Cougar is the code name for the next version of SBS. When the SBS team decended on New Orleans, some of the following information came out to the public. I wanted to make sure I shared so you could know what's going on with the next version.
- Cougar includes Exchange 2007 which is x64 only, This means that Cougar will be x64 only.
- Since Cougar is x64 only we can deduce some things just based on how the technology works. This means in-place upgrades from earlier versions will not be supported (x86 hardware cannot support x64 software). Since Chris Almida was also there to speak to migrations, and he is our man in charge of the migration he is not planning to provide an in place upgrade from x64 hardware (again, this makes sense since the OS is x86, and it cannot be upgraded to x64). There will be a migration too that will take you from your current SBS to Cougar on ANOTHER BOX. We are still working on this solution. (I had a meeting yesterday on this actually!)
- The SBS Backup solution is being completely re-vamped. However, we have made the full switch, and the backup solution will no longer support backing up to tape. Using snapshot technology, the backups will be extremely quick using incrementals that can be scheduled as often as every 30 minutes. A copy of NTBackup will be able to extract files from the old SBS 2003 format, but no new data can be added. If tape is super important to you, start sizing up 3rd party backup solutions.
- To date, we are not planning on changing the 75 user limit.
- Cougar will need to be installed behind some kind of firewall and the single-NIC model will be the only mode. You must use a firewall in front of the SBS box, this can be a hardware router type item, or a software firewall such as ISA.
- Cougar will be based on Longhorn server now officially called Windows Server 2008.
In addition to the points made in New Orlean's, I'd like to add my own. Cougar looks really really sweet! But then again, I am biased. :o)
Our Beta 1 is in the field with our MVPs (don't ask, they can't talk about it either!) and I'm already starting to contemplate an upgrade to Cougar at my house. Now I just need to find some x64 hardware.... hrm....
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