Originally Posted by Edgrafix
I have been operating a small(65 user)workgroup using Server 2003 and now 2008. I don't run Active Directory, as it only slows everything down. I don't use DNS, or have the server set up to be a domain controller. We only need the server for file shares and that's it. The company I work for is an Architectural/Engineering Design firm. They don't host their email, better to let someone else pay for the equipment and maintenance upkeep. Yes, you do have a little more work setting up the users, and we are on a Static IP LAN, so no DHCP auto anything. We have two other offices accessing the main file server, one back East, and the other in lower central US, using a 24/7 VPN, through Steelhead compression boxes at all offices to speed up the access transfer rates of drawings and documents. Some files tend to be a few megabytes up to 130 Meg for one file. The only time we had a resource issue was back when we needed to share a printer from a workstation, which did limit concurrent users. The Server was and has never been an issue to this day. Of course, we have all the CAL's and licensing to back every connection. Our server has only gone down when there was a power outage, and the UPS battery ran out from being off to long. This usually only happened late at night. Power back on, server back up. There you have it, 65 users(concurrent), and no issues accessing files or resources off the server, all on one workgroup.
Sure I could have created more workgroups, but for what? We don't use Network Neighborhood, we use shortcuts to the server shares, and have never had any issues. I have tried using Active Directory, but only had issues with the service disconnecting users after a few minutes. I say keep things simple, and only install what you need. Warning, if you create all your users, and then install Active Directory, it will import all your Users. But if you un-install Active Directory, it wipes out every user, and you have to create all your users again.