Getting SBS 08/Exchange 07 up and running is slower than I thought and some of the stuff you have to do is quite scary if you’re not a confident network guru. For a start, SBS 08 takes over DHCP management from the router.
I’ve got a Thomson TG585v7 provided by Be, which is my ISP. It’s been a fantastic little router when using it in a completely bogstandard way, but the configuration pages are somewhat obtuse. It took me a while to find out how to turn off DHCP so that the server could take over managing it, and in the process both the server and my Vista box, both of which are connected to the router by Ethernet, lost connection to teh interwebz. Bizarrely, though, my MacBook Air, which connects wirelessly (as it’s so damn minimal it eschews useful things like an Ethernet port) remained online.
So having run the internet connection wizard (and at one point I got so annoyed with the bizarre connectivity that I reset the router) I then went for the next step, which is configuring my domain. I already own katebevan.com and I’ve had it registered with Domain Bank for years. That’s an American-based registrar that offers a straightforward interface for tricksy stuff like DNS management and which also has excellent customer support.
However, SBS 08 requires that domains are registered with one of its partners – and I was only offered three choices. I decided to go with GoDaddy cos, er, well, I’d heard of it. It’s got an eyemeltingly ugly website and I’ve spent a good couple of hours poking around working out the procedure for transferring my domain. It’s cost me nearly £20 to register katebevan.com there for two years: that’s about par for the course and I was only a month or so off needing to renew the registration anyway. And that includes paying to have my personal information hidden on my whois registration.
However, transferring domains is a pain. I had to faff about getting authorisation codes sent from both Domain Bank and GoDaddy to authorise the transfer and the status page is now telling me it could take up to five days for the transfer to take place.
Having sorted that out, SBS then announced that it couldn’t open the ports it needed on my router. As noted above, the config pages on my router are pretty shit. They look pretty but once you need to do something advanced it’s difficult to drill down to the settings you need. Opening ports is reasonably straightforward on a Netgear or a DLink router; less so on the BeBox. Anyway, I seem to have achieved it.
And I’m leaving it there for this evening. I’ve now got to leave the server on as it’s managing my DHCP, but it’s whisper-quiet: just as well as it’s living in my conservatory.