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How to Install SBS (Small Business Server) 2011 Standard Edition

SBS (Small Business Server) 2011 is an all in one suite based on Windows Server 2008 R2. It comes in two editions:

– Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard
– Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

The standard edition provides a complete server solution for small businesses with up to 75 users. It includes Exchange 2010 SP1, SharePoint Foundation 2010, WSUS and of course, the Windows Server 2008 R2 technologies.

SBS 2011 Essentials is a more limited and simplified solution for small businesses with up to 25 users. It does not include Exchange, SharePoint and WSUS, provides only core infrastructure services and is designed to facilitate the connection to the cloud.

In a series of Screencasts we will present Step-by-Step both editions of SBS 2011.
In the first Screencast of the SBS 2011 series we will demonstrate how to install SBS 2011 standard edition. The minimum system requirements needed to run Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard are:

– Processor – one 1.4 GHz (x64 processor) or one 1.3 GHz dual-core (Supports up to 4 Sockets)
– Memory – 8 GB (Recommended 10 GB, Maximum 32 GB)
– Disk Space – 120 GB

It is important to note that you can install SBS 2011 standard edition on a system with less than 8 GB memory and 120 GB Disk space. As you will see, the installation process is in two stages – the first stage installs 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, and the second stage installs SBS itself. The hardware requirements are checked in the beginning of the second stage and:

– If Memory is less than 4 GB or Disk space is less than 80 GB, you will get a blocking error – installation cannot continue.
– If Memory is less than 8 GB or Disk space is less than 120 GB, you will get only a warning error – you can acknowledge the error and continue with the installation.

Installing SBS 2011 on a system with less than the minimum hardware requirements makes sense when you are testing the product or duplicating a production environment. A clean install takes approximately 23 GB of disk space.

Another option in SBS 2011 is the ability to simplify and automate the SBS portion of the installation using an answer file. We demonstrate this approach too, and you can see that it also allows you to choose the internal Active Directory DNS name. If you are not looking for automating the second stage but just need the extra choice for specifying the AD name, you can use an empty answer file and this is demonstrated at the end of step2.

Click to play 1 video
Step 1 In this step, we perform a clean install of SBS 2011 standard edition. Special attention is given to the different blocking and warning errors which you might get.

Click to play 2 video
Step 2 In this step we demonstrate how to create and use an answer file, when installing SBS 2011 standard edition. This gives you the extra option to choose the internal AD DNS name.

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