Looking for the right answers

On July 21, 2012, in news, by

On a listserve I’m on there’s an interesting conversation going on with a person needing to set up remote access for seven users in their firm.  They have traditional desktops to remote back to, but they do not have SBS.  So there’s a couple of ways to skin this cat.  Way one is to plop down a Backup box from www.smallbizserver.com running Windows Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

Pro:  Flat price tag.
Backs up the workstations as well.

Con:  You have to patch it.
You have to maintain the server.

Way two is to purchase 7 licenses of Logmein (or Gotopc or whatever).  Or you can decide who really needs remote printing and just purchase licenses for those that need remote printing.

Pro:  Supports remoting in from a Mac (unlike the Storage server solution).
Pro:  No patching of a server.

Con:  Annual cash outlay for those needing remote printing.
Potential for price increases.

I stumbled upon this quote this evening and found it insightful:

“Moving it all to the cloud – I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the value of moving software solutions to the cloud, but that doesn’t mean every business should move every program skyward. Carefully consider the short and long-term savings a cloud solution will bring to your business. In some instances it makes more long-term financial sense to leave some programs on-premise.”

Can you guess who may have said that?  Guess?  Nope, keep trying… guess?

Cindy Bates.

Who?! You ask?  Non other than the “Vice President of Microsoft’s US SMB Organization where she is responsible for the company’s end-to-end SMB sales and marketing efforts, including SMB strategy, business development, regional field sales and national distribution sales, channel marketing, and customer marketing. ”  Yes, she’s the evil empire trying to shove your client to the cloud.  And even she says you can’t just knee jerk one is better than the other.  Look at the pros and cons of both solutions.

It is a lot harder to make a decision of what is the right decision these days.  A lot of choices.  A lot of marketing.  It feels like there’s still more questions I should be asking and making sure I know the answers before signing on that dotted line.



5 Responses to Looking for the right answers

  1. Wow, I get her tweets and would never have guessed Cindy said this !

  2. Philip Elder says:


    My thoughts in direct response to Cindy’s post is here:

    Some further thoughts on what SMB is and is not when it comes to IT:

    As a small business owner, I can only hope to be placed in the “Astute” category. Together, Monique and I do our best to adopt IT technologies that will best serve our client’s businesses and our own.


  3. Tim Long says:

    Personally, I would just use Live Mesh in that situation. It probably does 99% of what they need, including remote access, for free and its based on RDP.

  4. Joe Raby says:

    I can’t say that Live Mesh is such a good idea with its future in question probably moreso than SBS Standard. Remember that you have to sign into the Mesh service in order for it to work, so when (not if) Microsoft shuts off the login servers for it, the remote connection is no longer going to work. Mesh was one of those projects that Microsoft was working on, along with Sync/Folders/FolderSync before they came up with SkyDrive. There is no Windows 8 version planned either, so the writing is already on the wall – that is, they are focusing on cloud-hosted files rather than remote login of PC’s.

  5. Philip Elder says:

    The SkyDrive App for Windows and mobile devices will replace LiveMesh going forward.

    That means that the Favorites folder cannot be redirected as it needs to move into the SkyDrive folder itself.

    Advantage? All Windows 8 systems that have that LiveID associated with them will get the Favorites and any other SkyDrive based content.

    DisAdvantage? All Windows 8 systems (and all Devices) that have that LiveID associated with them will get the Favorites and any other SkyDrive based content.

    SkyDrive Pro apparently will address some of the content concerns.

    For now, SkyDrive has become quite the convenience for keeping data across disimilar platforms.