Windows Small Business Server 2008

The next version of Windows Small Business Server has a big brother, Windows Essential Business Server. While Microsoft targets Small Business Server (SBS) toward small businesses of under 50 employees, Essential Business Server (EBS) is intended for medium businesses of 20 to 250 employees. Both will have interesting feature bundles upon their release in the second half of 2008, and both are based upon Windows Server 2008, released this month.

Small Business Server 2008 retains the Standard and Premium editions of the 2003 version, with one major difference. SBS 2008 Premium will allow a second server to be installed to run SQL Server or other applications, and presumably act as a backup domain controller. Depending on the price (which is to be announced), this could be a boon for growing businesses who want a second server as backup or to balance the load on the primary server. In the past, a company with SBS 2003 had to purchases separate Windows Server license for a second server. SBS 2008 will also include one-year trial versions of Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Windows Live OneCare for Server, and integration with Microsoft Office Live, Microsoft's web site and e-mail hosting service.

Windows EBS 2008 will actually run on four servers, splitting off servers for Exchange 2007 and Forefront Security for Exchange Server, the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA), and SQL Server 2008. ISA is Microsoft's proxy server, that allows administrators to control which users can access the Internet, and even which web sites they can access. ISA will be removed from Windows SBS with the 2008 release.

Of note, since both SBS and EBS include Exchange Server 2007, they will only be available in 64-bit editions, since Exchange Server 2007 will only run on 64-bit versions of Windows Server. This is not completely unexpected, since virtually all hardware purchased in the past few years is 64-bit capable.

February 2008

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