I have found a very practical Microsoft product that’s not expensive. Small Business Server 2003. What a great idea Microsoft had. You get server 2003(along with IIS), exchange, sharepoint, and outlook 2k3 all for $499 at retail for the standard edition. The premium edition has the same with sql server and ISA server for $699. Both of these come with 5 cals out of the box. For SMB’s this is perfect and honestly i have not found any open source suite that can match this in terms of ease of use and ease of install and configuration. With one suite you have AD, exchange, intranets,(sharepoint) database. I have deployed 4 of these and once you learn the quirks of hte suite it’s quite well put together. To give you an idea I’m going to be changing out my current Linux file server to an SBS 2k3 standard machine.
I’m not a Microsoft fan at all..but when something works and works well and my clients like it…I have to use it.
Of course there’s the hardware. The Linux file server is a celey 1.1 ghz with 256 megs of ram. It’s going to be replaced with a athlon xp 2000+ with 1 gig of ram.