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back to article Microsoft offers beta of Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Microsoft made the beta release of Windows Server 2012 Essentials available for download Wednesday, but some customers are already miffed about the changes the new product brings. As Microsoft's David Fabritius wrote in a July 5 blog post, Windows Server 2012 Essentials is now a full-fledged member of the Windows Server product …

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One feature worrying me on 2012...

It appears from the technical session I went to that MS will be including de-duplication functionality... As windows does not handle background I/O processes very well - I always switch off indexing and network management on windows is still a joke - I hope it can be easily avoided.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One feature worrying me on 2012...

"windows does not handle background I/O processes very well" Really?

Indexing is fine, once it's finished and if you don't have it indexing inappropriate areas of disk. Also, why would you be using indexing on a server?

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Re: One feature worrying me on 2012...

So it's totally cool with you that the Windows indexer can freeze the UI for five or ten seconds at random intervals? OK then.

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Upgrade if you have SA

According to Q36 on the Windows Server 2012 licensing FAQ, if you have Software Assurance on your existing SBS Standard, then you have upgrade rights to Windows 2012 Standard & Exchange 2010 Standard. Nice upgrade path as long as you have kept your SA up to date. If you have the Premium addon, then you also get upgrade rights to SQL Server 2012 Standard (Q37).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Upgrade if you have SA

Is it too late to get onto SA with an existing SBS installation?

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Anonymous Coward

Death of a good product?

I cursed when they took ISA out of SBS, so that you had to buy access control solution separately.

Now they seem to be cutting back SBS further so that no-one wants to buy it.

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Anonymous Coward

Why don't thay ust call it

Windows Server 2012 'Light' and be done with it?

The advantage of SBS was that it came as an 'All-in-One' package. Many SME's I deal with don't have the time, money, expertise or even the willingness to get involved with the SKU nightmare that is the MS Product Catalogue.

(This is only beaten by the IBM one IMHO)

There will be a lot of opportunity for the 'nudge-nudge wink wink, have I got a good deal for you' resellers to makr a load of quick money from unsuspecting SME's here.

As this move was well signalled in advance I'm moving of my customers away from Exchange and very few of them need let alone understand Sharepoint.

I already have a SBS replacement based on RHEL (One part number to order from me) that includes all the support I used to give them with SBS being used by three SME's. Frankly this is a lot easier to manage than the new Server environment where the SME only has a single system plus backup and say 10 desktops.

There is a lot of business out there for those of us who can see an opportunity here and who are willing to get of their backsides and look after our customers. Thanks MS, this is all the persuasion needed for many of us to drastically reduce the amount of business we do with you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why don't thay ust call it

I can only agree - seriously considering just such a move myself. Small businesses are also worried about licensing complications. Moving away from MS may be scary for some, but possibly worth the leap. Being able to tell the BSA where to go is certainly something to look forward to!

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Happy

RHEL replacement

Interesting. If I may ask, do you supply a shared calender server as well with that (e.g. Horde) and let users continue to use e.g. Outlook? Which one?

Or is that something that your clients don't use that much anyway?

I've been following Sogo and especially their integration with Openchange which should allow seamless use of their web client, Thunderbird, iMail, and Outlook... though the OpenChange integration (which provides Outlook compatibility) is still in beta

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Happy

Re: Why don't thay ust call it

@AC - 05:54

Excellent post. I used to supply and configure SBS to 50 user or less organizations - We wrote and supplied custom software that could use MS SQL Server, and found that it was cheaper and less hassle than supplying Windows and SQL Server separately. Exchange was a 'free bonus'.

I am retired now, and fortunately don't have to worry about getting paid for this stuff anymore.

I do however, recommend the OSX Lion Server for businesses that have a few users and who can't find a reliable Linux consultant; and don't want to setup a Linux based network themselves. It is a no-brainer if the owner/directors have an iFondlePhone or Pad as it is very easy for them to set up shared mail and calendars for out-of-office use. As for the vast array of PC software, most of them only want MS Word and Excel, and the Mac versions are pretty good.

An easy to use and set-up server with all of the features that many small/micro businesses need for about a thousand quid, with no need to buy CALs with an easy upgrade path to 50+ users could be a good deal.

Some of the bigger VARs denigrate SBS as there is little scope to gouge the SMB punter with multiple servers and CALS - As a result, I have seen several installations where the punter has more than 3 MS servers for less than 20 workstations courtesy of their friendly neighbourhood VAR - The reliability has generally been poor in spite of the punter paying thousands a year in support. I wonder if MS have effectively killed the small business sector to placate the larger players. This would certainly give an opportunity to someone who can supply the needs of the vast numbers of <50 user businesses.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Server 2003 continues to suit me just fine

And I'm not moving on until they bring back Windows NTBackup so that can have a sensible bundled Tape Backup solution.

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Re: Windows Server 2003 continues to suit me just fine

You said 'Bundle'! Now you've blown it - if they put it back in, they'll have an EU bureaucrat on their back quicker than you can say 'Corrupt Politician'!

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Re: Windows Server 2003 continues to suit me just fine

One assumes that you have investigated (or already use?!) BackupAssist to manage your tape backups?

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Re: Windows Server 2003 continues to suit me just fine

BackupAssist is awesome, of course, but it costs, and NTBackup was free -- a point not in BackupAssist's favor.

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Microsoft

By far Linux's best advocate - despite itself.

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SBS - not perfect by any means

SBS is great at first, but:

Migrating from one version of SBS to another is way beyond most small businesses - I recently had to recreate my entire domain when moving from SBS2008 to SBS2011. There was some minor problem in AD that would stop the migration in its tracks.

As is troubleshooting anything that goes wrong - it's all very well having that pretty front-end to do most of the work, but it does mean that you're not familiar with the rest of Exchange etc when there's a problem.

Plus, think what a nightmare testing the build must be - all those products installing together onto one box.

I'm lucky in one way - I have MS Partner Pack, so still get a separate license for Exchange. Just need to buy a decent POP3 downloader for some of the email.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SBS - not perfect by any means

"lucky " & " Exchange"

Not often seen in the same sentence !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SBS - not perfect by any means

Migration is definitely scary. Though there are KBs and White Papers and tools to help it to happen, we were "lucky" in the past as the first time (SBS2000 -> 2003) there wasn't a lot to be moved and the second time (SBS2003 ->2011) it was a company split. This meant that rebuilding from the start and migrating data and clients was easier than recreation.

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Re: SBS - not perfect by any means

SBS migration is a nightmare! Spent two weeks on it once, eight hours a day on the phone with Microsoft Product Support, who ended up giving us all that time for free -- and if you know MPS, you know exactly what that means about whose fault the problems were...

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Anonymous Coward

Before ESXi

I used to run AD, Exchange, file shares, plus a few other gubbins, on a single box, and it was a 'mare. I can't say I've ever fancied SBS much with all that, plus SQL, plus ShitePoint, plus whatever else, all bumping elbows on the same tin!

A reseller I worked for a while back was doing great business selling schools an ESX cluster and running their Windows environment on that: a much MUCH better option if you ask me, though yes more expensive.

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Seems to be...

...that Microsoft only wants you to use their Essentials product for AD/LDAP/DNS/DHCP and have everything else pushed to the cloud.

Which actually makes sense in some cases, but if I were an SBS customer relying on the bundled software I would not be in any hurry to upgrade.

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Anonymous Coward

The future is clear...

All my clients are staying on SBS 2003 & XP for as long as possible. No need to upgrade just because MS wants me to.

as most of my clients are in the financial industry they will not be putting 'your' financial details in the cloud.

Your data in the cloud is only as secure as the weakest password

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Unhappy

Re: The future is clear...

How secure is this financial data going to be when Extended Support for Windows 2003/XP expires and you no longer receive security updates?

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Re: The future is clear...

"As long as possible", he said.

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