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Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

New Member
Posts: 4
Country: Canada

Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

Hello

 

Can anyone please help end some confusion? I want to run ACT 2012 in my small business with 5 computers. I'm trying to choose an operating system for the physical server and an email program. I currently have Windows small business server(SBS) 2003 and Microsoft Exchange, with Outlook 2003 on the workstations.

 

Our IT consultant says: Upgrade to SBS 2011 and take advantage of some of its new features, including improved support for Outlook on workstations.  Get rid of your old SBS 2003 which will be unsupported in about 18 months anyway.

 

Our ACT consultant says: Never, ever install ACT on SBS 2008 or 2011.  SBS 2003 is ok but you must not run in cached mode and the use of Exchange is inadvisable; better that you just run Outlook on your workstations.

 

Another ACT consultant says:   ACT should never be run on any Windows Small Business Server machine, particularly if you're ever considering future use of ACTmobile or ACT on the web. You should abandon SBS and go to a full Windows Server environment. To run ACT with Exchange, you should have TWO physical servers, one for ACT and one for Exchange. Regarding abandoning Exchange, he says, how could you do that? If you're not using Exchange, how are you going to distribute and share your email?

 

Sage says: Problems? What problems? Smiley Very Happy

 

If I go with the first ACT consultant, my system will be obsolete in 18 months. If I go with the second, I'm buying two physical servers and two full server OS's plus setup at a total cost of about $15,000 to service 5 workstations. That's $3000/workstation to access our database. Maybe that's fine if all you do is marketing, but we're scientists just trying to keep track of our clients and send them newsletters.

 

I feel like I'm in a Franz Kafka novel.  Any thoughts or suggestions would sure be appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

No need to 2 physical machines, use Virtual Machines ... either with VMware ESXi or MS 2011 Premium
Then have Exchange running in SBS2011 and have a 2008R2 VM for ACT! ... actually, for one 5 users, the 2nd VM could even be Windows 7 (but 2008R2 would be better)

That way, you can properly allocate the resources to each as you need.

That's how I'm setup ... ESXi server (free hypervisor) with
SBS2011 for Exchange and DC
2008R2 for ACT!
A couple of other VMs for other stuff...
Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

YOu may consider a hosting provider.  Save on the cost of the server and all maintenance and server upgrades are included at a lot less than the numbers you quoted.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Test Drive Act! and Quickbooks over Citrix http://GoTryAct.com

Jon Klubnik| ActTrainer.com
(866)710 4228

ACT! Certified Consultant / ACT! Premier Trainer / ACT! Hosting Provider

New Member
Posts: 4
Country: Canada

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

Thanks for the practically instant reply Mike! I had not thought of the VM route. That sounds like a good idea. Its unfortunate that when we bought ACT and looked at Sage's requirements, we concluded that we could just install it with Small Business Server and Exchange and not have to worry about issues, but maybe we didn't do enough advance research. I find it a little difficult to believe (no sarcasm intended) that running two VM's is what everyone else is doing, but it does sound like the solution that incorporates all the advice I have received. Maybe other people are running SBS and Exchange and ACT on a single server, and just having to cope with slowdowns and freezes or other problems. I sure appreciate getting the advice for a route to avoid that. Maybe Sage should offer that suggestion in their marketing so customers can be setup properly from day #1.  Thanks again! Doug

New Member
Posts: 4
Country: Canada

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

Thanks Jon - I had looked at that when we were considering the price of just one new server, and concluded that it would be more economical in the long term to have ACT onsite (especially since we had just bought the 2012 licenses). But you're right, if buying 2 servers and OS's, hosting sounds like the way to go. Mike Lazarus (the posting above this one) has suggested one server with two VMs, which might be more attractive - but I'm certainly going to look at the hosted option again also. Doug

New Member
Posts: 4
Country: Canada

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

Oops. I just checked ACT 2012 system requirements - there is no indication at all that Small Business Server is even a supported operating system! Maybe it was when we bought ACT some years ago, or maybe I got it wrong right from the start. The advice we've been getting makes a lot more sense now.  Other companies probably don't have this problem because they read the system requirements more clearly and are not using SBS....

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Request for Suggestions for Server Operating System!

There are two big issues with SBS
One is that Exchange and some of the other services take most of the RAM and often leave other apps struggling
The other is that SBS is a Domain Controller ... and it usually not a great idea to load apps (esp web ones) on a DC for security reasons.

Re the sys requirements... the UK web sites lists SBS 2011 as supported, but not the web version.