Hey guys as the description says I am planning to setup a small business server. Its main properties would be a domain controller, file storage, and some sort of automated Windows updates. Any suggestions as to what OS i should go with? should i go with Ubuntu? or invest in the windows 03/08 servers.
And what kind of specs should i run with? I was planning to use a old computer that has a duo core processors Q6600, 16 gigs of ram, 4x1 TB Seagate XT in Raid 5. I am open to any suggestions. Thank you in advance for your time.
If you're going to be running a domain and are trying to automate Windows Update for the client machines, I think Windows is the only route to go. Microsoft's Windows Small Business Server would be an easy to install and maintain solution for you. More information can be found here:
I've used it in the past with great results. I'm not certain what the hardware requirements are, but I think you should be ok with what you described above. The only thing I would change would be to have a separate drive or RAID array configured for your system drive so that the full TB Seagate array is used for storage. That way a system drive crash won't harm your stored data, and vice versa.
For the system drive/array, you won't need as much storage space, so to increase performance and reliability I would suggest a Raid 5 array of 3 SSDs in the 50-100GB range. Only install the OS to that array, and put your Exchange and Windows Update databases on the other array.
For your OS, I don't have much experience with either of those versions of SBS; the last time I used it was when 2003 server was still the latest and greatest. I would lean towards 2011, but that's only because support for the OS will continue for a longer period of time where 2008 will be end-of-life in the next couple of years. Not knowing a lot about your configuration, I can't really determine which would be best based on features; that's something you would have to look at and consider. Keep in mind what you want to do with it in the future as well, and how those features may help or hinder you down the road.