SBS 2008 – What happened to …

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Ok – so now that Microsoft have announced formal details of what is included with SBS 2008, the questions commence.  Pre release information is always potentially inaccurate and it would appear that this is the case here too.  So let’s try to clear up a few things so that you’re on the right track now with planning for SBS 2008.

SCE is gone…

The information before today’s release indicated that Microsoft would include System Centre Essentials (SCE) in the SBS Cougar product, but that’s now not the case.  Here’s a quote from an internal Microsoft team member as to why it’s not included…

Q: Why did you decide not to include System Center Essentials in SBS 2008?

A: We are optimizing SBS for its core customers, small businesses with up to 50 desktops. The management tools included in SBS 2008 are optimized to meet this segment’s needs. We continue to do a lot of research and collect a great deal of small business customer and partner input throughout their product development decisions. Our goal is to integrate the right technologies at the right price, in a timely manner. System Center Essentials is a great product and it works with SBS. Should customers desire System Center Essentials functionality, it will be supported to run on the SBS network. Or, in some cases partners may use it to manage multiple instances of SBS across multiple clients.

ISA is gone…

Also missing is ISA from the SBS 2008 Premium product.  This had been mentioned in passing at the SBS Migration conference in May 2007 as not being in the product by a senior SBS product Manager – and sure enough – it’s not there today.  But is that really all that bad?  I mean – the security gurus have often indicated that having your firewall on your domain controller is not recommended, but here in SBS land we’ve done that for some time.  Personally, I have always put a 2nd firewall in front of my SBS servers anyway to blunt any attack and used ISA’s heavy duty application inspection capabilities to perform the real work.  So is ISA not being there a big issue?  Think of it another way.  With SBS 2008 Premium, you have a 2nd Windows Server 2008 license (this could be either 32 or 64bit) and you could use this license on an older system e.g. the customers old SBS 2003 server) and purchase a copy of ISA 2006 Standard edition (which I think sells for around $1500 AUD)  that will give you back the high level capabilities of ISA AND put it on a separate box as well therefore satisfying the security purists.

Two Network Card scenarios are gone…

Whilst not specifically mentioned today, but mentioned elsewhere already, the common two network card scenario that we’ve used for many years now is also history. We will run our SBS 2008 servers with a single network card now and a totally separate firewall.  Apparently this is due to the way that the routing and firewall functions of Windows Server 2008 work vs anything else.

Tape Backup is gone…

Windows Server 2008 does not natively support tape backup.  It supports backup to removable hard drive media only.  They have done a lot in this area to improve things from a disaster recovery mechanism, but tapes are dead.  Let’s hope that the cost and functionality of removable hard drives drops a fair bit over the next 6 months though, as $ per GB, tapes are still leaps and bounds cheaper than removable disks.  And that’s not even taking into account the drop factor – i.e. – a hard drive dropped is likely to loose data or become damaged, where as a tape will suffer no such damage.

 

Ok – so start planning now that you know these 4 changes. You’ve got about 6 months (given the product will be released in the 2nd half of this year).

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 21/02/2008 10:54 AM

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