Get ready for Aurora

On August 15, 2010, in Aurora, by

Hey.  What can I say.  I’ve been a SBS customer since 4.0.  The blog is called SBS Diva.  So that means I kinda have this kinda cheerleader attitude about this SMB solution.  And you can tell that the new kid on the block, code named Aurora with an on premises server and cloud based SharePoint and Exchange is getting closer to a public beta because they’ve let the journalists kick the tires and have access to the beta.

And as they do, here comes the articles.

A closer look at the next Microsoft Small Business Server | Windows – InfoWorld:

First off.. Aurora is another SMB server but technically it’s not the next Small Business Server.  There is truly a SBS v7 (aka based on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and all that) in the works.  So I’m trying to keep myself from being nitpicky when journalists say that Aurora is the next Small Business server.  Technically speaking it’s not.  It’s a new kid on the block.  It max’s out at 25.  SBS v7 still supports 75 users.  So don’t freak out the SMB var/vap thinking that the “next” version of SBS doesn’t support as many users.  Aurora takes the place of the under 25 seat SMB server and makes it so that you can put it on lighter weight servers because the heavy needs of Exchange are off the box.

Next.. the line of every SBS/SMB server that kills me…. which is meant to allow small businesses to stay focused on their core competencies rather than becoming technology experts or spending a smalll fortune to hire IT experts.

On the one hand Microsoft says that they sell more stuff from Partners.. and then they let journalists make comments that IT consultants/partners are too expensive and shouldn’t be hired or will be put out of business tomorrow.  It’s a confusion choice ridden marketplace out there and small businesses are still looking for help with this “thing” called technology.  What you should say is that “Aurora is meant to be another small firm solution option that a consultant can choose to deploy for a firm”. 

Even with SharePoint and Exchange off the box, I’m not convinced that technology is dumb enough yet to be able for the average business owner to go to the store, plop it in and it will just work.  To get the server talking to the web talking to the email syncing with the email sharing the calendars working with the line of business application… sorry folks, even the cloud options aren’t dead simple enough yet.  There’s a lot of configuration and set up to make this stuff all work together.

Bottom line …technology is still not plug and play.  Small businesses still need to get guidance to determine “what works”.

Get ready for Microsoft Aurora… another server for small business .. but not Small Business Server 😉



4 Responses to Get ready for Aurora

  1. Gwen says:

    I too believe that there is no such thing as plug and play servers. Also many of my clients won’t be that excited to put their data in the cloud.
    The boxes will need to be kept up to date and lob applications are also an important consideration for customers.

    I still can’t wait to get my hands on both new products though 🙂

  2. Joe Raby says:

    I’ve asked a few people what Microsoft’s stance is on the positioning of Aurora. On some sites, it’s called “Small Business Server Codename ‘Aurora'”, while other sites (also from Microsoft) have it listed as just “Windows [Server] codename ‘Aurora'”. I guess we’ll have to wait until the final name is announced to be sure if it’s officially part of the SBS family.

  3. Dean says:

    Yeah, people need jobs but the press does it’s best to convince businesses not to hire people while at the same time trying to convince the public that they think that businesses should do more hiring and that everyone should start thier own small business consulting for other businesses. They play both sides of the fence.

  4. Joe Raby says:

    Microsoft’s stance on the SMB market has always been to utilize managed services, rather than have someone on staff, paying them a salary. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s meant by that line. When you’re talking about B2B, we would call that a service contract. I don’t get the feeling that they want SMB’s not to get consultations, but they do give the impression that payroll IT employees are not a requirement in the SMB space, and I would agree with that assessment.