What’s new in Small Business Server 2008
Small Business Server 2008, released in November 2008, is the successor to Small Business Server 2003. The all-in-one solution targets small and medium sized businesses under 75 users and offers several enhancements over the 2003 version. The table below outlines details about each edition:
Operating System improvements
Small Business Server 2008 includes the 64-bit Windows 2008 Operating System. A 64-bit operating system takes advantage of the new server hardware technology, specifically the use of multiple core processors and larger memory. The Windows SBS 2008 software can support memory up to 32GB (versus 4GB for SBS 2003), which allows for much more capacity on the same hardware platform.
Exchange 2007 has many improvements over its predecessor, Exchange 2003. For administrators, the Windows PowerShell command line interface makes administration much easier by offering solutions to automate or script many daily tasks. Another great improvement is the protection from spam and phishing attacks. For the end user, Exchange 2007 unlocks many of the features in Outlook 2007. Also, remote users using the Outlook Web Access will notice that the new web-based Outlook Web Access is almost as full featured as the full Outlook 2007 client.
Features typically thought to be only for larger companies are now available to small and medium sized businesses. Smart phones using Windows mobile 6.1 will now be able to take advantage of the built-in features for mobile support in Small Business Server 2008. These features include:
- Company e-mail;
- Internet connectivity;
- Internal websites;
- File and printer sharing; and
- Backup and restore
SharePoint Services v3
Small Business Server 2003 introduced SharePoint Services. With Small Business Server 2008, Microsoft has improved the solution and included more templates such as wikis and blogs. A savvy business owner will enjoy having the extra features to improve their internal company website, encouraging collaboration and teamwork within their office.
Overview of the server and client computers
An improved set of administration tools allows for easier management of the server and the computers connected to it. A Small Business Server console presents a dashboard overview of your network.
Many useful tabs on this interface provide instant information on the health of the server and each computer on the network, including warnings where updates are pending, security violations have occurred and backup information.
Microsoft made a decision in this version to support only disk to disk backup. Third party applications can still be purchased to support tape solutions. The disk to disk backup solution is much faster backing up the system than tape, and therefore much faster for restoring files as well. The disk-to-disk solution backs up everything and allows for full server recovery using Hyper-V technology.
Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Integrated
In Small Business Server 2008, Microsoft has tightly integrated Windows Server Update Services into the console, allowing easier management of Windows updates to the server and the computers connected to the network.
Reports can be quickly generated to show computers that are missing updates. The console’s dashboard-type view can quickly direct the administrators’ eye to any computers needing attention.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008
More often than not, core database applications require significant resources and would benefit from being isolated on their own server. The premium editions of the Small Business Server 2008 offer licensing for a second server and supports SQL Server 2008. SQL Server 2008 has many improvements over SQL 2005 which include:
- Improved native encryption;
- Backup compression; and
- Management tools
Easier setup and deployment
A lot of work was built into the setup and deployment tools to allow administrators to get their installations up and running quickly. Microsoft supports the installation of Small Business Server 2008 and the secondary SQL Server on a single physical server using its own proprietary virtualization software, Hyper-V.
Desktop and laptop setup is as simple as pointing the client to a web address, that will check the new hardware and configure it to work with the server.
A solution that is upgradable
For businesses that grow beyond the 75 client access license limit of Small Business Server, it’s much easier in Small Business Server 2008 to protect your technology investment and upgrade to Essential Business Server 2008, or to the full line of Microsoft server products.
Small Business Server 2008 is a great technology investment for businesses looking to replace their existing server hardware. The 64-bit Windows 2008 operating system will take full advantage of the new hardware features. Small Business Server 2008 also gives business owners feature-rich server applications at a fraction of the cost of the full version of the applications.