The death of Small Business Server – Boooooooooooo

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As we all know, the Windows Small Business Server line of products has been discontinued. Booooooooooooo. Small Business Server (SBS) was an excellent product. The Standard edition allowed for up to 75 users. Only one set of CALs (Client Access Licenses) were required to access the server, which had the standard suite of services (AD, DHCP, DNS, etc.), but also included the coveted Microsoft Exchange e-mail server. The price point was absolutely great for organizations who didn’t have many users, but still wanted an on-site central server and on-site e-mail capabilities. SBS 2011 was the last edition of the Small Business Server line, and we’re sad to see it go.

So now what ? The world of IT didn’t suddenly stop because SBS was taken off the market. There are still organizations with <75 users, and they still need new servers and new upgrades. So what are we deploying for them ?

With Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has released an edition named “Essentials”. The Essentials edition is not exactly brand new, it existed before, but in a different capacity. It used to be very limited in the services it could provide. With Server 2012, this has changed to some degree. The Essentials edition now supports most of the core services that the Standard edition does. The Essentials edition also changes the licensing scheme from SBS Standard. There is one license for the server itself, and that license includes all the CALs required for up to 25 users. Keep in mind, the Essentials edition can’t go past 25 users (you’d need to migrate to the Standard edition). None the less, this is actually a superb deal. One license (which sits around $500) and you’re covered for up to 25 users ? Not a bad deal at all.

Remember, explore all options available and make sure that your recommendation fits your client’s needs.


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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