Windows 2003 Server configuration

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Microsoft Windows
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SQL Server
I have been asked to configure a new server for a small Health care clinic. Previously they were using a Dell Dimension as a file server with open shares throughout the network and all users logging in as administrators. Considering the risks involved with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)they need to have a more secure networking environment in place. Currently they only have about 20 computers on their LAN and only one clinic in operation. They are a non-profit free clinic and the IT budget is very tight. Does it make sense to configure the server as a Domain Controller? There is no cash to add a separate File server so the new server will necessarily serve both purposes. Given these circumstances what are the best configuration steps to take?
ASKED: December 2, 2005  9:57 AM
UPDATED: September 16, 2013  9:30 PM

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I would definitely use it as a domain controller, along with DHCP and DNS.
Much easier to write your HIPAA compliance manual :)

Another suggestion would be to get at least a backup DC that could keep the AD and DNS databases fault tolerant. I know budget is tight, but spending a little now may save “emergency” spending later which is almost always more expensive.
At the very least make sure you have Raid 1, a tape backup, or something to protect the databases and files. 20 users is not a lot but peace of mind is worth the cost.

Another note, if this place qualifies as a 501c 3 nonprofit you can get ‘almost free’ Windows Server 2003 and a plethora of hardware and software at www.techsoup.org

It is a goldmine for qualifying nonprofits.

Good luck!

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  • Serieux
    Techsoup is definite worth considering if you're scaling on a low budget. If you're a qualifying non-profit you can receive free a low cost software and hardware from a few places: www.giftinkind.org is another organization like techsoup which offer free stuff to non-profits. You should configure your server as a DC with a DHCP and DNS setup. You can bring over the shares to this new server. You will also have more flexibility with the new server including the use of distributed WAFS, security and support. Go for it!!!
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