Microsoft is going different way this time when it comes into Windows Small Business Server line. New SBS 2012 is not really called anymore Small Business Server as Microsoft came with new product line that will cover and target this kind of customer – now they call the suitable product Microsoft Windows Server 2012Essentials. There are major changes in this product and this is not what you would expect in SBS product. Traditional SBS server since 2000 came with Microsoft® Exchange server and different licensing. This time around this new Microsoft Windows Server® 2012Essentials comes without Microsoft Exchange server. You have few options:
- Install and configure Microsoft Exchange server on member server
- Use the connector and get your Microsoft Exchange hosted with Microsoft or other partners such as SherWeb
- Use different Mail server solution such as Kerio
- Use Google Apps
Whatever solution fits you needs and budgets and of course meet requirements of your business and makes sense.
Here are some highlights of new features that comes with newWindows Server 2012 platform:
- Enable a dynamic, modern work style with access from your devices by using Remote Web Access (RWA), and take advantage of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices for a superior experience with rich modern “My Server” apps.
- Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your data is well-protected by complementing your on-site backups with Windows Azure Online Backup, as well as utilizing integrated support for the new Windows 8 File History feature.
- Choose the email and collaboration option that’s right for you, whether that’s in the cloud with Office 365 or a hosted service provider, or running on a local server.
- Quickly and easily respond to increasing data capacity needs with support for Storage Spaces, which allows you to create elastic, resilient storage for your files and folders.
- Run the line-of-business applications that you depend on by leveraging our greatly improved application compatibility, now with a single logo certification for all Windows Server 2012 editions.
- Purchase with confidence knowing that your technology investment can easily grow to Windows Server 2012 Standard if the needs of your business grow.
- Deploy today with full support for 19 languages, all releasing simultaneously.
You can download 180-days trial of Windows Server 2012 Essentials here. Also you can get more info as it becomes available on this platform from SBS and Windows 2012 blog . As well more info you can find on official Microsoft website for Windows Server 2012 Essentials here. If you would like to test the product and play in Microsoft virtual labs, you can visit here.
Note,you can buy Windows 2012 Standard and do a Hyper-V Deployment and downgrade one of the instances (children) to Windows Server 2012 essentials and the other is where your Exchange will be installed. As Windows 2012 lets you have two virtualization installs not just one, and you can use a downgrade right to downgrade to Essentials.
Some of the new features implemented in Dashboard:
- Managing Office 365
- Managing on-premises Exchange Server
- Managing a second server
- Integrating with Windows Azure Online Backup
- Easy VPN setup
- Storage space integration
- Managing file history settings
- Enabling Media functions
- Configuring folder redirection and security settings by using Group Policy (replacing Windows 7 Professional Pack for Windows SBS)
- Monitoring users’ remote connections
- Full Windows PowerShell support