Browsing Posts tagged SBS

Bob here.  Microsoft announced the versions of their next-generation Windows Server editions (click here for some of the details).  Markedly missing was SBS (Small Business Server) edition.  Available since NT 4.5 days (in the 90’s, you young punks!), SBS was maintained as a low cost alternative, packaging Windows Server, Exchange and possibly SQL in a lower cost package, with simpler management tools and limits on number of client computers that could connect.

But the proliferation of the cloud (which now gets blamed for everything) has made some of those components unnecessary for a company to have on-premise.

That doesn’t mean that the lower-cost options won’t still be there.  Microsoft will introduce “Windows Server Essentials” Edition, which will be similar to “SBS Essentials” in that there will be a 25 user limit.  So there will still be a “first server” option.

This will force smaller companies that are on older versions of SBS (2003, 8, 11) to consider their options in terms of upgrading.  The “original” SBS had a user limit of 75.  So a customer using SBS 2003 with 50 users will have to migrated to a traditional Windows Server 2012 and either migrate their email to Office 365 (which they probably should consider anyway) or purchase a much more expensive Microsoft Exchange Server and the accompanying Client Access License.

As always, the devil will be in the details.  Companies that are just entering the “server world” will probably do better with the new lineup.  Companies, especially in the 25-75 user range will need to make some decisions moving forward.

Say hello to:

  • Datacenter
  • Standard
  • Essentials
  • Foundation (only through OEMs)

And say goodbye to:

  • Enterprise
  • Home
  • HPC
  • Web Server

On a separate note, Microsoft’s recent enfolding of the Small Business Server Community into their Silver Partner program shows the other side of the same coin.  No longer will small IT firms be able to take advantage of the low cost (<$500 annual) of the SBSC.  An albatross for the past several years, as of 2013 the Small Business Specialist will be firmly part of the Microsoft Partner world.  Like it or not.

Full disclosure, Simplex-IT is a Microsoft Silver Partner as well as a member of the SBSC.

Bob here.  Ok, for years (since the last millennium, at least) Microsoft has touted (albeit somewhat inconsistently) their Small Business Server (aka “SBS”) product for companies with fewer than 75 users.  It packaged Windows Server (traditional security, File/print sharing, SharePoint, remote access), Exchange (email) and sometimes SQL Server (database) with some reasonable pricing and relatively simple management tools.

Pretty decent product, all told.  It made a lot of these tools available to companies at a price they could afford.  At least, if they were talking at least 10-15 folks attaching to the server.  For companies with fewer users, the costs (especially the CALs, or Client Access Licenses) were pretty substantial for startups with 4-5 users.

Plus, with the advent of cloud based services like Microsoft BPOS (which includes Exchange, SharePoint, Live Meeting and Office Communicator), which requires no hardware or expensive licenses ($10/user/month), the need for all of that stuff on the server kinda went away.

So Microsoft, who will never walk away from the possibility of adding more options with their product lines, has split up their SBS product (click here for more info).  Currently in pre-Beta, they’ve split it into the traditional SBS (SBS 7), which will pretty much be the next version of SBS (think SBS 2008 R2).

But the interesting piece will be SBS “Aurora” (their code name, not necessarily the product name.  This version of SBS will be aimed at the smaller…um…small business.  Limited to 25 users, offering automatic backup of the computers connecting to it, remote access and other local tools.  But the key function will be to work with cloud based applications (like Microsoft BPOS).  I haven’t heard pricing yet, but I’ve heard rumors that there will be no CAL licensing.

If this sounds a wee bit familiar, it’s because it is.  Microsoft released their “Home Server” edition a couple of years ago, and many small businesses found it to be a great alternative to the more expensive SBS.  So Microsoft is adding the ability for small companies to have the benefits of a local server, but the economy of cloud based services as well.

Could be pretty cool.  Of course, Simplex-IT has already signed up to beta test both products, and we’ll keep everybody up to date with what we find!