Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hey! Where's my next version of SBS?

You wanna know about the next version do you? Well, Since our trip to New Orlean's a TS2 blog has popped up some public information.(here), I'd like to take the opportunity to publish similar information here.

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.

  1. Cougar includes Exchange 2007 which is x64 only, This means that Cougar will be x64 only.

  2. 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!)

  3. 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.

  4. To date, we are not planning on changing the 75 user limit.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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Unknown said...

For those of us using SBS2003 Premium, does this mean that we're losing ISA server? Or will we install ISA server on its own box, as a firewall only?

Sean Daniel said...

We aren't sure how the product will be packaged yet between standard and any other versions. Our Marketing team is working on this.

We do know that ISA won't be running on the SBS box anymore, and there will be no more supported dual-nic solution. ISA can always run in place of a router (or as well as a router). What we don't know if ISA will be included in the packaging or not.

Anonymous said...

Trackback - SBS Newsgroup

Sean Daniel said...

Hey Sweet, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Why the switch to not supporting tape drives? Are you only supporting backup to disk? Is this because you think tapes are going the way of the dodo or you'd rather 3rd party vendors to deal with backing up?

Sean Daniel said...

Great question. In SBS 2003, we provided tape and disk solution and discovered more and more people chose disk over tape because of cost. Getting a 700GB disk is cheaper than having 700GBs of tapes laying around. Plus the tape drives are really expensive.

It's a cheaper solution to the customer, if someone is willing to spend money on the tape drives, then they are willing to spend money on the 3rd party backup solution.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean,
Re no tape backup, what is MS intended plan for offsite storage? Tapes could be taken offsite daily for the larger SBS sites. re ISA, not surprised that its not included, was never impressed with it and I note like last release they are removing core components. Last time Termserv, now ISA.
All the best John.

Sean Daniel said...

I agree that USB disk drives are a tad bulkier than tape to take things offsite, but it's a trade-off for the cost of the media.

Anonymous said...

For people that want tape, just backup your disk backup to tape. What's the big deal?

Anonymous said...

ISA server should be included in the SBS package as it is an excellent tool for the small business user. Removing it is simply ludicrous.



Anonymous said...

re : tape bulk,
Unless you are using Dat tapes, external hard drives these days can be bus powered, and fast and large enough for my uses...
Freecom Mobile hard drives, WD Passports to name a few...
Pretty cost effective, and also rugged enough to be thrown into a bag / hand bag for offsite and no worries about PSUs.


Ginger Inc.

Anonymous said...

It will be very disappointing to not see ISA included with the new SBS. ISA is one of the biggest reasons SBS sells so well. Why take it out? I know all my clients will be disappointed if ISA is not in the new SBS. Why is it only going to be single-NIC? Isn't dual-NIC more secure? If I'm correct Microsoft Techs highly suggest using dual-NIC mode in SBS 2003 for optimal security.
Please remember what makes SBS 2003 so good and such a major seller as well as being very secure.
Thank you for the info Sean.

Sean Daniel said...

We are waiting for the marketing team to define the sku layout. The only thing mentioned above is that ISA cannot be installed on Cougar. You could use ISA as a firewall in front of SBS on a seperate machine.

The sku line-up will be very different than the 2003 series, or at least as it looks now.

Anonymous said...

It looks to me that the definition of "small business" is changing. My opinion is that a business that has 50 desktops will easily have 2 or 3 servers.
What I would like to see is a premium version with ISA and SQL Server but with a EULA granting the right to install in separate boxes has long as those boxes remain on the same network/physical location of the SBS core box.

I believe this is a very typical scenario, 40 to 50 desktops, 1 app/database server (SQL) , 1 firewall box (ISA) and 1 core box (domain controller/file sharing/exchange/fax).

We could think that this scenario is out of the small business definition, but I see this has a small business because the hardware for a firewall box or a sql lite box are not expensive. The expensive part is MS Licensing if you have to pay these licenses out of the SBS suite.

just my 5 cents :)

Paulo Pinho

Sean Daniel said...

This is defininately an interesting observation. From what we see here is it really depends on your business, your location, and how much tangable income you've got, and how much money you want to invest in technology in your business.

I totally agree that many small businesses do in fact have multi-server solutions, and depend highly on technology. But there are many (very many) small businesses that still use small amounts of technology.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see the removal of tape support. Quite a few of my clients are of the 3-5 PC size and SBS has been a big plus in this space. The issue I see with going the 3rd party route is I lose the integration of backup notifications in the Daily Report, as well as the higher cost of that 3rd party product. Take Backup Exec for example. The SBS version currently retails for $929. Compare that to $1129 for the Open Version of Premium which already includes a backup solution.

I'm also disappointed in the changes in dual NIC support and ISA. I for one, liked the integrated solution, and the elimination of another piece of hardware (firewall) to manage.

I realize change is inevitable and I know I'll adapt, I just can't help but think we're moving back to that definition of a small business being 50 to 250 PC's and the small 5 and 10 person shops will be left out in the cold again. I also fear that this could end up with a lot of these small shops deploying Windows Home Server instead.

Sean Daniel said...

Hi Bill,

Thank you for your comments. Let me answer them one at a time.

Tape solution. This was a tough cut for us, but one we had to make. The backup solution has totally changed. It actually gives you another way of looking at backups. In the past you've done one backup/day, with the new solution you can do 20-30 backups per day if you want. Performance is far higher, and you can capture more of your users work as they work throughout the day. Most people will probably end up with 3-4 backups per day (but 20-30 will be possible!). The reason we had to move away from Tape is because of the ability to save things wherever we want. In addition tot he removal of tape, we can now backup to shiny media (DVD), and network paths more reliabily. Tapes are expensive types of media and hard disks are very cheap, so I think the adaption you make to disk will actually save your customers money in the long run and protect them more.

Dual-nic support. I am as disappointed as you with this. Certain cercumstances with the changes in Longhorn server left us without firewall solution in our standard product. We attempted to move ISA into the standard product, but legal issues prevented this. There was nothing we could do. However, we are putting a lot of effort into having our router manufacturer partners build a router that can be managed via the server, so hopefully when we do ship Cougar there will be a list of quality routers that "work best" with SBS so you won't have another box to manage.

I think you'll find the space quite the contrary to leaving people out in the cold. :) Windows Home Server indeed would be a nice solution for < 10 PC shops. SBS is perfect for the 5-75 shops, and we have a mid-market server focused on the 50-500, which is a 3-server solution and does include ISA.

In addition, we are currently working on our sku line-up, and I think you will find the skus that we build there will be one for each type of business you wish to support.

I'm sorry the outlook looks gloomy to you right now, but I assure you the SBS team is doing what they can to ensure you get the product you need.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean,

Thanks for the additional background and the decisions you've had to make. It does help a bit and I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming down the pike. I was somewhat disenhearted with all of the changes coming when I started to add them all up. I've been slowly migrating my clients to Premium to make use of ISA, as well as getting them on Software Assurance so they'd be covered for the next release. So to see tape and ISA being eliminated, and knowing I'll be going back to them to work out another migration to go from 32-bit to 64-bit my "whine factor" was increasing exponentially ;-)

I see what you're saying with regards to some of the advantages to disk and I'm going to have to rethink my approach here as I still prefer having an easily transportable offsite option and I'm not 100% convinced hard drives are better than tape in this regard. I have one client that made the switch and now I have a constant struggle with them to actually take one set of drives offsite so all their eggs aren't in one basket. They used to be very diligent about rotating tapes offsite, but have decided that with all the space available on their HD's and the bulkier media they leave them onsite all week now :-(

Thanks again for the insight, I'm looking forward to seeing the new product line.

Sean Daniel said...

Glad I could help. If you are under SA with ISA, there will definately be a "make good" for your SA. We just aren't sure what it is yet.

If you still want to use ISA with Cougar, you can. You just have to put it on a seperate box. That might just be a great solution for that old 32bit SBS 2003 box. how about a 32 bit ISA server? ;o)

With regards to tape vs hard drive. I hear you on the bulkier media, but have you looked into USB 2.0 laptop hard drives. Some of them don't even require power (although mine does), and they are not much bigger than a tape, and might be easier for your customers to slip into a purse/gym bag.

Anonymous said...

No tape? Why oh why? Hard drives as the only backup solution is a terrible idea, and tape drives have come way down in cost--good tape drives too. You can buy new LTO-2 SCSI drives for about $1K now. That's 200GB of removable, stable storage.

Also, I'd really really like to see the memory limit above 4GB. Even servers under moderate use can't handle the load that SBS puts on it.

Sean Daniel said...

With regards to tape, I think you just proved my point. :) You have a $1k tape drive, and then you have the cost of tapes, and you're well over $1k... for only 200GB,

you can get 2x 500GB for less than $500, and you can just swap them out. Also, on restore, it's super fast, as apposed to hours and hours.

As for the RAM, we're re-evaluating the limits in SBS, that one specifically. It will be higher.

stryqx said...

The two biggest concerns that the SBS community seem to have with Cougar is the removal of tape backup and the removal of ISA Server.
I recommend that the SBS team immediately start to address these serious concerns *right now* and clearly communicate the solutions to partners and users. Those of us who do strategic upgrade planning but aren't MVPs need to know what the product line-up is going to look like to be able to plan effectively.
For example, if tape goes, do we still have to write complex scripts to work around the PnP Manager's brain-deadedness when it comes to drive letter assignment for USB drives, and also for backup reporting?
One of the reasons I started using SBS 2003 was the integration of ISA Server. I got sick of augmenting Windows servers with FreeBSD-based application-level firewalling. It now sounds like I need to go back to this.
ISA Server 2004 is not a very good packet-filtering firewall, but it is an excellent application-level firewall, especially for IIS and Exchange. I don't have a problem with ISA being ripped, but I certainly hope that the components such as the Web listener remain. It is extremely powerful, especially when you're limited to a single public IP with which you need to map in quite a few different Web applications, some of them over SSL.
You've also got the problem with a single-NIC install in that only PPTP and SSTP can be used for VPN termination at Cougar, as L2TP/IPsec won't work by default. I know that the plan is to move exclusively to SSTP, but I don't see a WinXP SSTP client on the horizon. I hope the firewall vendor partnership realise that they need to add VPN termination to their product line-ups, with RADIUS/EAP authentication hand-off to Windows.
BTW, the snapshot capability is already present in SBS 2003 to perform the 30-odd "backups" you mention. The only point of tape is for offsite storage. Hardly anyone I know who uses USB drives actually takes the suckers offsite, but everyone using tapes does. Some understanding of how backup media is managed should be considered, not just how it may be used (inappropriately, it seems).
On a final point, how about using Windows Server Core + Virtual Server/Viridian as a layer below Cougar? That would make for some very elegant and quick disaster recoveries. :-)

Sean Daniel said...

Chris, thanks for taking the time to write this, I will pass it along to our marketing folk who are responsible for when features are unveiled to the public.

As for not being an MVP, what's stopping you? You seem quite knowledgable, you need only impress the MVPs to be voted in, and I'm sure that would be easy for you.

As I mentioned above, I'm not allowed to break into marketings plan of launching the product. You will have to wait for now.


Anonymous said...

I rarely add my 2 cents worth but I decided (after reading this and the related/linked blogs) to "weigh in".

Like many of the commenters, I do not [generally] like what I am reading/learning about Cougar. My advice to all is to start planning/learning how to deal with the new SBS; there is not much anyone can do about it in the short run. Here's why:

Microsoft's [new] SBS decisions were based on a "how can we increase Redmon's sales" model, not a "how can we improve SBS" model. Based on what I have read, Microsoft made the decision that the [old] SBS was "too good" and "too cheap". In all honesty, they are probably correct. The challenge Microsoft faces is how to minimize the defection (and complaining), not whether to add [back] features; that decision has been made long ago.

My guess (and it is only a guess) is, now that Microsoft has succeeded in creating a monopoly for the SBS market, Microsoft has decided it is time to capitalize on its investment.

As for me and the clients I support (typically 25+ users using SBS Premium), we will probably do exactly what Microsoft is betting on, spend $2-3,000 more with Microsoft to keep what we already have. Of course, the extra copies of SBS 2003 Premium I have purchased will put off my dilemna for a few years. In the mean time, who knows, maybe Microsoft has mis-calculated and the market place will force a change in pricing or an alternative.

As for the Microsoft SBS team, I think everyone should lighten-up on them. They are trying to do the best they can (for the SBS users) within the parameters they have been given. I can't even imagine what is like to work for a large corporation and having to deal with the decisions made by absentee "suits".

Sean Daniel said...


I find many of your comments off balance here, and I wanted to clear some things up.

Let me address them all one at a time.

The SBS team makes all the decisions based on our product. While we are a "for profit" business, SBS's charter is to provide Microsoft's expensive Enterprise-server class solutions at low prices to Small Businesses. The reasoning here is that many small businesses grow up into big businesses, and we would like that business to have a great first experience with our product, and continue to use Microsoft products as they grow in time. SBS 2003 is a fantastic product (perhaps I am biased here, but I believe that it is). I'm glad you think the price point is a good match also. ;o)

As far as SBS becoming a monopoly, I find this very far from the truth. While there are limited competitors, competitors come in all sorts of fashions to the small business space, and we are far from being aa monopoly in that space, nor do we wish to capitalize on any perceived monopoly. I assure you this speculation is not true.

If I read through your concern about SBS premium being more expensive, I am assuming you're talking about the firewall decision that no longer supports ISA on the SBS box. No official information has been dicslosed external to Microsoft (or even figured out Internally to Microsoft for that matter) on what our SBS sku set is, let alone the price, or even the names! So yes, while SBS no longer supports ISA on the box, there is nothing documented anywhere suggesting that you'll have to spend $2-3,000 more to keep what you already have is, sorry to say, a wild-guess at best. It could be zero, it could be less, or it could be as you mention. The SBS marketing team just hasn't finished this work yet.

Finally, I'm happy you are directing your problems to the SBS team. Please continue to blame us instead of the absentee suits; if you send me an email, I'd be happy to address any more concerns offline.

Hope this helps,

PS. No one at Microsoft wears suits... ;o)

Anonymous said...

I know nobody can say anything about details but I'm really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really crossing my fingers Unified Messaging is slipped in... Ooooooo THAT WOULD BE SWEEET!

Anonymous said...

I must say that I feel disappointed in what can be perceived as an gradual scale down of the SBS Server. There seems to be a sliding scale down from the SBS Server 2000 towards SBS Cougar. On the move to SBS 2003, we lost the terminal server forcing upgrade to a new server with terminal services. With SBS 2003 R2, we lost the SQL Server Standard and were left with the Workgroup Edition that lacks some capabilities forcing upgrade to SQL Standard on a separate server. Even the smallest of firms have LOB application requiring SQL Server Standard. With the current plan of Cougar, SBS will lose its ISA firewall and its web listener, and VPN termination, further degrading the product, forcing ISA on to separate server. The move to a single NIC will add on to this trend removing L2TP, living PPTP and the lack of control over PC that are allowed to connect with VPN. With Cougar, backup to tape will be removed, forcing backup to a separate server or USB disks. What will be the new in SBS Cougar making up for all of these losses? Perhaps a substantial price reduction o device and user CALs? With R2 we gained a licensing model that allows us CALs to install Exchange and SQL on separate servers. Will this trend also include ISA Server? Will we have a different licensing on the limitation of the additional domain controller, allowing us to restore the SBS Server without having to restore the additional domain controller? Will we for instance see new management features enabling us to monitor all these additional servers? Will these monitoring tools run on SQL 2005 Workgroup or do we need one more server? Will new licensing allow customers and contacts to connect to the SBS Servers intra or extranet? Will we see a different licensing on the Certificate Server on W2K3 Standard preventing relevant certificates and auto renewal in connection with WPA Enterprise and RADIUS?
I have often marketed SBS as an enterprise solution for small firms, but I cannot help to feel that somehow the enterprise part seems to be goon. I wonder what SBS Cougar will contain that will not add to the perception of a further down grade of the product, and the perception off a less flexible solution. With SBS Server certified scaled down MS products capable of being installed on the SBS Server. My perceptions is to a certain existent enforced by the latest ears product development where by the marked is being segmented by MS products in home, small, medium and large, and out of the box solutions, in a take or leave solution. I cannot help may self to think that this is adding to the technical difficulties and what I perceive as an down grade of SBS product, it flexibility and functionality.

Sean Daniel said...

Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you that thus far the information you have are about the take-aways. Unfortunately we are not allowed to talk about the additions and extremely exciting value-add we're adding until November or December of this year. Believe me, as soon as I'm allowed to broadcast data, I will. I understand your concern.

I for one am excited of the direction of the next version. I think it cuts through the old methods and brings in the new.

Automatic VPN support in SBS 2003 was also PPTP, and you could configure L2TP on your own, this is not changing in Cougar.

ISA 2006, and I do not see this changing for ISA 2008, does not have CALs, as a result, you can funnel as much traffic and as many users as you want through the firewall, there is no need to purchase additional CALs for the product.

Tape Support. I understand your pain, but our research has shown that the number of companies moving from tape to harddrive is very high. The reason is the cost. You can pack more data onto a single data drive for 1/4 the cost of your backup application, hardware and media. It's just cheaper.

Exchange will not be allowed on secondary servers, unless you are running Centro.

I believe with SBS 2003 R2, you now have SQL downgrade rights through certain channels. We have heard you loud and clear about the SQL 2005 workgroup edition and have provided this in the channel.

As for your other questions regarding intra/extranets, and CAs, you'll have to wait until the end of the year. But I am excited about the lineup.

I wouldn't say SBS is an enterprise solution for small firms. Enterprises typically have 100s of servers for redundancy, with SBS, there is only a few. More like, it takes the enterprise solutions and makes it available to small businesses at a lower price, by packing it into one box, and providing it at a much lower cost.

We have heard your feedback, and we have discussed it internally. Feel free to continue to discuss on this blog, I more than welcome the feedback. However, due to the restraints of the marketing team planning launch events, and choosing the correct time to deseminate information, I am unable to respond to this blog post again.

Please continue to discuss, your thoughts and comments do not fall on deaf ears, however, I will no longer be participating in the thread in accordance with the strategy for information disclosure at Microsoft

The final word I leave you with, is I am excited to upgrade both of the sites I help to run to Cougar, that is a company of 25, and a company of 15. In addition, I am looking forward to moving my home network over to Cougar and will do so at the earliest supported (production) release. I believe the 2008 version is far superior than the 2003 version.

Anonymous said...

What's missing in the discussion regarding the removal of tape support is the archival needs. Many small businesses have contracts with the government and other agencies that require long term (3,5 or even 7 years) data archival.

Are they supposed to take a $150-$250 hard drive and archive it for 3-7 years versus the $20-$50 tape?

And what about the integrity of that archive?

For all the reasons previously stated, tape is a much better solution for transporting and storing offsite than external hard drives.

Ken Shafer

Wynn Smith said...

I'm glad to hear some details about Cougar. Thank you. But I think you're making the same mistake that we see with every new release. For example someone explains quite clearly why they need tape backup, and then you repeat the party line why hard disk is better vs. tape.

Please listen to the comments you're hearing. It's not an issue of one vs. another. You can add hard disk backup without chopping tape backup.

I have several issues worth considering because they're real issues.

I've tried many times to implement harddisk backup. It works great so long as the harddisk stays in place. But for those who want redundancy it doesn't work well because the harddisk interfaces aren't designed to see "harddisk as removable media". Each harddisk becomes its own new entity rather than a new member of an already defined media set.

Harddisk as backup doesn't work well if you want offsite rotation because the drives aren't rugged enough and the mechanical connectors wear out too fast.

Harddisk as backup doesn't work well if you need deep redundancy and snapshop archive because the cost is prohibitive to use harddisks for a one time only backup.

I like harddisk backup as an option. It works well for my customers who seem unable to rotate media. However, for all of my customers who bought a tape drive and understand its value, it's a mistake for Microsoft to force this kind of feature reduction on them.

The lack of tape support will become an obstacle to selling up existing installations.

-Wynn Smith

Anonymous said...

For those complaining about the tape support, here are my suggestions:
1. Get something like Brightstor or another tape back up software, and include it in the pricing of the upgrade. As consultants, we do have to know more about the product than our customers, and use that knowledge to help get them the cheapest solution.
2. If you are using a hard drive solution, go to a gun shop and get 3 pistol cases. Here's why: They have foam padding, they're lockable, they have a handle, and most of all, when you are carrying one, people tend to leave you alone.

While I am not "dissing" the comments made about lake of tape backup support, nor being a sycophant for MS, with the current information discussed here, we need to strategize on the facts given, so far.


Jeff Dempsey

Anonymous said...

ummm... lack of tape backup support, not lake. doh!

Owen said...

Exchange 2007 seems to require 2 boxes (1 for program, 1 for data). Is this the same for Cougar?

Anonymous said...

I allways use Backup Exec for my backup solutions for my customers. Very easy to setup and gives me a better option for disaster recovery if the system where to fail with the ISO recovery disk.

So I dont see this being an issue for me may be this can be a solution to the others out there.


Anonymous said...

Here's a question about upgrade rights and Software Assurance: if I buy SBS 2003 Premium R2 now with software assurance, will I get the new version of ISA server free (as a separate product) included under that SA umbrella, once it's removed from Cougar? Or will I have to go buy it once I upgrade SBS to Cougar?

Currently advising clients on next year's IT budget.... thanks.

KN in SF

Sean Daniel said...

Please see my post 7/2 @ 9:40pm above.

Sean Daniel said...

Please see my post 7/2 @ 9:40pm above.

redboy33 said...

Real Quick (sorry if this was covered in a previous post.)

When will SBS08 BETA be available to joe smoe (me?)

Also, I don't use ISA or Tape so dropping them is a non-factor for me. HD’s are cheaper and faster, we even store offsite.. I have a SOHO FW solution that takes care of VPN and FW duties.



Anonymous said...

Surprised not to see more mention of this: if virtual server technology is not a major architectural component of SBS2008, I will be very disappointed.

I never use ISA Server with SBS, because I have always felt that it is lunacy for a bet-your-business server to be its own firewall, and I hate what it does to the protocol stack. However, if virtual server were used to separate SBS from ISA, it would be a natural fit, and I'd probably push every client to Premium just for that.

Terminal Server is another example. With Virtual Server, it's a natural to run TS in a virtual machine. Right now, however, it requires a complete separate server license, and with x86 we're already running short of RAM. No sale.

I'd prefer to run Exchange and SQL in virtual machines as well, to reduce the stress on the DC. Or maybe run the DC in a virtual machine. Yeah, that's the ticket!

The move to x64 makes Virtual Server a slam dunk. Just add RAM.

Frankly, I don't much care if Microsoft removes tape-based backup. I virtually never use MS Backup anyway; I use Backup Exec instead. It has FAR better management, reporting, alerts and overall functionality. I take backups much too seriously to leave it to the free stuff. I back up the whole server to tape, justify any exceptions, and always make sure there's offsite storage. Disk backup is for amateurs, unless it's D2D2T.

And I don't care about server-based VPN support either -- I use external firewall-based VPNs -- same reason as for ISA Server. That would only change if I can run ISA Server in its own non-DC VM, preferably hardened and not even a domain member.

Oh, one other thing: I love the way SBS2003 imports user profiles when we join non-domain-member PCs. However, it is a real headache to import profiles from members of other domains. There's no really good way to do it.

And there really needs to be a better way to wean people off of POP3 email. The POP3 connector just sucks. It's not too bad if all the users are in one office, but if you have people at multiple sites getting email on the same domain name -- ugly.

FWIW, I am a certified, registered SBS specialist.


Anonymous said...

Is there any Information aboiut Hardware Limitations in SBS2008 available? for example in SBS2003 there was a limitation of 4GB RAM and max. 2 physical CPU'S.


Centerfield13 said...

In all this discussion about backup to tape vs. backup to hard drive... does Iomega's REV drives fit in the picture? We like it on our existing SBS 2k3 box because it's removable, easily accessed when we need to make restores, etc etc.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the link from your other page. Since I really only use AMD x64 technology anyway, I'm excited to get my hands on SBS 2008!