Well, after the successful test run with my Exchange server setup, I decided to call Dell and buy a new server to become the permanent fixture in my home IT infrastructure.
Pictured on the right, I picked up a Dell PowerEdge 830 with a dual core, 2 GB of RAM, and three 250 GB hard drives. Its pretty quick! I loaded Windows 2003 on the first drive. Once I was up, I was able to use the Windows built-in RAID support to mirror the whole C drive on the 2nd of the 3 drives. Its a perfect copy and you can boot from either in case of failure. No more backup worries -- as long as the box is in tact! I made the 3rd drive just a big disk for non-RAID storage. Took me a few minutes to find my way through the disk administrator to figure that stuff out. The trick is that you have to convert all your disks to dynamic disks first. Then lots of options show up.
Next, I setup Active Directory again. I just repeated what I had done before. However, I had to take my old server off the network first because they were colliding. Then, I installed Exchange again and was back in business. Instead of trying to migrate everything, I just backed up my email offline and put it back when I was done. Much easier than the 50 step migration docs that I don't understand.
I was all set to create a share and have the iMac mount it to access our movie library when I found that the Mac couldn't access the share. Huh? Turns out that Windows 2003 by default forces encrypted communications for file server actions and Samba on Mac OS X doesn't do that. So you I figured out that if you go into the domain security policy, you can make the encryption optional so its only used when both clients support it. After that, the Mac works. I can now mount ISOs of movies on the file server from the iMac over the network and watch the show!
Lastly, I needed to setup Adobe Acrobat for an Orion service I provide. This operation currently runs on my desktop but I bought the server to do the work for me. However, after lots of trouble, I found out that Acrobat 6.0 doesn't work on a machine unless somebody is logged in with an Administrator account. Fortunately, they fixed it in 7.0 -- unfortunately, I had to pay $100 to upgrade to fix that crap.
Oh, I named her Daytona. Figured I would name computers after NASCAR tracks because I ran out of Metallica members.
My last problem is I need an anti-virus program for the server. However, Norton and McAfee don't sell a single license for Windows 2003. Their home stuff won't install -- tried. Need something else. Maybe somebody out there has an idea.