Windows Small Business Server is going away
How long will customers be able to purchase Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard?
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2013, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2013. In addition, the Windows Small Business Server 2011 CAL Suite will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2016, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2016. CALs will no longer be available after those dates.
What is taking its place?
Windows Server 2012 Standard, Essentials and Exchange.
The latest versions of Windows Server, Exchange Server, and SharePoint Server can be used together to provide a robust, scalable on-premises solution for messaging and collaboration. Additionally, these server solutions can be deployed as either physical or virtual workloads. For example, a complete virtualized environment running on a single physical server can be created by combining a copy of Windows Server 2012 Standard and a copy of Windows Server 2012 Essentials. A single license of Standard allows it to run as a Hyper-V host and support two additional virtual operating system environments, one of which could be used to run Exchange Server and the other could be used to run Essentials. Essentials can run as a virtual operating system environment on the same physical server to provide the core services for managing, monitoring, and helping to keep the entire environment protected and secure just like SBS. With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you can take advantage of the same type of integrated management experience as SBS whether you choose to run an on-premises copy of Exchange Server, subscribe to a hosted Exchange service, or subscribe to Office 365. Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the simplest way for small businesses to unleash the power of Windows Server 2012 and cloud-enable their IT.
What is included with Windows Server 2012 Essentials?
Windows Server 2012 Essentials incorporates best-of-breed 64-bit product technologies to deliver a server environment well suited for the vast majority of small businesses. The product technologies include:
Server Operating System: Windows Server 2012 product technologies provide the core of Windows Server 2012 Essentials. For more information, visit the Windows Server 2012 website: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2012. Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides an end-to-end integrated setup that installs and configures many of the roles and features of Windows Server 2012 according to best practices configuration for small business environments. This provides immediate out-of-the-box value and productivity.
Data Protection: Windows Server 2012 Essentials leverages several new features available in Windows Server 2012 to provide greatly improved data protection capabilities. The new Storage Spaces http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831739.aspx feature allows customers to aggregate the physical storage capacity of disparate hard drives, dynamically add hard drives, and to create volumes with specified levels of resilience. Windows Server 2012 Essentials can perform complete system backups and bare-metal restores of the server itself as well as the client computers connected to the network—now with support for volumes larger than 2 terabytes. Additionally, Windows Azure Online Backup http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831419.aspx can be used to protect files and folders in a cloud-based storage service that is managed by Microsoft. Windows Server 2012 Essentials also centrally manages and configures the new File History feature of Windows 8 clients, helping users to recover from accidently deleted or overwritten files without requiring administrator assistance.
Anywhere Access: Remote Web Access provides a stream-lined, touch-friendly browser experience for accessing applications and data from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection using almost any device. Windows Server 2012 Essentials also provides an updated Windows Phone app and a new modern app for Windows 8 clients, allowing users to intuitively connect to, search across, and access files and folders on the server; files are also automatically cached for offline access and synchronized when a connection to the server becomes available. Windows Server 2012 Essentials turns setting up virtual private networking (VPN) into a painless wizard-driven process of just a few clicks, and simplifies the management of VPN access for users. Client computers can leverage a VPN connection to remotely join the Essentials environment without the need to come into the office.
Health Monitoring: Windows Server 2012 Essentials monitors its own health status and the status of client computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X version 10.5 and above. Health status notifies you of issues or problems related to computer backups, server storage, low disk space, and more.
Workload Flexibility: Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been designed to allow flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premises and which run in the cloud. In previous versions, Windows Small Business Server Standard included Exchange Server as a component product, which added expense and complexity for those who wished to leverage cloud-based messaging and collaboration services. With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you can take advantage of the same integrated management experience whether you choose to run an on-premises copy of Exchange Server, subscribe to a hosted Exchange service, or subscribe to Office 365.
Extensibility: Windows Server 2012 Essentials builds on the extensibility model of Windows SBS 2011 Essentials, which allows other software vendors to add capabilities and features to the core product, and adds a new set of Web Services APIs. It also maintains compatibility with the existing software development kit (SDK) and Add-Ins created for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials.