back to article Windows Server 2019 Essentials incoming – but cheapo product's days are numbered

Microsoft threw its army of small business customers a treat in the form of confirmation that Windows Server 2019 Essentials was on the way. But it followed this up with the less-than-savoury news that it would probably be the last. The follow-up from Windows Server 2016 Essentials will have the same licensing characteristics …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cloud what is it really good for: 'Users may receive a message indicating they are being throttled'

    How many firms can really stomach the privacy, security and 'real uptime' implications of printing in the Cloud? 'Considerably simpler' is all relative:

    "The main use case for these servers is traditional file and print sharing. Shoving data in the cloud makes collaboration considerably simpler and a dedicated print server seems overkill these days in an office of a maximum of 25 people. Microsoft has also stripped the Essentials Experience role from the server, which made setting up file sharing relatively straightforward."

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/05/microsoft_office_outlook_skype_throttled/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cloud what is it really good for: 'Users may receive a message indicating

      Come off it. If they're concerned of privacy, security and uptime, then they're not Microsoft's target customer.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Cloud what is it really good for: 'Users may receive a message indicating

        azure wasnt much cheaper than a copy of server 2016 and a cheap dell r420 server. internet pipe is also a consideration. a 200/200+ connection is not peanuts either.

        cloud simply wouldnt work for us hence why we still run physical. we are thinking of a hybrid office 365 but as yet we are running office 2016 (outlook is a core product in our environment, as is sharepoint)

  2. katrinab Silver badge

    Print server?

    Were printers ever connected to the server?

    These days, most printers, even the very cheapest, can connect directly to the network.

    In the past, I'm pretty sure most people used a Jetdirect or similar to connect their printer to the network. Usually, the printer would be in a very different location to the server.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Print server?

      In the olden days they where. I haven't seen a shared printer that wasn't directly on the network for at least 10 years.

      That said, there's no doubt someone here with an obscure industrial printer on a parallel port, stuck on XP.

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Print server?

      The print server is serving the printer clients, it doesn't have to be directly connected.

      Printers absolutely used to be connected to the server, initially directly via serial/parallel, and later on via Jetdirect and similar. Print queues offer a number of sophisticated features that typically aren't included in the bare bones offerings in many lower end printers.

    3. Ragarath

      Re: Print server?

      He is on about the Printer as in how Microsoft defines a printer. This is the driver and it's spooler which are hosted on a server and I would still argue is much better hosted on a server than on individual machines.

      I would rather update the driver in one location rather than manually keep even 25 systems up to date. User logs on, user gets driver update... simples.

      BTW the printer (as we would term it) is called a printing device.

    4. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Print server?

      Also note that initial Jetdirect offerings as 'recently' as the Laserjet 4000 series (late 90s/early 00s) weren't particularly fast. An ECP parallel port offers speeds as fast as 2.5MB/s, faster than a number of Jetdirect cards. I have a 4000 series Laserjet at home, and it is connected using a parallel port.

      Modern systems can use USB to parallel ports very inexpensively. Mono laser printers of old can be quite fast, high resolution, and very cheap to run.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Print server?

        Mono laser printers of old can be quite fast, high resolution, and very cheap to run.

        I'd say that are (broadly) two types of machines. Cheap to buy and expensive to run like inkjets and expensive to buy and cheap to run machines like large network grade laser printers.

        If you pick up a formerly expensive printer from ebay then you bypass the high acquisition cost but still benefit from the low running costs. Typical home users that print maybe a hundred sheets a month will literally take a decade to get through the cartridge on a network grade laser printer and a century or so before hitting the service interval.

        After suffering a bit with what I inherited I ended up buying our home users second hand network printers from ebay of the same model that we use in the office. Complete and total overkill, but you don't run into problems with them to the point of forgetting their existence.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          Re: Print server?

          "If you pick up a formerly expensive printer from ebay then you bypass the high acquisition cost but still benefit from the low running costs. "

          It can be even better than that. A decade or so ago I saw the duplex version of my HP LaserJet on my local equivalent to eBay., It came complete with JetDirect card and a couple of unused cartridges and all for a fraction of the price of a new JetDirect card alone.

          I really should have grabbed it at the "Buy Now" price.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Print server?

            hah yes, we have a couple of kyocera printers plugged into isb jetdirect 10Mb boxes. they work perfectly.

    5. David Austin

      Re: Print server?

      Aww man - you've got me all nostalgic for Windows NT's Print Manager

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Is Cloud computing Smart Meters for IT ?

    Once you've put all your eggs into the cloud basket, how long before "demand management" becomes a thing ? You want to use CPU cycles at peak times ? Then pay a premium rate for it.

    No pay, no play.

    On a slightly different tack, how essential is *Windows* server? I'm pretty sure I could easily run a SME on some carefully configured Linux servers.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Is Cloud computing Smart Meters for IT ?

      Windows Server Essentials seems to have been stripped of all functionality to the point that a Synology box would be more effective.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is Cloud computing Smart Meters for IT ?

        Yep 100%...

        They stripped out all the stuff that gave Small Business Edition it's real value, credibility and allurement. This is nothing more than a poor-mans OS, used to convinced (very) small companies to the value of a Microsoft stack!

        Honestly, a company would get far more just buying Server Standard... or even signing up for something like Google Apps! (I'd exclude Office 365, unless its a managed server.. Its a better product than GApps, but its a lot more complex)

    2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Is Cloud computing Smart Meters for IT ?

      "demand management" has been an issue with cloud since day 1. With the crappier public IaaS clouds such as MS, Amazon, google it's even worse as you can't provision into pools of resources(as in being able to over subscribe CPU/memory/disk -- which in itself is demand management as well but it can simplify things quite a bit depending on your workload). Conversely if you want to have much better resource utilization then you have to pick a cloud provider that provides that, though the costs typically go up even more in that situation.

      SaaS clouds in theory should abstract that aspect of management away if managed correctly, but as big SaaS clouds like Google and MS have shown time and time again it's far from a mature process.

      Who needs quality when you can just slowly numb your customers into a lower level of service without them realizing it.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Is Cloud computing Smart Meters for IT ?

        you have a point on synology boxes. we bought a cheap synology box as a backup nas host (it actually uses iscsi as it was more reliable). I was very surprised at the number of services it could host (along with the usual expected dns or dhcp). AD controller and CA enterprise host amongst a few (along with email server capabilities)

        for a small 10 pc network this would be a bargain - especially if you got a few and ran them in high availability mode.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

    Cloud and naturally Azure or nothing for them.

    You will obey or GTFO off our platform after 2020.

    Kudos for them to keep trying but this sort of move will just pee off a lot of customers especially those who for security reasons can't move their data off premises.

    MS need to fix their Azure failover issues before pressurising customers into Cloud and their $$$$/month subscriptions.

    Still Windows Server kept me in shoe leather for eight years.

    1. TechDrone

      Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

      I'd like to find a usable replacement for Exchange that could run on premise and not end up having to involve expensive "support contracts" for so-called enterprise extensions for just a few users to be able to use activesync for their tablets & phones. File & print is easy - maybe a couple of hours to get Samba going. Couple more if you want AD too.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: I'd like to find a usable replacement for Exchange

        https://www.linux.com/learn/microsoft-exchange-alternatives-linux

        as a starting point.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

        Zentyal, possibly. I've not tried it, and there's is mixed reviews on its compatibility with Outlook. It does support ActiveSync, and recent versions of Outlook for Windows also support ActiveSync, so in theory it should work. But note that the Mac version of Outlook and also Apple's own email client for Mac require EWS, and that definitely isn't supported.

        1. Roger Greenwood

          Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

          +1 for Zentyal - we have used it since version 2 or 3 (about 6 years?) and it's fine for a small business (say 10 to 20 users). We don't need or use all of the features but the main thing is it has been rock solid reliable. For email we use Thunderbird but my phone can now connect thinking it is an exchange server - easy and faultless.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

      We use Zimbra at work and it does the job, but it's still not quite as seamless as Exchange (on the good days when Exchange is working, obviously. Zimbra has it's very own off-days).

      Oh, and of course Microsoft are concentrating on Azur, it makes them fucktons of money, presumably for far less effort than having to write software to sell.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

        exchange has never faltered for us. 2003 to 2010 and im looking at migrating to 2016 this year. just shy of 1000 users so not a huge site and a single server.

  5. Vince

    "Axing the Essentials line is a calculated risk for Microsoft. While its Office 365 product remains the clear market leader, small businesses may look to the likes of Google's G Suite in future. "

    Huh? Server essentials has sod all to do with Office in any form, so ditching the Essentials Line won't have any difference in that respect.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      its a perception. if people ditch MS server then why have MS apps? Why not look at a migration of office apps at the same time? Perhaps google apps will do everything a company needs without the need for office and ms server.

  6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    After this week

    With the fiasco of the last couple of days with Slurp, I would be very leery of their cloudy 'offerings'. When determining if your systems will work requires the sacrifice of a couple of goats each day you have a problem. Talking to my employer's help desk today for a Slurp issue, they noted that Slurp has plenty of issues of the aggravating kind. Yesterday's email fiasco caused a massive blitz as they were overwhelmed by people not being able to receive or send any. I was on sneakernet for a couple of hours while Slurp sorted out their blundering.

  7. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Windows

    anywhere the wind blows

    I guess I will skip this release and wait for the better sounding Windows 2020.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: anywhere the wind blows

      I upgraded my Windows recently to version 3.11For Workgroups on a 286 with 4Megs of RAM & a 10Meg hard drive. I should be good until 2020, right?

      /s?

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: anywhere the wind blows

        You forgot something!

        It is your <sarcasm> tag.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: anywhere the wind blows

          4mb ram on a 286? Moneybags setup! Our 286 network had floppy disks for the clients, only the winchester server had a 20mb hard drive.....

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