Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Presentation on SBS 2011 Essentials and Standard on top of HP hardware, by yours truly!

I’ll be visiting the Vancouver Island Computer Experts(?) User Group at the beginning of February for a presentation on Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Standard running on HP hardware.

  • Date: February 2, 2011
  • Time: Welcome at 6:30, kick off at 7pm, runs until approximately 9:30pm
  • Location: Camosun College Lansdowne (3100 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, BC)

More Details & Registration can be found hereimage

Learn about:

Come to see what’s new in the new versions of Small Business Server, ask some questions, check out two different pieces of Hardware from HP, the Intel based ML 330, or the HP MicroServer hardware so you can make the right choice for your businesses between which version of Small Business Server you should get, and which hardware you should get to match that solution.


Join Sean Daniel, Senior Program Manager from Microsoft Corp. as he talks about small business server solutions coming from Microsoft and HP. See what’s new with Small Business Server 2011 Standard and Essentials and learn about HPs offerings for Small Business server hardware.  As a Small Business program manager for 10+ years, he’ll talk about the new servers as well as be able to answer questions on the old servers from Microsoft.  Come with questions on the new or old products, with his experience in the field, he’s perfect to bounce questions off.

If you are an IT support shop, your companies "go to IT person", an independent IT person, the manager/implementer for your small business, or interested simply interested in small business technology, this evening is for you!!


Register here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feedback Request: Help us improve SBS 2011 and Windows Home Server “Vail” Online Help

The Home and Small Business Server documentation team would like to hear from you!! Please visit Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Online Help and Windows Server Code Name “Vail” Online Help websites, check out their content, and then click What do you think of this website? Take a quick survey at the top of the page.  The survey is anonymous so you can give it to us straight up!

User Help

This information will be used to improve the experience and content on this website, bringing more value to consumers like you!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Windows Multi Point 2011 and How it Fits into Your Small Business

I’ve talked about Multi-Point before, and I mentioned it in my presentation at SMBNation in Las Vegas at the end of last year, but yet I still get the questions about education only, or can we use it in business? 


Well, it’s true that the current version of Multi-Point, 2010 that’s available today is out in the field for education only (or at least it’s hard to get or manage if you’re not in education).  If you’re in the market for it, because you like the idea of a single computer and multiple users, there were two major problems.  The OEM edition was non-domain joinable, and only supported 10 users.  The Academic version was only via volume licensing to qualified people, and supported 20 users and the beloved domain-join functionality.  So really, if you wanted something useful, really do have to be in the education field to even get your hands on it. 

Also, there are some features that are good for education, but kind of confuse users outside in the working world, like if you put a thumb-drive into one of the USB ports at a workstation, it appears to all the work stations.  Good for education, not so great for business.

Well, if you wrote off Multi-Point 2010 for business, you probably haven’t been paying attention to the new Multi-Point 2011, currently in Beta (obtain it here)


With Windows MultiPoint Server 2011, the licensing and purchase model has been simplified.  There are still two versions as before, with similar restrictions:

  • Windows MultiPoint 2011 Standard – still cannot join a domain and still has a max of 10 work stations
  • Windows MultiPoint 2011 Premium – CAN join a domain as before and can have up to 20 workstations

The most important piece of information to note in the SMB space, is that BOTH of these MultiPoint editions are offered in multiple Microsoft licensing channels.  So now you don’t have to be a large school to actually purchase the more useful edition of MultiPoint.

What’s better, is that USB issue mentioned above is fixed, a USB thumb-drive only appears to the session its plugged into, and not all the users on the server. 

Additionally, the 2011 version of WMS has support for thin clients.  Here is where I think the big win for Small Business lives.  If you have 12 XP workstations, you can simply obtain 1 copy of MultiPoint Premium and now each of those XP workstations have another 5 years of life but yet, they get a full Windows 7 experience when used as a WMS workstation over the network. 


Yeah, that’s what.  WMS is essentially a turnkey TS server on steroids.  You can TS to it, or you can plug in USB based workstations, or use OS down-level desktops.  I’ve even seen old useless Linux based laptops, that have support for RDP be instantly turned into a powerful Windows 7 workstation.

If you’re a VAP, selling it should be a breeze.  Just show the business owner the console where you can get a thumbnail of each individual workstation.  Business owners will love that they can snoop on their employees desktops for when they are using Facebook, or other non-productive functionality, or even to just confirm employee behavior.

Thumbnail View of Desktops

You can really tell that the Windows MultiPoint Server, and the Windows Small Business Server teams share the same floor in Building 43 at Microsoft, our consoles look similar.  Sadly, they do not completely integrate for this release.

I’ve installed WMS into my SBS 2011 Essentials (Aurora) network and it works great.  I haven’t tried on an SBS 2011 Standard network, but there is nothing to prevent it from not working.  I’m seriously considering having the standard version run at my house for when guests arrive and want to use a computer.  Even John Zajdler has tried it in his Aurora Network

If you haven’t tried it yet, and it’s interesting to you get on it because the release candidate is already out.. which has gotta mean it’s close, right?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year, what’s in store for you in 2011

First off, I wanted to wish all my followers a very happy new year.  2011 is shaping up to be a killer year for small businesses.  There is so much new Microsoft technology coming out to make business more efficient, it’s hard to keep tabs on it all.  I also wanted to apologize to my followers about my lack of posts.  I’ve just returned from a 5 week paternity leave and before that, I was getting my stuff in order.

First, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard edition as Released to Manufacturing (RTM!).  This release is pretty exciting and signifies a number of different milestones both internal to our team, and external to the public.  Let’s focus on the external. 


SBS 2011 Standard offers small businesses a completely on premise solution to run their business, including the new Exchange Server 2010 with SP1, SharePoint Foundation Services 2010, and the coveted Server 2008 R2 base operating system, bringing security to a new level.  If you’re familiar with SBS 2008, then you’re in luck, because this product brings a bunch of new functionality, but the learning curve will be super short for you, but it still has enough meat in the product to keep it interesting.

For example, the New and Enhanced features of SBS 2011 Standard are:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard as the base OS, with it’s added security and speed over the 2008 base platform
  • Exchange Server 2010, with SP1 brings greater reliability and performance to your small business.  In addition to many additional features like resource sharing (my personal favorite)
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 makes using SharePoint even easier!
  • WSUS 3.0 with SP2 to help you manage patches with ease
  • The new version of Remote Web Access (formerly Remote Web Workplace), with movable widgets.
  • A redesigned http://companyweb
  • Improvements into automated domain management
  • An updated Best Practice Analyzer (BPA)

So it’ll be a few short weeks more before you can get your hands on this baby, just keep in mind the system requirements if you’re already procuring a machine for it.  Exchange needs more RAM than you’d probably think about it.

And coming the first half of this year, is the highly anticipated Windows Small Business Server 2011, which ties to Office 365, a true hybrid in the server market.  You can obtain the public beta for SBS 2011 Essentials here (with a new public preview coming soon!).

Also coming this year is Windows Storage server codename “Breckenridge”, which provides a client backup engine for your SBS 2011 Standard or SBS 2008 installs.  It’s like a win-win situation in 2011.

Finally, for media hounds, Windows Home Server “Vail” is coming as well, which uses Silverlight to stream videos and pictures out to the web, or DLNA 2.0 to stream it inside your home, backup your home PCs, your server.

All three of the above will also leverage an ecosystem of add-ins to extend the functionality of the server of your choice.  As I said, an exciting 2011.