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SBS Alternatives

    Question

  • Hello everyone, just wanted to see what people are going to use as an SBS alternative.  Obviously Microsoft wants to focus on "big business" and move away from supporting small business.  That is evident with the retirement of SBS and technet. 

    Some alternatives that i can see are:

    SBS Alternatives:

    zentyal

    Canonical

    Zarafa

    Email Alternatives:

    Zimbra

    Im interested to see what other peoples thoughts are and if they have experience with these tools.  I would like them to integrate with windows desktop OS and outlook.  I know there is office 365 but im not a huge cloud fan.  I like it for certain things but not all.

    Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:40 PM

Answers

  • I'm going to be devils' advocate.

    1.  Essentials 2012 r2 (the next one) will allow you to do RWA as a role in standard server.  This really makes it a ton more flexible and no longer will limit you to 75 users or even 25

    2.  Essentials 2012 can transmog to 75 users

    3.  You can install Kerio - a non Microsoft Exchange alternative

    4.  Check out hosted Exchange and Essentials.

    The small business stuff is still there it's just buried in the marketing hype and not as easy to find.

    Friday, July 05, 2013 9:16 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in the forum.

    Please understand that Microsoft do not only focus on the so called “Big Business” and we do not move away from supporting SBS. Also we do not retire SBS. Please understand that with the new Windows Server 2012 line up, Windows Small Business Server Essentials has been renamed Windows Server 2012 Essentials. We believe Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the most affordable and easy-to-use server solution for small businesses to date, helping customers with up to 25 users and 50 devices reduce costs and be more productive. I suggest we could refer to the following blog for details.

    Windows Small Business Server Essentials becomes Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/07/05/windows-small-business-server-essentials-becomes-windows-server-2012-essentials.aspx

    For more detailed information about Windows Server 2012 Essentials, please refer to the following link.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server-essentials/default.aspx

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Andy Qi

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.


    Andy Qi
    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:41 AM
    Moderator
  • Andy,

    The old SBS lets you scale to 75 users and you cut that to 25.  Thats crazy and not fair to everyone that has so much invested in Microsoft.  In addition, didnt you get rid of an on-premise exchange in the new essentials version?  

    Thursday, July 04, 2013 4:11 PM
  • Also to get exchange and use office 365 costs £100 a year per user.

    Not everyone needs to upgrade Office every version for instance, 2010 to 2013 what is the real difference? its better for touch screens - wow - a lot of businesses are not using touch screens

    I know one of my clinets wont upgrade from office 2010 until whatevere the offering is post 2015 at earliest,m that is less than £100 a year for Office 2010 Pro - but 2 versions missed in between - and minimal features lost out on.

    But I'll be honest that isn;t the big reason getting rid of SBS is not a good idea, its the same as Xbox One initial announcement.

    Internet conenctivity. - The UK does not have a stable enough broadband.
    Currently most places have ADSL upto 16MB down and 800k Up speeds (MAX)

    To upload initial emails to the cloud takes ages as we do not have upload speeds. Also if everything is on the cloud and your internet goes down you can;t access your stuff.... BT too often messes with things and causes outages.

    Fibre Optic is great when it is rolled out fully, but the roll out is random. 3 BIG exchanges in Northampton 1 has been done the others 1 by a hospital and the other a uni campus, is not even under consideration for upgrade - this controls all the telephone connections for the entire cetre of town - so while some outskirt areas of a big city of Northampton have Fibre, the business epicentre doesn't.

    I have a client using SBS 2011 with only 25 users - great, but their mailboxes each have over 5GB of data because of the nature of their business. that is a min of 125GB of uploads at 800k that is over half a month minimum just to upload their emails to the cloud server - on fibre it would be great part of a day. And their offices are in the middle of an industrial area of Telford - technology area. - Yet all the homes in Wellington with minimal busines (10 miles away has Fibre)

    If Microsoft want to push this always on connectivity requirement and high speed requirements then they need to see the UK is going to be 2 more years before it is practical for the majority of users

    Same with the Xbox console - when I was on ADSL i would have a weekend outage once every few months because of BT - now im on fibre for over 6 months I;ve never had an outage

    Friday, July 05, 2013 8:54 AM
  • The 2 big things that are lost with SBS standard is cheap Exchange and SQL licensing. SharePoint that is used is free.

    Exchange from Office 365 is £2.60pupm in the UK. I would be happy if they just gave discounts to businesses under the 75 user/device limit.


    Gareth | IT Support Norfolk

    Friday, July 05, 2013 9:12 AM
  • I'm currently running SBS 2008 and definately looking at the non-Microsoft alternates that you listed plus a cople of others.  I'm also considering defering the move away from Microsoft by purchasing SBS 2011 and running it as long as I can.  I have not had timet tos set up a test lab to try any of the non-Microsoft alternates yet but will be trying to fit that into the schedule in the next couple of months.  I have not decided yet and would certainly be interested in hearing what others are opting for and why. 
    • Edited by hezner Friday, July 05, 2013 4:59 PM typo error
    Friday, July 05, 2013 12:44 PM
  • Thanks everyone, it seems like we are all on the same page.  Microsoft is just moving to "Big Business" and not caring about small business.  Also, not sure if you all saw but they are getting rid of the technet program.  This is how most of us tested and promote their product so its another push to look elsewhere like linux solutions.
    Friday, July 05, 2013 12:54 PM
  • I'm going to be devils' advocate.

    1.  Essentials 2012 r2 (the next one) will allow you to do RWA as a role in standard server.  This really makes it a ton more flexible and no longer will limit you to 75 users or even 25

    2.  Essentials 2012 can transmog to 75 users

    3.  You can install Kerio - a non Microsoft Exchange alternative

    4.  Check out hosted Exchange and Essentials.

    The small business stuff is still there it's just buried in the marketing hype and not as easy to find.

    Friday, July 05, 2013 9:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Their communication sucks these days.  Just sayin'.  But for sure you need to do a bit more homework to figure out the best solution for a client.  
    Friday, July 05, 2013 9:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Let's not forget the cost of licensees and implementation for an all on-premises solution compared to SBS. Yikes! Its just not cost effective in comparison with Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Office 365. I'm not happy about SBS being discontinued but as a MS partner for small business (even earning the silver small business competency) I'm up against "all cloud" partners fighting to make any type of on-premises servers go away all together.  When I bid for job with Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Office 365, I'm still having a tough time because cloud partners continue to demonize on-premises servers and tell my potential client I'm not looking out for their best interest.  Really?!

    There clearly is a disconnect with all this and Microsoft. An on-premises server still has its place.

    Saturday, July 06, 2013 2:43 PM
  • In light of the recent discoveries that all "cloud traffic" is being monitored, this should be the biggest selling point to keeping an in-house server.
    Saturday, July 06, 2013 5:13 PM
  • Actually I did have a few SBS customers call me to express they're glad they have an all on-premises server after the NSA tracking discoveries.
    Saturday, July 06, 2013 8:30 PM
  • Sorry - I'm a little late, but you should definitely check out Univention UCS. It's based on open source and open core software, and you can do a complete takeover from Microsoft SBS.
    Sunday, October 06, 2013 9:34 AM