Originally Posted by edelweisshosting
He needs a Windows server with the possibility for up to 10 users to connect remotly and share files and software.
Do you think that Windows 2003 is compulsory for such basic needs? I want to go with Windows XP because it is less expensive.
If by "connect remotly" you mean over the Internet then I can't recommend running file sharing over the Internet, period. Given the routine vulnerabilities that are discovered in Windows it is an extremely bad idea to expose a Windows file server (2003 or XP) to the Internet. If the file "server" will be behind a firewall and each user will be accessing the server via a VPN, then it's a more palatable idea to expose an XP or 2003 box to the local network.
If you do not have a VPN you could potentially use XP's firewall and expose the file sharing ports to a specific network (assuming the users are on a fixed set of IPs). If XP's firewall doesn't do this maybe ZoneAlarm, Symantec firewall, etc. would?
In general I suspect XP could probably handle 10 or so users even though it's not really designed to serve files in substantial numbers.
If by "connect remotly" you mean connecting to an RDP/Remote Desktop session then XP is a bad choice as it permits only one user to logon. 2003 supports up to 2 remote users and a console user. If "up to 10 users" could be connected at any given time in this scenario then you'll need 2003 as you'd then have to have terminal server licenses and licensing server setup.
At a certain point I'd imagine you'll hit a user base where 2003 Server just makes more sense - common authentication, Active Directory, group policies, integrated RAS/VPN, etc., but in the interim, assuming you can resolve the security issues inherent with exposing Windows CIFS to the Internet, you should be all right running XP as a simple file server.