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This is a quick question: I want/need to set up a Exchange 2010 Server on my home server (mainly for testing but will be needed).

I understand the downsides of hosting my mail on my dedicated hardware, but I need it anyway.

Already have a Server 2008 R2 setup, but I'm considering Small Business Server 2011. My Server is not that advanced (quad-core, 4 GB Ram, Dual NIC), but, It'll be serving(Exhange, there's more AD users) 5 to 10 users tops (average around 4 or 5).

I want to know: Which Os will be better, considering my hardware? Please note that I will need AD on that same server and maybe even SharePoint but with 2 or 3 users (for development). Any advice is welcome.

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What downsides to hosting your own email are you referring to? –  joeqwerty Jan 29 '11 at 1:19
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You should check the hardware requirements, if i'm not mistaken you barely meet the minimums for SBS. –  ErnieTheGeek Jan 29 '11 at 2:18

3 Answers 3

I'd go Small Business Server - that is designed to have things on the same box that ordinarily should be kept at arms distance.

Installing "Normal" Exchange on the same server as Active Directory can give you some unexpected results, and may not be supported by Microsoft (don't quote me on that though). I'm no SharePoint expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I imagine that is a similar situation with regards to supportability.

With a bit more of a powerful box, you might be able to install something like ESXi or Hyper-V on it and install a Domain Controller, Exchange and SharePoint in separate VMs, but since your box is quite memory constrained (Exchange and SQL Server do like lots of RAM) I wouldn't really recommend it - you'd just about run the Operating System with nothing else installed on it.

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I'm aware of my hardware constrains. But right now I'm running with 2GB of Ram and 2 out of 4 cores a VM with SQL Server 2008 R2, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 and Team Foundation Server, getting aceptable performance, I was considering keeping things as they are. But you're right, I should not share the AD server with other stuffs –  josecortesp Jan 29 '11 at 0:04
    
Having AD on the same box as Exchange does work - I have a single testing VM with this setup, but it does do some weird things sometimes and it's most likely because Exchange and AD are together. You sound like you might get away with utilising the unused capacity, but it depends on whether you are prepared to reload the whole thing from scratch if it doesn't quite go to plan. –  Ben Pilbrow Jan 29 '11 at 0:13

You're kind of comparing apples to oranges. Windows Server 2008 R2 is a network operating system (as all Windows operating systems are) that can host many roles, from AD\DNS to web services and everything in between. Windows Small Business server is a "business IT infrastructure" in a box. Many of the individual roles that you would install seperately on Server 2008 are included in SBS such as AD\DNS, Exchange Server, Sharepoint, File, Print, and Fax services and much more. It sounds to me like you'd be better served with SBS.

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Minimum system requirements for SBS2011 and Exchange 2010 are not going to be met by your hardware. You'll need much more memory. So I'm going to say neither. Upgrade your memory.

Exchange 2010 Memory Requirements:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd346700.aspx

SBS2011 System Requirements:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg491249.aspx

Assuming you upgrade your memory, you'll generally find the licensing for SBS 2011 to be much more affordable. Plus the setup is much simpler as Exchange and Sharepoint are already installed for you.

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Exchange 2010 runs perfectly with only 4GB of RAM (if you don't have a lot of users)... –  Kedare Jan 29 '11 at 14:34

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