Setting bad expectations

On May 24, 2010, in Rants, by

How to Set Up Windows Small Business Server –

I’m all for good marketing.  I think SBS 2008 has gotten some bad rap…some of it cause by me in fact lamenting about the issues with SBS monitoring — some of which have been majorly fixed with Update rollup 4.  But then there’s marketing that isn’t being honest about the product that doesn’t help either.

As others on Facebook have posted, this article doesn’t do SBS any favors and in fact sets some very bad expectations.
The price tag that I can find on the Dell store for a 5 user SBS 2008 is above $1,000.  Even with the mail in rebate of $200, that still doesn’t get the box to be under $1,000.

Setting up SBS 2008 is more than just unpacking the box.  While SBS makes it easier than trying to install all of this on your own, technology these days still is not easy enough for the non geek to set up.   

Next there’s some sections of the article that I’m still scratching my head over.  The first one that I think they are kinda making something sound more than what it really is is this sentence:   Other utilities include software that can backup and restore the data on your employees’ computers

When I hear the words “backup and restore of data” I’m thinking the entire computer.  I think in this case they are referring to how you can set up folder redirection to store the worksations my documents on the server.  But that is not “backup and restore of data” in my mind.

” setting computer backup schedules”….. make that a schedule as you only have a wizard to backup the server.  There isn’t schedules to backup the client workstations which is implied in this post.

As for updates, SBS 2008 automatically notifies you when it is time to install patches. Managing your network over time should require little time and effort. “I may check in every couple of months,” said McDonald of networks he has installed for clients. “The software is basically designed to maintain itself.”

Please note.  Microsoft will never hire me as a marketing person.  As those two sentences right there just blew me away.

Back in the SBS 2003 era the server was set to download patches automatically to the server and reboot it at 3 a.m in the morning.  SBS 2008 however does not do that.  It’s default setting is to download the updates and not deploy them to the server and to wait for the administrator to install them.  Furthermore there are updates that need manual approval. 

The software is not designed to maintain itself and in fact I don’t know of any software (Google, Apple or Microsoft) that has been designed at this time to be self healing.  Stuff can happen on all three.  Dude.  Even the cloud has issues — see the number of times that online services have issues.

Thus to put the idea in a small business owners head that you can stick a server in an organization and to not check on it but every couple of months?  That’s just not good business.


One Response to Setting bad expectations

  1. Dean says:

    “Thus to put the idea in a small business owners head that you can stick a server in an organization and to not check on it but every couple of months?”

    Usually you don’t need to put that idea in thier heads. Their heads normally come with that idea pre configured. In fact once every 5 – 6 months is probably more what small business owners have in mind.