So what’s the first steps you should do after installing your brand spankin’ new SBS 2008?
1. Make a backup.
2. No really, trust me, make a backup.
3. I’m serious. Before you start patching or updating, stop and make a backup. Attach an external usb drive, run the backup wizard and take the time to make a backup.
4. Ensure that your network card drivers are updated to the latest nic drivers from the manufacturer. I sign up for announcements from the vendor regarding my server and workstation models so it alerts me to issues. For HP the link to sign up is here: https://h30046.www3.hp.com/subchoice/subhub.aspx it then alerts me to updates I may need to my server. In the old days I truly would install the nic card driver when the box was built and never ever touched it again. Now the opposite is true. I treat it like an operating system unto itself and it gets updated as I deem it necessary.
5. Ensure Windows 2008 Service pack 2 is installed on the system. If the SBS 2008 had sp2 installed already, great, if it did not, it should be the VERY first thing you manually install on the box before all other patches even to the point of manually downloading it onto a usb flash drive and manually installing it on the server – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a4dd31d5-f907-4406-9012-a5c3199ea2b3&displaylang=en. To determine if your server already has SP2 included, click on start, control panel, then system and in the upper part of the window see if the system reads as follows:
Windows Server ® Standard FE
Copyright © 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Service Pack 2
If it says that, then it’s SP2. For the record the reason that says “FE” is the shortened name for Windows Server 2008 for Windows Essential Server Solutions, which is the base OS that SBS is built on. It’s just like Windows 2008 standard server but puts certain restrictions on the box such as:
a. One one SBS server can run in a domain. While you can have additional domain controllers in a SBS domain, there can only be one SBS box.
b. SBS must be the root of the AD forest.
c. There cannot be any trusts with any other domain.
d. There cannot be any child domains.
6. Hold off on installing SharePoint Service pack 2 until you read this key SBS blog post: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2010/03/12/a-tip-for-preventing-certain-sharepoint-connectivity-failure-in-sbs-2008.aspx Some servers that have been deployed have been mangled a bit with the install of Service Pack 2. If you follow that post first, you shouldn’t have issues installing the SP2 update.
7. When you go to install WSUS 3 Service pack 2 be a geek and don’t read the exact instructions. It will ask at one point in time to uninstall the prior WSUS version. Ignore what the screen is telling you to do and keep clicking next. If you get prompted at the end to run the WSUS configuration, just click cancel. It’s not a big deal if you do, just remember that if you choose anything but the category of “all products” in WSUS, you’ll make the WSUS integration into the SBS console fail. Again, this is not a huge failure and extremely easy to put back in place. Keep in mind that during the install of the service pack 2 WSUS will fully uninstall and reinstall. I personally have never had a failure during the process, but I was a geek and blindly clicked next.
8. Read the blog post below and consider disabling do disable logging for the WSUS administration site in IIS. The C drive will unnecessarily fill up with unneeded log files if you don’t. http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2010/03/02/recovering-disk-space-on-the-c-drive-in-small-business-server-2008.aspx
9. Download and install the SBS 2008 best practices analyzer http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd145275%28WS.10%29.aspx Ask in the newsgroup if you are unsure of a warning and what to do about any warnings you get in the BPA. Most are self explanatory or point to KB articles. There’s one or two that may need clarification depending on your network.
10. Tattoo the url of http://blogs.technet.com/sbs to some part of your anatomy and read and visit it often (preferably in an rss reader). Also sign up for the SBS 2008 newsgroups here – http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/11/02/signing-up-for-the-sbs-2008-newsgroups.aspx
Other resources include http://sbs.seandaniel.com/ and http://blog.mpecsinc.ca
(ideas for list stolen with attribution from Chris Puckett from the SBS 2008 newsgroup)