Two features of Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 that has made my life easier, and my client’s life easier are Folder Redirection and Microsoft Exchange. Both features are included in the Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 package.
Let’s recap what these two features do…
“Folder Redirection” – Redirects all your users “Start Menu”, “My Documents”, and “Desktop” to the server. Even though you try to stress to your staff that it is important to save all relevant data on the server for backup and disaster recovery reasons, users still have a tendency to maintain and keep important documents and/or files on their computer. Where do users store these documents? On their Desktop and My Documents!
“Exchange” – Microsoft Exchange is Microsoft’s collaborative server. It provides business with e-mail, calendars, and tasks; pretty much anything you store in your Outlook client can and is stored on your Exchange server when you’re running SBS 2008.
Whenever I’m out for cocktails with associates, one of the biggest pains I hear them complain about is computers failing at their office. Often time numerous important documents are lost, users lose their entire Outlook (e-mail, calendar, tasks, contacts, etc…) and it’s a huge blowback for that user, sometimes even the company.
So where did they go wrong?
Let’s say that they had Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 running and configured properly. The user could simply log on to another computer in the office, even a spare, type in their username and password and BAM all their important files, data, and even their Outlook contents are instantly copied to that system. It’s only a matter of installing any special applications they may have used before they are fully operational again.
And why else use these features?
Simple! By having all your important data at one location in the office (your server) you now have one single, simple, point to backup in your organization. There’s no managing numerous backups, no backing up workstations, etc. Simply make sure that your server is backed up, and even in the event of a catastrophic failure you can keep your recovery time minimal and headache free.