Microsoft previews Windows Small Business Server 2011

Microsoft Announces Windows Small Business Server 2011 Editions

What's New in Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Announcing Windows Small Business Server 2011 - The Official SBS Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Microsoft has unveiled the names and price details for its Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011. In a nutshell: There will be three Windows server products: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard and an add-on option called Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-On.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

Initially code-named Aurora, this low-end version is targeted at small businesses with up to 25 users. Envisioned as the first server to be deployed in smaller businesses, Windows SBS 2011 Essentials does not require any Client Access Licenses (CALs). Perfect for simpler tasks such as running applications and organizing business-centric data, Windows SBS 2011 Essentials connects to cloud-based services such as Microsoft's Office 365 for additional capabilities such as e-mail and collaboration. Windows SBS 2011 Essentials will be sold through server-licensing channels in the first half of 2011 at the price of US$545.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Positioned as the standard edition of SBS, this product was created to be consistent with the Windows SBS 2008 Standard. Known at one stage as Windows Small Business Server 7, Windows SBS 2011 Standard requires a server license as well as CALs for each user, much like its predecessor. Recommended for up to 75 users, Windows SBS 2011 Standard comes with standard Windows Server capabilities such as hosting of e-mail servers and websites, remote access and automated daily server backups.

According to Microsoft, the U.S. price for the server license is $1,096, while CALs will cost $72 per user. The SBS 2011 Standard software itself will be available in December, though systems pre-installed with Windows SBS 2011 Standard are expected to arrive in February 2011.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-on

For businesses with more diverse needs, the Windows Small Business Server provides support for SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 technologies, according to this post on Microsoft's Windows Small Business Server blog. Microsoft says that access to the server components under Windows SBS 2011 CAL model is detailed in the previous section, which includes a large number of line-of-business (LOB) applications such as analysis and reporting tools, and important components such as Remote Desktop Services (RDP), backup domain controller and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. Deployment on an additional server allows for redundancy and robustness where infrastructure is concerned.

On the decision to adopt this unusual add-on model, Microsoft says the move was made to provide its customers with greater flexibility in deployment options, "providing the ability to purchase additional servers either up front or as needed."

This flexibility isn't cheap, however, as users who require access to the SQL Server component will need to pay for the Premium Add-on CALs separately. The estimated retail price for Windows SBS 2011 Premium Add-on is US$1,604, with CALs costing US$92. The Premium Add-on will be available together with the release of Windows SBS 2011 Standard at the end of this year

Additional information about the new Windows Small Business Server family can be accessed here (pdf), while previews of Windows SBS 2011 Standard and Essentials can be downloaded here.

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