly and much more feature-rich than the APT utils on Debian.
Also, CentOS is basically what you want when you want to set up a system and barely touch it for the better part of a decade.
Debian is for when you're upgrading more often and/or need slightly newer software.
>yum is much, much more user-friendly
I have heard the exact opposite everywhere regarding this.
I also have used yum and apt-get equally as much though and hardly find them much different
>not using superior Oracle Linux for free
>using depreciated Debian
That REALLY depends on what it's for!
Only time i see Windows Server as a viable solution is in office environments where you need AD and maybe an Exchange server.
Usually in office environments people are used to the MS Office application suite and need that, so the clients are running Windows and then I think it's easier with Windows Server when administrating GPs and if you use Branchchache you can't do it without Windows Server.
I'm surprised by a lot of my clients wanting to switch to Gapps for GMail or just going to normal mail hosting onsite or online via their web site host.
I haven't seen Exchange being used fully beyond School systems and big corporations such as my father works for UnitedHealthcare and they all use Outlook with exchange.
And I can see why Gapps would be great, using a fleet of Android phones that sync and have push email on top of a good Calendar system.