Windows Small Business Server 2011 with Software Assurance

Q: (from Ed)

Have you given or planning to give a license review of how the dropping of SBS Standard has affected current OV SBS customers and Microsoft’s recommendation of what Partners should discuss with those customers.




Obviously, current customers on SBS with SA have the option to be on the current product SBS 2011. That product is still being sold (without SA) through the June 2013 (volume licensing) or Dec 2013 (OEM) and is a viable solution for as long as Microsoft supports Windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 (

But for customers that are looking to move to latest versions of Windows Server 2012 and Exchange 2013; the SA benefits of SBS 2011 will cover the licensing of the discrete products. The resulting solution will not have the management wizards of SBS, but will retain most if not more functionality the customer is accustomed to:

Here are some specific topics to consider:

  • New deployment architecture since Exchange shouldn’t be hosted on the domain controller (thank goodness Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition includes licensing for two Windows Server VMs: one for the DC and one for Exchange)
  • Migration strategy –
  • Self-management skills enhancement for the customer
  • SA renewal cost of the discrete products
  • I’m sure there are many considerations that my peers can contribute

Page 4 of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ confirms what customers with Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard Edition with SA receive:

Now, which of the preceding topics you discuss with your customers will depend on their level of sophistication, and your long-term architectural direction for their solutions. In my opinion, SBS was a great solution, but the benefits of the new Windows Server licensing model where ALL of the Windows Server features are now available to Standard Edition customers ( is HUGE and opens up many new solution opportunities within your customers.



SDeming Face  Steve

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