back to article Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 - what's in it for you?

“We’re all in for the cloud” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year; but the company’s new Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 is only half-in at best, even though smaller organisations are among the most obvious candidates for online services because they generally lack specialist IT staff. The strategy behind SBS …


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  1. f8itsolutions
    IT Angle

    10GB and Quad Core

    Taking a step backwards. Baffles me to think why Exchange 2010 would require so much more horsepower to Exchange 2007. The jump from Win2008 and Win2003 is fine, a reasonable jump a lot of extra features, but if it is still using 2008R2 as the base OS with a Exchange/Sharepoint bolt on, then I just dont understand why so much more ram and processing time required.

    Great news for hardware vendors though :)

    Kieran Donnelly

    MD of F8 IT Solutions Limited

  2. b166er

    Yes but,

    have they removed the restriction on Terminal Server (RDS).?

    Can you publish RemoteApps from the DC?

  3. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Better migration sounds interesting

    We are on SBS2003 and an upgrade/rebuild is on the cards as a possibility.

    Something that made the moving of users from the old server/software to a new one would make life easier. Though I belive some are still disappointed by the removal of ISA from SBS2008.

    If we went SBS2003 to SBS2008 we'd be moving to newer software but with arguably less control or protection of the users.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I read "(ADFS) under the covers" and for some reason my immediate thaught was "Wow, there relying on a BBC micro to sort all this out".

    Must have had too much coffee.

    Still, it would explain certain performance issues..... Sometimes i think our AD replication would be quicker if we posted out a floppy with the files on. Ah well.

  5. Neil 6
    Thumb Down


    SBS2003 was a sound product, it provided a great set of tools for up to 75 users. Coupled with Backup Exec and a good hardware warranty you had all bases covered.

    SBS2008 increased the license costs, and the hardware demands making it less affordable, and now 2011 requires 10gb RAM and a quad core CPU?

    MS need to get back to basics. What does a small office need? File sharing, email and a good backup. This latest move serves only to push people to exploring other options.

  6. xj25vm

    Hardware requirements

    "At a glance it is similar to SBS 2008, though hardware requirements have leapt form 4GB RAM to 10GB with a quad-core processor. Leworthy blames Exchange 2010, which he says is “a little processor intensive.""

    Hmm - where is my 1GHz single core Linux box, with 512MB of ram, Samba file sharing software, OpenVPN server, Dovecot imap server, Exim smtp server, Asterisk SIP/IAX./PSTN pbx server, iptables firewall, SMART monitoring software, RAID software, software to encrypt my backups for safe off-site storage and all the tools that I need to monitor and run my server, allow access from inside and outside, filter packets, filter emails and so on - for up to 25 users easily. And no per-user licensing. Actually, no license fee at all.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention - you have to learn to use all those tools.

    Let others share their points of view - but I think I've got what I need already, thank you very much.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      YOU are expensive

      It's nice to see people so motivated and extatic about the open source and finding their own ways to do things.

      Yepp as you said, you have to learn several different tools. The tools themselves won't cost a thing but the people with the necessary knowledge would. And in the end you pay once for software and it's forgotten. The extra money the non-open source software costs is going to be covered with the extra money you are paid in one month. Maybe in two or three if you count the extra hardware requirements and the users... And in the end if there is a problem you might need more days to fix everything because the tools are not 100% integrated with each other so again, your way seems more expensive in the end.

  7. terry 1


    More hardware requirements, harder to manage and way more expensive. Sounds like another SBS upgrade.

    On the basis that im still rolling out 2003 because it just works and is CHEAP, I won't be looking at that version for a few years yet.

    As for the cloud, get 100% uptime on adsl, a handful of cross location companies that may find it useful, but since adsl can go down for days at a time I can see a huge amount of lost productivity, but lot of tea breaks. Plus, it only takes the marketing dept to upload their 200Mb presentation and the whole business grinds to a halt.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I see exchange continues to evolve some huge bloated monster of sci-fi fame.

    10GB of RAM, is this a joke?! For 25 users?! WTF?!

    Has anyone had a look at the specs and features of SLES 11? Seriously.

    I think I know what SBS means Some B*llSh*t

  9. Greg Boyle

    great move for cloud services

    The release of SBS Essentials next year is poised to be a huge opportunity for VARs to embrace cloud services. Taking a small peer-to-peer network to a server based network is a great first step that will be made easier by the ability to implement services into the organisation seamlessly without the infrustructure and management overhead that would usually be required. It will make it much more pallitable for small business and generate services revenue for the VAR.

    SaaS solutions that are already gaining traction in the SB market such as security solutions like Worry-Free Business Security Services from Trend Micro <> will help to round out a complete solution in the VAR kit bag.

  10. Tim Anderson

    Office Web Apps not in the box

    Just to clarify - while Office Web Apps works on SharePoint 2010, included in SBS 2011, it is not in the box - it is a "free" download if you have an Office volume licensing agreement.


  11. Anteaus

    Bloated, complex and costly to maintain.

    SBS is an inexpensive way to get Exchange if you must have it, but.. I've always felt that small sites are better-off with a standard server and a decent ISP-based email service. If it's simple and it does what's required.. keep it that way.

    Most of the touted special features of SBS do nothing that cannot be done with a standard WIndows or Linux server. The reason SBS sells-into sites with existing LANs is because of sales pitch -Buyers don't realise that they are being re-sold capability they probably already have, or could acquire for zero cost.

    Then, there is the issue of overcomplexity and bloat, which creates the need for extremely powerful server hardware, and creates far more reliability issues than for a standard server.

    The level of overcomplexity also makes SBS totally unsuitable for the kind of market it's sold into. A siteowner with a modicum of IT knowledge might expect to be able to set-up and maintain a standard Windows or Linux server without professional IT help, or maybe with recourse to support for just the more difficult issues. With the behemoth which is SBS, the DIY'er is gonna be out of his or her depth almost straightaway, and therefore having to call-on expensive contracted IT support to maintain the thing. This is, of course, IF the IT contractors are up-to the job of keeping this complex beast working, which is often not the case! All for the sake of 'value-added' features that are probably not needed, and in most cases are never used.

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