A while back, my colleague Jack Schofield challenged me to set up my own email hosting as I’d been moaning about Fasthosts, which is where my email is now hosted on an Exchange server.
Fasthosts is OK, it costs £10 a month for Exchange hosting but it uses Exchange 2003, which provides a rubbish web interface if you’re using any browser other than Internet Explorer. I use Macs a lot in various places and some research turned up the fact that the non-IE interface with Exchange 2007 is a lot better.
So I had a chat with Microsoft who said they’d be up for getting me a copy of Small Business Server 2008 which officially launches in November. I then laid my hands on a server (it’s a Fujitsu Siemens server) and finally had all the pieces of the jigsaw in my hands, plus a free day today.
Got the server booted from the SBS 08 DVD fine, and off it went installing the OS. Then I ran into a problem – not enough RAM. SBS is pretty demanding of hardware: it needs a 64bit processor (check; got that), a 60GB partition (check; got that too, though disk space will be a bit tight) and 4GB of RAM (damn). So I’ve ordered the required silicon which I hope will arrive in time for me to get stuck in over the weekend.
The end result, I hope, will be that I do my own Exchange hosting, thereby freeing myself from the tyranny of Fasthosts and other annoying email hosting providers.
Then perhaps I’ll think about installing another server, a Linux one this time, and hosting a website and this blog there. Hmmmmmmm.