Q: What is Windows Small Business Server 2011?
A: Windows SBS 2011 is an affordable and easy-to-use server solution designed and priced for small businesses to help them reduce costs and be more productive. There are two editions of Windows SBS 2011-Standard and Essentials. Both editions will provide solutions to help secure and protect business data with advanced, automated backup features, remote access, and simplified administration. SBS 2011 Essentials is ideal as a first-server option that will support organizations with up to 25 users and minimal IT experience. SBS 2011 Standard can support up to 75 users, and offers a complete solution including integrated applications that meet small businesses’ most important requirements.Windows SBS 2011 will help small businesses protect, centralize, organize and access their business information from virtually anywhere while supporting the applications they need to run their business and make them more productive.
Q: Why did Microsoft choose to create the SBS family of products?
A: There are roughly 36 million small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) worldwide with more than one PC, and many see IT as a strategic imperative to grow their business.SMBs are typically short on IT resources, but need the powerful technology solutions used by large companies. Building on the design philosophy of the current, award-winning Small Business Server product, Windows SBS 2011 provides small businesses with an affordable, all-in-one server solution that will help save time and money while significantly increasing employee productivity. Windows Small Business Server 2011 products are the simplest way for small businesses to get the power of Windows Server 2008 R2 and products and services for e-mail, collaboration, PC and Server management, and security.
Q: How many users can SBS 2011 Standard and Essentials support?
A: SBS 2011 Essentials will support up to 25 users. SBS 2011 Standard will support up to 75 users.
Q: How are the IT needs of small business different than those of the midmarket or enterprise?
A: Small businesses typically have little or no in-house IT staff. They often rely on consultants or solution providers. Both editions of SBS 2011 were developed with this difference in mind, providing reliable, easy-to-use IT infrastructure that “just works” and an ideal set of tools to help technology consultants serve small business clients.SBS 2011 Essentials offers an affordable first-server option that will support organizations with up to 25 users. It is designed so that it can be easily deployed and managed by individuals within organizations where there are limited in-house IT skills. It is also optimized to let small businesses run applications on-premises or take advantage of the growing number of online versions of e-mail, collaboration, and other software that major companies are already using around the world.SBS Standard is a solution offering that delivers a richer set of on-premises capabilities. Therefore, it requires a higher degree of IT knowledge to service. Organizations deploying SBS Standard will typically employ a solutions provider or other partner to design, implement, and oversee the system on an ongoing basis. SBS Standard supports organizations with up to 75 users.
Q: What’s new in Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard Edition compared to the current product?
A: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard includes updated versions of all of the component software in the latest suite versions. As a result, small business customers will find significant security and management enhancements, as well as much richer features for providing file-and-print, e-mail, and Internet services like online collaboration to employees.For example, one feature enhancements is the ability for employees to access and share online versions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word over the Internet. This is enabled by the addition of Office Web Apps to SharePoint Foundation 2010, which is a low-cost, entry-level solution for secure, Web-based collaboration.SBS 2011 Standard users may also notice improvements to Outlook Web Access (OWA), a Web mail service that allows employees to use a browser to access Microsoft Exchange mailboxes from any computer with an Internet connection. OWA now includes many of the great features found in Microsoft Outlook 2010, such as the ability to receive voicemail in inboxes with text previews and view threaded conversations. Partners will also appreciate the improved support for migration from older versions of SBS.
Q: What is Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials?
A: A new edition of Windows Small Business Server, SBS 2011 Essentials is an affordable, easy-to-use first server option for small businesses. Customers will be able to use this cross-premise server offering to better protect their business data through SBS 2011 Essential’s automated backup and restore capabilities. Users can also easily organize and access business information from almost anywhere, and run a variety of business tools and software either on premises or from the cloud.SBS 2011 Essentials helps protect vital business information from loss by backing up the data on the network, and recover accidentally deleted files. SBS 2011 Essentials also enables you to recover data on your network in the event of disaster. As your business needs change, SBS 2011 Essentials enables you toeasily add users, servers, and applications; supports your critical line-of- business applications; and is designed to integrate with your existing Microsoft technology.
Q: How does SBS 2011 Essentials compare with your other “first server” offering, Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation?
A: The two products are similar in that they both address very small businesses, are considered low-price offerings, and will ship primarily through OEM partners. The key differences come down to the level of IT skill required to deploy and manage them.SBS Essentials is specifically designed to be a “first server” option for small business customers who are typically constrained by limited IT skills and value a pre-configured environment and lower operating costs. As such, small businesses may handle deployment and management on their own or outsource to a partner. SBS Essentials supports up to 25 user accounts.Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation, on the other hand, is considered a “general purpose server,” providing a rich set of entry level capabilities for small businesses. It tends to require a greater level of IT skill to design, implement, and manage, so Windows Server Foundation customers are more likely to employ a solutions provider or other partner to help with those aspects. Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is limited to a maximum of 15 user accounts.
Q: If I have 10 to 20 users, how do I decide which version is right for me?
A: Counting users is one way to do it, but the more relevant considerations will be your IT requirements and the level of IT skill within your organization.If you’re a small business with limited in-house skills, SBS 2011 Essentials is an appropriate option. It’s simple, affordable, and easy to manage, and has been tailored to address common small business IT scenarios. SBS 2011 Essentials is also the ideal solution if you plan to expand your business capabilities through the cloud as it is designed to facilitate your connection to online services.On the other hand, if you have some level of in-house IT skills and want the ability to tailor server roles to their unique environments, then Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is likely better suited to your business.
Q: What applications can I run on SBS 2011?
A: Any Windows Server 2008 R2 application should run on both editions of SBS 2011. In addition to both editions, we have also introduced a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 in the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-On, which provides a platform for other products and avoids some of the support limitations of the first server(s). Products supported on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform should be supported on the Premium Add-On server.
Q: Why would I want a hybrid server vs. just running everything online (or in the cloud)?
A: It really comes down to customer preference. Some small business owners may feel comfortable with everything online (or in the cloud). Others, typically those who have already invested in client or client-server line-of-business (LOB) applications, will be more comfortable having either an on-premise server, such as a Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation or a Windows SBS 2011 Standard solution. Yet another segment may be satisfied with a dedicated server, such as SBS 2011 Essentials, that allows them to run software on-premise and online (in the cloud). Microsoft is delighted to be able to offer options for a wide range of customer and partner preferences.
Q: Which applications would I be more likely to run on-premises and which ones would I want to run online (in the cloud)?
A: Within the small business segment there are a huge number of applications and how they are deployed varies by industry and country. For example, if you’re in financial services, you may have some regulatory requirements to maintain records on-site at your business, and so you might prefer a traditional computing approach. If you’re a small real estate office, you may not face the same requirements, and so you might be more likely to look at running both local and online software. The benefit of SBS 2011 Essentials is that it’s an affordable “first server” that lets you do traditional computing, online (cloud) computing, or both– according to your preferences and needs.
Q: Will the cloud services be offered native or as add-ons? Why?
A: The Windows Server Solutions SDK will enable developers to write code for integrating new and existing on-line services with SBS 2011 Essentials and to create new SBS Essentials “add-in” software that can run on-premise.
Q: Will SBS 2011 Essentials work with all versions of Windows 7?
A: Yes, you can access SBS Essentials with all versions of Windows 7. For versions such as Home edition, which does not have domain join capability, launchpad and network access will prompt you for network user name and password (where this does not happen in Professional and above versions).
Q: I see you are offering an Essentials version and a Standard version. What happened to the Premium Edition present in your previous SBS versions?
A: We made some small changes to SBS Premium and made it an add-on to simplify our SKU lineup, offer customers more flexibility, and extend the option to both SBS 2011 Standard and SBS 2011 Essentials customers.
Q: What benefits does the Premium add on offer?
A: The Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-On enables users to query, search, report, and analyze important business data or run business applications from a centralized database so that all employees can easily work from the same information. Moving to an add-on model, which will be available for both editions, offers more choices to customers who wanted flexibility to purchase additional servers either up front or as needed.
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