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I need to set up a smallish windows network at the office. I want the email profile in outlook connected to the login account like in a corporate network and each user needs to be able to hotdesk ie log in to their account on any pc in the office.

What is the mimimum set of software required to do this in Windows?

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What email server are you using? – Zoredache Feb 24 '10 at 20:14
exchange but if I wanted to use zafara open source system will windows server AD be compatible? – rutherford Feb 24 '10 at 21:49
Isn't the Outlook profile included in roaming profiles? – John Gardeniers Feb 24 '10 at 22:32
does that mean outlook running on an (AD?) roaming profiles basis will be compatible with Zafara? – rutherford Feb 24 '10 at 23:13
@John Gardeniers, yes your outlook profile would be part of your roaming profile. I was wondering about what email server he wanted because I was trying to decide if you could get away with a Linux+Samba solution and avoid having to pay for Windows Server. If exchange is required then there really isn't much point mentioning a linux-based setup. – Zoredache Feb 25 '10 at 1:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Besides Windows 7 Business and Office 2007 for each client, you will need at least one server runing Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Exchange Server 2007 or 2010. You should consider Small Business Server, which includes both at a fraction of the cost of the two products and is specifically designed for small office networks.

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  • A single server running SBS, configured with Active Directory, DNS, User Profile shares, and Exchange.
  • Enough CALs for the total number of users/machines in the environment.
  • All workstations running a business/pro edition of Windows capable of joining a domain.
  • MS Office License for each workstation.

Possibly optional but recommended:

  • A locally attached tape deck on the server with an NTBackup job capturing the server at minimum once a week
  • Gigabit networking to the desktop to support full roaming profiles
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