My partner runs a small accounting practice. The computer support guy has recently gone out of business, so I've been volunteered (!) to replace the aging company server.
I should say that my background is in C++ development, so I don't get much of a chance to do systems administration and I'm not too familiar with it all, although having said that, I've set up Linux in the past including SSH, DNS, Apache, iptables etc
The server is old (it has a Pentium 4 CPU) and very slow. It runs Windows Server 2003 with 2.5GB RAM. The client PC's have equally unimpressive specs and everything runs over 10/100Mbps Ethernet.
What I'd like to know is - if I move away from Windows Server 2003 and onto Windows 7 Professional (with a Linux VirtualBox host for DNS services), will I lose any services that I can't replace with Windows 7 / Linux?
The server currently handles the following tasks:
Application Server (Sage)
Storage (network accessible shares)
Backup (of network accessible shares)
I've been toying with the idea of moving away from Microsoft Exchange, which should alleviate the need for running a Windows Server. In place of Microsoft Exchange, I was going to move them over to Google for Business.
With Windows Server out of the way, I'd like to install Linux on the server. This'll allow me to set up file sharing, DNS and a virtual host running Windows 7 Professional.
I need to run Windows 7 professional in order to host the Sage Accounts Production Advanced application set.
In terms of ease of use for administering Samba and DNS, which Linux distro (or web based config panel) should I consider?
I'll be out of the country next year and will need to provide support remotely. So I'd like to be able to VPN into the network as required. I've never installed any VPN software before, which (free?) products should I consider?
I'd like to setup a remote backup job. So I want to do incremental backups offsite. How can I do an incremental backup of an entire folder / share?