Microsoft has announced a few new Server line products. They have been in beta for a while now, and I’ve had the awesome experience of trying out Aurora. I plan on running it instead of my Windows Home Server in a domain environment at home. It is already a very nice product, even in beta. A little pricey, however, but just outstanding features that would work great for any small business with 25 PC’s or less.
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials (formally Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”) is ideal as a first server for small businesses, providing a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services such as Office 365, hosted e-mail, collaboration and CRM. Windows SBS 2011 Essentials can be used by up to 25 users, requiring no CALs for user access and is expected to release in H1 2011. SBS 2011 Essentials will be available through all current Microsoft server licensing channels and estimated retail pricing is $545US. Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard (formally Windows Small Business Server “7”) is designed and priced for small businesses with up to 75 users, delivering enterprise-class server technology in an affordable, all-in-one solution. Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard helps protect business’ information from loss by performing automatic daily server backups and greater productivity through on-site features like e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, and file and printer sharing. Licensing for Windows SBS 2011 Standard is consistent with previous versions of Windows SBS 2008 Standard, which required both a Server License, plus CALs for each user. Estimated retail pricing for Windows SBS 2011 Standard is $1,096US, with CALs approximately $72US. Windows SBS 2011 Standard will be available through all current Microsoft server licensing channels and is expected to release in December 2010. Further availability through OEM’s and System Builders is expected starting February 2011. Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-on, consists of an additional server that provides support for SQL Server based LOB applications and access to Window Server 2008 R2 technologies in a cost effective solution for a small business environment. The Windows SBS 2011 Premium Add-on includes Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, and SQL Server 2008 R2 for Small Business and can be added to both Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Standard editions. The Premium add-on provides the ability to run a vast number of line-of-business applications on an additional server and the capacity to make more informed business decisions with rich analysis and reporting technologies. It is ideal for role based deployments such as LOB application support, Remote Desktop Services, Backup domain controller, and Virtualization though Hyper-V. The decision to move to an add-on model was taken to provide our customers with more flexibility and deployment options providing the ability to purchase additional servers either up front or as needed. While access to the Windows Server components for the Windows SBS 2011 Premium Add-on will be covered by the Windows SBS 2011 CAL model, users will still require Premium Add-on CALs for access to SQL Server. Estimated retail pricing for Windows SBS 2011 Premium Add-on is $1,604US, with CALs approximately $92US. The Premium Add-on will also be available with the release of Windows SBS 2011 Standard in December.