New SBS 7

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

The next in-house server version of Small Business Server is in public beta, and I have started to play with it.  Actually, there are two new versions of SBS, one code named Aurora and the other SBS 7.  Aurora is designed to have an on-premise server but to connect seamlessly with Microsoft’s hosted Exchange and SharePoint services while SBS 7 is the traditional in-the-box on premise solution.

SBS 7 has a new code base, Windows 2008 R2, and uses Exchange 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010.  These are significant changes to SBS 2008, giving it both an infrastructure and a face lift.

So far, there are nothing but good things to say about it.  The installation is easier and more intuitive, although I have not done a full migration yet from SBS 2003 or SBS 2008.  Right away, however, you are prompted during the install to migrate or start anew.  It worked in 2008 from 2003, but there was always a nagging feeling that the install missed the USB device with the answer file on it.

Unless a good fairy drops out of the sky and makes magic for us, migration will be required from either SBS 2003 or SBS 2008.  From 2003, it was because the code base went from 32-bit to 64-bit; from 2008 to 7, it is due to Exchange 2007 to 2010, at least in part.  SharePoint Services 3.0 can be upgraded to SharePoint Foundation 2010, however.  You can even do that while still running SBS 2008.  It is a bit painful, though….

SBS 7 feels more zippy than 2008.  I don’t have apples to apples to compare yet.  First, I running 2008 on a slightly less capable processor and have a few more things installed on it.  To counter that, however, SBS 7 is running as a virtual machine under Windows Hyper-V server with only 4GB of memory allocated to the virtual machine.  Not yet fair to compare.

I am certain I will discover many more reasons, but the primary one to move to SBS 7 will be the underlying code base and features of 2008 R2 which is significantly advancing, while 2008 is fairly stagnant. And SharePoint Foundation, coupled with Office 2010 on client machines, will make it all the more powerful.  Finally, I think small businesses will start to get what SharePoint is all about and actually get to use a fraction of its potential.

Stay tuned for more information including licensing and upgrades, as it becomes available.

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