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.