Goodbye SBS, Hello WSE?

What’s in a name? What are we going to call this new operating system that takes over from SBS? Microsoft have called this Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Basically, it is following on from the same line as SBS 2011 Essentials. So what is in this product? Have a look here for the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ –

Among the features are:

  • Operating system built on Windows Server 2012. The vast majority of features avaailable in Windows Server 2012 will be available here with some minor limitations, as has been previous implemented in SBS.
  • Users are limited to 25 as with SBS 2011 Essentials.
  • End-to-end Integrated Setup as with SBS Essentials to ensure a good out-of-the-box outcome.
  • The new Storage Spaces feature will allow flexibility in aggregating physical storage across a number of storage devices to create “RAID” like volumes. Think about the features of Drive Extender from Whindows Home Server v1.
  • Anywhere Access provides a refreshed Remote Web Access interface that will allow easier access to applications and data from almost any device.
  • With Direct Access, setting up a secure VPN becomes painless and almost transparent.
  • Health Monitoring continues on from SBS and provides the health status of the server and client computers.
  • Integration with cloud technologies becomes simpler with Add-ins and components designed to help set up a connection to on-premises Exchange server, or hosted solutions in the cloud like Office365.
  • Extensibility via Add-In modules continue on as with SBS Essentials and Windows Home Server to make the platform customisable and easier to manage.

What about the other flavours of Windows servers that were built on the same platform as SBS 2011 Essentials?

  • Windows Home Server 2011 will be the last version. This product will be integrated into the Windows Server 2011 Essentials line.
  • Windows Multipoint Server 2011. This product will be upgraded to a new version in line with Windows Server 2012. It will be similar to the relationship between the 2011 products.
  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. At this time, there is no indication that the product will be continued in the same form. One can only hope that it is refreshed.

In the coming few posts, I will look at what this means for the small business community, and examine the various reactions from different industry groups. Stay tuned and subscribe to the RSS feed!

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