Quick Fix: Reset Windows Firewall SBS & Windows Server Essentials

windows firewallWhilst troubleshooting a problem on a server, have you ever reset Windows Firewall back to Defaults?

It would seem like a logical step in some cases, however it could have unexpected consequences. Read more of this post

SBS, Essentials, RWA and SSL

padlockI have blogged before about setting up the RWA on Essentials, we all remember that mammoth post right?

The countless hours we wasted trying to make the wizard work, troubleshooting certificates with GoDaddy, Enom, Microsoft and that’s before you worry about where your domain name is hosted. Thankfully, or should it be, mercifully, in Essentials 2012 the whole wizard process is a lot cleaner and dare i say more intuitive.

That is, however, unless you lack an understanding of what this stuff actually does and how it works.

Read more of this post

Windows Server 2012 Essentials: Shutdown client machines after a backup

WSSE_LogoA client of ours who is running a Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials on their SBS 2011 Standard network (for client PC Backup) Logolikes their machines to shutdown each night after a backup.

This could apply to any of the Essentials Server SKUs including SBS 2011 E, WHS 2011 or Essentials 2012. 

We schedule the backups to run between 7pm and 11pm so all the machines will have time to backup. It is really simple to set this shutdown task up, of course some people prefer their machines to go to sleep or hibernate but in this case we actually want to turn off those machines.

Read more of this post

Quick Fix : Update SBS2011 Essentials Windows 7 Pro Pack for Windows 8

sbse-conNice title for a post, hopefully the SEO on that one will kick in.

Had a question come into one of my mailboxes about the Windows 7 Pro Pack and making the GPOs apply to Windows 8.

If you recall, SBS 2011 Essentials launched an Addin to push out some preconfigured GPOs to clients for security settings and folder redirection. I covered the WMI filters in a post about how to extend that functionality to Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Running a GPResult /R on a Win8 client, we can see that our custom GPOs that use WMI filters, are not being applied.

Read more of this post

Installing the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Beta

LogoCongratulations on your new download of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Beta.

I am going to walk through the process of installing the beta, it’s really very simple, just as easy in fact as installing SBS 2011 Essentials.

Read more of this post

Windows Server 2012 Essentials Public Beta

LogoIf you are interested there is now a public beta of ‘SBS8’ or Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

I am certainly not the best person to ask for a reasoned business argument about why the loss of SBS Standard is good or bad thing. Read more of this post

Small Business Server and Beyond..

cloudAn announcement has finally been made about the future plans for the SBS Product lines.

In 2011 the SBS Product team launched a new version of SBS, SBS Essentials, this was the first product in the SBS line not to include Exchange , it also was missing other components like SharePoint and WSUS.

The concept for this product was that it would integrate tightly with Cloud providers. At this time, many could see the writing on the wall for On Premises SBS with Exchange…

sbsstd  sbsess

SBS Standard

If you have been patiently waiting for the next release of Small Business Server Standard, with the Windows Server 2012 Operating System updates, sadly, you will be disappointed to learn that this SBS 2011 Standard is the last planned release of the Small Business Server Standard product SKU.

Let me clear that up, and say that there are currently no plans for any future Windows Operating System to include an Integrated Domain Controller, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server or WSUS Server.

The Premium Add-on (PAO) Component will also not be refreshed. SQL Server 2012 does not have a Small Business edition, meaning that they apparently cannot include that.

Which seems a little odd to me, as SQL 2008 for SMB, was just a modified version of SQL Standard that would only install in an SBS Domain.

SBS 2011 Standard will remain available through various channels until Q4 of 2013.

For those of you thinking about Software Assurance..


Q.36: If you have Software Assurance on Small Business Server 2011 Standard edition, you will receive one Windows Server 2012 Standard edition license and one Exchange Server Standard 2010 license.
This grant will be reflected upon your agreement renewal; however you are entitled to use the granted product upon availability.


SBS Essentials

The product you all know and love as Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, will be rebranded and refreshed onto the Windows Server 2012 platform.

The new name is Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

I haven’t decided whether i will call it WSE, or WES, but i think we should come to some agreement as it might get confusing. Of course WSE could be Storage Server Essentials, which, at this point at least, remains untouched. WES rolls off the tongue a little easier than WSE, but could perhaps give the false impression the name is Windows Essentials Server, i may play it cool and type WSE, but speak ‘Dub-S-E’ ; Dub being short for W of course, but then that could lead people to think that i mean SSE (DUB S, double S) which in turn could lead people to think i mean WSSE, and by that point i think people will have lost interest. You may well now be asking yourself why drop SBS in the first place, i mean, just look at the mess the last paragraph has ended up in!

There will not be a new version of Home Server. WSE has incorporated ‘Media Streaming’ it will now also act as a Domain Controller in your home, which is what apparently all that great feedback has told Microsoft you guys want.

Now, the SBS MVPs and Home Server MVPs have suggested this may be a little off the mark, but we are assured that the surveys have told them they are right.

We are also aware, but cannot confirm, the survey sample was 12 companies in Hong Kong.

If all of that is too much for you to take in, i sympathise! Just remember SBS Standard would want you to be happy, it would want you to move on..

More details surrounding WES will no doubt appear over the coming weeks.

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