Inaugural Post of the New SBS Support Blog

I’m pleased to announce the creation of the official Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) Small Business Server Support Group’s Blog.  This site will host technical articles and discussions regarding a wide variety of SBS-related topics.  I’m interested in discussing just about anything related to SBS in this format.

Who are you guys?

My name is Mark Stanfill and I am a technical lead on the SBS team.  My daily job involves providing 3rd and 4th tier escalations for Microsoft Support, writing and editing technical content, mentoring, and delivering training.  I will be moderating this blog and acting as general coordinator. 

My group supports all aspects of SBS for Microsoft and provides guidance for our various partners on SBS technical matters.  Individual contributors will be adding content to this site going forward.

What will be covered?

One of the great things about SBS is that the number of installed components on the box allow for some fairly varied discussions.  Most questions about SBS break down in to one of these fairly well-defined categories:

  • SBS-specific components – Questions about components that can only be found in SBS.  “How does the POP3 Connector work under the hood?”; “Can I modify RWW?”; “What is the Transition Pack?”
  • Component-specific questions – These are questions about the components that make up SBS – Windows Server, Exchange, Windows SharePoint Services, etc.  Questions may or may not be SBS-specific, but do deal with the workings of the particular service on an SBS box.  “How do I do ‘X’ in Exchange?” “Can you use ‘X’ component of Windows Server 2003 on SBS?”
  • Interoperability – How does SBS work with other services, either on the same box or on the network?  “Can I install ‘X’ on SBS?”  “What are the best practices for installing a second ‘X’ server in to an SBS environment?”
  • Non-technical – There’s no way around discussing licensing and business needs as part of a complete technical solution.  Questions in this category include: “I have 7 users and 5 CALs, what’s the best way to license ‘X’?”; “I want to migrate from ‘X’ to SBS 2003, what is the least expensive way to do that?”; “I plan on growing to 200 users in 2 years, is SBS a good solution for me?”

What’s Next?

I want to hear your feedback on what would be the most helpful to the SBS community at large.  What issues would you like to see covered?  Which pieces of SBS would be most helpful to have more information on?  What kind of information would make you better able to support or sell SBS?

My goal is to post a weekly, in-depth topic dealing with areas of SBS that may not be covered in other areas (too small a niche for a book or white paper, too much information for a Knowledge Base article).  In addition, I’ll be posting relevant news items, links, and updates on a semi-regular basis.

Until next time,

Mark Stanfill, MCSA, MCSE, MCDBA
Technical Lead, CSS SBS Team