Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration and Configuration

A book review!

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration by David Overton

SBS 2008 image

While there are some great books for anyone working in the SBS space I’m of the opinion there aren’t enough written in the UK so it was with great anticipation I awaited the release of this book once I’d heard UKSBSGuy, David Overton was penning this title

I’m pleased to say the book doesn’t disappoint

The title fully covers exactly what the book is all about


Getting SBS 2008 up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible on a new system. Even though this is a pretty straight forward situation it fully described and backed up with pictures


Making the move from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. The book follows the official Microsoft steps for migration and builds on top of that with lots of pointers and makes you aware of any “gotchas” along the way


Once SBS 2008 is installed the book then goes through all the steps you need to go from installed to operating in a production environment. This is where you’ll learn about areas such as installation of a 3rd party SSL certificate, working with Office Live and configuring backups


The book has three other additional areas (it would have been a really long title!)

Managing User and Computers

While it may sound a pretty trivial area a chapter is dedicated to creating users and groups and adding computers and ensuring they are kept up-to-date

Working with SBS Services as a user

This is a great chapter. When a new server goes in to a business more often than not one of the first questions you’ll get it is

“What does it do?”

As a techie it’s then very easy to reel off a long list of things the system can do. This chapter takes that list and steps through it in a simple and easy to understand fashion covering three main areas

E-mail, Calendar and Contacts – this demonstrates Exchange functionality

Managing Files – covering SharePoint/Companyweb use, search and file recovery (via Shadow Copies)

Remote Access – everything you need to know about Remote Web Workplace, OWA, Mobile phones and connecting via VPN

Introduction to SBS 2008 Management

A full introduction into looking after SBS 2008 once it is running as expected

Areas covered include

Using the admin tools, configuring daily reports, security, backups, storage and event logs

The last part of this chapter looks at common problems and how to resolve them (e.g checking DNS forwarders, tweaking spam settings and investigating poor performance)


The book comes in at 380 pages but there are a LOT of screenshots.

Where needed David has added pictures of every step needed to complete a task which can be a massive help when you are doing something you haven’t seen before.

The language used is clear and concise and when a new piece of technical language is used an explanation is provided

The book is pitched in such a way that a tech savvy business owner who wanted to manage their own server will be able to learn from this book but not so simple that people with previous experience wont feel they like being taught old tricks

The book also breaks out to David’s website when something goes beyond the scope of the book and provides background information and other useful resources (there some very good scripts around file share migration)

From the perspective of my day job the book is worth buying just for the migration section alone. It’s in depth and covers every area without straying from the Microsoft official migration strategy. 

Not long after the launch of the book David came to an AMITPRO event where we ran through a live migration. David had never seen either of the servers provided but following the steps in the book a successful migration was completed with a minimum of fuss (Vijay blogged about it at the time here)

Having spoken to David at the event I know he put a lot of work into it and it certainly shows

The book is available in either print or e-book formats directly from the Packt website (though it is available in lots of other places too)

If you work with SBS 2008 this is definitely worth picking up

Susan Bradley says it’s great too so what other recommendation do you need 🙂


Disclaimer: A review copy of the book was kindly provided by Packt Publishing – I’ve donated the money I would have spent on the book to Cancer Research UK

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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