Small Business Server (SBS) is like flying a single engined aircraft. There’s a lot of stuff going on but you only have one box to worry about and backup and interoperability are all a lot easier because of this.
Flying a twin engined aircraft is far more complicated than a single engined one; how come they don’t go round in circles when one engine doesn’t work? The new twin engined version of SBS is SBS 2008 Premium which adds power and flexibility to the base edition by adding a separate physical server to just run with Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 standard edition for you to run any line of business application, Microsoft or not, on top of that. That power means the server is just a bit more complex to get working as it has to join the domain and security between this new server and the clients has to be configured.
Moving up the complexity there is going to be a completely new server offering for mid-sized businesses called Essential Business Server (EBS), this comes in a basic three server version and a four server Premium version again with a separate SQL Server 2008 standard edition installation:
The Management Server is the one that looks after the user accounts and from which you manage the other servers with a basic version of System Center. There is a copy of SQL Server 2005 Express on here for supporting System Center and you could use this for other small databases if you decide premium is not for you.
The Messaging Server does what it says on the tin and so basically runs Exchange.
The Security Server in the diagram above confusingly mentions Exchange as a component, but this is the gatekeeper for the whole system and so it has the Exchange Server 2007 Edge Transport Role which provide for all the good stuff to stop spam and provides message hygeine.
EBS will provide the back office IT for a company of up to 250 employees and that premium edition so that you can extend EBS to run Office SharePoint (SharePoint Services is still part of Windows Server 2008), Dynamics, or a thrid party application like Sage.
At this point you are wondering what is all this doing on my blog. It may well be a way small/medium businesses will get their first exposure to SQL Server and I wanted to help out with the launch of this as I am pretty impressed with how integrated everything is. To start this off I will be running two TechNet events this autumn:
- 22 October 2008, Bristol: Taking Care of Business Every day with Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008
- 29 October 2008, London: Taking Care of Business Every day with Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008
If you can’t make either of those then two other top resources on EBS/SBS are:
- The click through demos on SBS (here) and EBS (here).