What do I need for a new business network?!

March 24, 2011 at 14:16:59
Specs: Windows 7
The company I work for requires a solid network setting up, and as I'm the only one with a bit of computer knowledge I've been assigned the job, but have no experience in anything above basic home networking.

Current setup...
There's currently 6 new computers, 5 with windows 7 Home Premium, and 1 with Professional. All use pop3 e-mail (through BT) within Windows Live Mail. They all have the same software installed, and all files (except e-mails) are saved onto a server.

The server is an old computer with windows server 2003 installed, which has 2 shared folders, Shared and Private. These folders have a script that is supposed to back them up onto an external HDD, but the backing up is very hit and miss.

Desired setup...
I'd like to have a system set up where everyone has a network wide user name, an individual folder on the server, access to the Shared folder, and select users having access to the Private folder. The server would also require some good stability, and an efficient back up system.

I would also like a new e-mail system establishing. My girlfriends work has a system where they all use Microsoft Outlook and can share calendars, contacts, etc. A similar system would be good. The current problem with our e-mail is that peoples inboxes are in the GB's, which could do with being stored on the server, and BT's e-mail servers can only hold 40mb of info (which I've set to remove from the server after 5 days), but when large files are sent, inboxes become full and the e-mail becomes unusable for the following 5 days. Is there a way of centralising the e-mail storage, and making the server somehow bypass BT's 40mb storage?

There'll be money available for the operation, whether that be for a new server, upgrading OS's or server software.

Any steps in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

...and sorry for the long post.

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March 24, 2011 at 14:45:21
Usually with the Home versions of Windows operating systems, you can't join a domain. The most you can have is a workgroup. Why did they buy Home Premium if they wanted to create a local domain?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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March 24, 2011 at 14:46:51
I think what you need is to hire someone who knows about these things to advise you and set up your system up initially. The fee that you pay for this will be repaid a hundredfold in the time it will save you and the rest of the company. You don't want to get the setup wrong, and you will need advice about how to fulfil your legal responsibilities with regard to Data Protection, security, and auditing. You just can't know everything that you need to know without a few years training and experience.

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