Life After SBS

Many small businesses have been enjoying the benefits of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS) since its introduction over 20 years ago. The last edition Microsoft introduced was SBS 2011 which first appeared in December 2010. Many SMEs still use the software today.

However, are you aware that Microsoft will not support Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 beyond 14th January 2020? SBS is comprised of these two components, so if you use it, or if you are unsure, please read on.

While 2020 may seem a long way off, it is vital you plan ahead to implement a new server in good time. If your company still uses SBS 2011, and assuming you have the latest service packs installed, this means there is only 1 year and 7 months left until Microsoft stops providing critical security and stability updates for your server.

Is There An Alternative to SBS?

Yes! Microsoft Server 2016 Essentials is ideal for many small businesses that want an economically priced server. Just like your old SBS, Server 2016 Essentials is easy to configure and has been designed specifically for SMEs. However, unlike SBS, you no longer have to purchase expensive CALs. An Essentials server is licensed for up to 25 users and 50 devices straight out the box. It also allows for the same number of remote users, which is a very useful feature for most SMEs. If your company has more users than this, don’t worry, as the standard version of Server 2016 is also available and we can tailor this to your individual needs.
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The Elephant In The Room

One of the great benefits of Microsoft Small Business Server was that it included both a Windows Server Operating System and Microsoft Exchange Server. This provided a professional email server running from your own premises. Essentials Server, however, does not include Microsoft Exchange Server, requiring the use of a hosted version of Microsoft Exchange. For most people this is not a problem because they are happy to pay a subscription for having their emails hosted, rather than having to worry about the reliability and management of their own server. The Hosted Exchange Service from Vantage IT works in harmony with Essentials Server. Backups and anti-spam are included and the service is fully managed by us. If you already have Office 365, this also integrates very well, and certain packages also include OneDrive (Cloud storage) and SharePoint (team collaboration).
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Will Essentials Server Work On My Old Server Hardware?

In all honesty, probably not, but it depends how old your server is. If it is currently running SBS, it indicates the server hardware is now rather old. It would therefore need to be upgraded at the same time. After all, 7 years is a long time in the IT world! As an HP Enterprise Business partner, we can supply HP’s complete range of new servers for a lot less than you might expect. For example, some servers are less than £1000, believe it or not!

Which Steps Should I Take Next?

We appreciate you may not know which type of server you currently have, or whether you are at risk. A free IT audit from Vantage IT will provide this information. A plan of action will be agreed to update your IT infrastructure when new equipment is required. You will have a new server installed hassle-free, well before the support deadline in 2020.

Vantage IT enjoys providing IT recommendations free of charge. Our aim is to take all the aggravation out of managing your IT.

So you can understand your requirement, please contact us. We would very much look forward to hearing from you soon!