Monday, July 12, 2010

I was wrong

When I said two years ago that I thought SBS 2008 was going to be the last version of SBS (here’s the post). Interestingly, it has taken until now for the future of SBS to be revealed and it seems to be a bit of an each way bet.

 

Firstly there will be a version called SBS 7 that will be the traditional in house SBS with servers, Exchange, SQL and so on. However, there will be a hybrid version called Aurora that will be based on Windows Home Server and have services hosted in the cloud. You can read about these products here:

 

http://www.winsupersite.com/server/sbs7_preview.asp

 

and here

 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2010/07/12/announcing-previews-of-our-simple-and-affordable-servers-for-small-businesses.aspx

 

Interestingly the Aurora product allows up to 25 users while SBS 7 allows up to the traditional 75.

 

My observations?

 

1. If the average SBS install is 15 users then Aurora is going to be the product that is most popular.

 

2. With most businesses divesting themselves of infrastructure (especially small businesses) Aurora gets the nod again.

 

3. If you are a reseller and you haven’t started learning about Microsoft online services a.k.a. BPOS well here is what Steve Ballmer recently told partners at the Microsoft world wide partner conference:

 

“If you don’t want to move to the cloud, then we’re not your company.”

 

4. SharePoint Foundation 2010 is included with SBS 7 and via the cloud so it is probably going to be an even more utilized feature of SBS going forward. If you don’t know SharePoint, Office Web Apps, Office co-authoring then you are going to struggle to provide value above and beyond just installing common services like email.

 

Reading Paul Thurott’s review (above) I have to agree with the following:

 

“solutions like Aurora make more sense, I think, for a much bigger percentage of the customer base”

 

So, good news that SBS will live on in at least two forms. I will be very interested to see how Aurora performs against 7 given the push to the cloud, now even more so by Microsoft.