Last week, Dell stated that it has discontinued selling Windows Small Business Server. Microsoft is no longer making the popular small business platform, but thankfully Microsoft didn’t just pull the plug and leave small business customers with nothing to fill the void.
Windows Small Business Server (SBS) may be coming to an end, but it’s not really dead—just rebranded. Microsoft officially moved it into the Windows Server family, and changed the name to Windows Server 2012 Essentials. It’s basically the entry-level offering for Windows Server 2012.
For Loyal fans of SBS, though, moving to Windows Server 2012 Essentials is more than just a name change. Customers often balk at change of any kind, but in this case some are upset that major features and capabilities their businesses depend on are lost through the transition to Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Windows SBS was a great platform because it contained all of the elements a business might need in one box—the server operating system and management tools, along with Exchange Server and SharePoint Server. The problem with SBS, though, is that it maxed out at 25 licenses, and was a dead-end that didn’t provide an easy path for companies once their needs grew larger than what SBS could handle.
The biggest complaint about Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the lack of Exchange and SharePoint. They’re not integrated with Windows Server 2012 Essentials itself, but Microsoft enables customers to run applications on premise on a separate server (physical or virtual), or connect with the services online using Office 365 or a hosted version.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials running on the right hardware can provide small business customers with everything they need to continue managing an entire IT infrastructure in one box. It may not be as simple to set up, but Windows Server 2012 Essentials offers greater flexibility for small business customers to choose on premise or cloud-based solutions, migrate from one to the other, or rely on a hybrid of both. The management is still done through Windows Server 2012 Essentials, though, so administration is still simple and doesn’t require an entire IT department.
The move to Windows Server 2012 Essentials recognizes that small business customers often turn into medium business customers, and some even eventually become large enterprise customers. Windows Server 2012 Essentials lays the foundation, and gives customers the freedom to grow smoothly from 10 users to 10,000 and beyond.
This story, "It’s Time for Small Businesses to Move to Windows Server 2012 Essentials" was originally published by BrandPost.