In a somewhat controversial move, last year Microsoft announced plans to End of Life their very popular Small Business Server (SBS) product. The first phase of the EOL began with the cessation of Software Assurance, effectively limiting the upgrade path of the product. Because well, the fact is there isn’t one.
Microsoft’s answer for Small to Medium Businesses looking to either implement their first server or upgrade their networks will be a mix of Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Cloud based options for Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync via Office 365, or a move to the more “enterprise” product offerings of Windows Server 2012, on premise Exchange, SQL and other Server products as needed. This could also be supplemented by Cloud based offerings.
We see there will be a real explosion of hybrid (mix of on-premise and Cloud) environments as companies work out the best way to move forward in a changing IT landscape.
We’re going to get real with you for a minute and not mince words. If you are running your business on a Small Business Server that is 3 years old or more, the reality is at some stage you’re going to need to upgrade.
For some, this will be sooner rather than later. For some, this should have been 6 or 12 months ago. The impact of the weakened economy has meant upgrade projects were shelved – likely at the detriment of system performance and staff productivity. While this is understandable, it is not sustainable.
If your SBS Server is getting long in the tooth the time to consider your options is getting critical, particularly if you have Line of Business applications that require SQL as the backend database. SBS Premium has always provided a cost effective way to implement the necessary SQL Server in these scenarios. With the end of SBS, so too we see the end of this cost effective solution.
Time is ticking…
At the end of June 2013, SBS will no longer be available via Volume Licensing. At the end of December 2013, SBS will no longer be available at all. If you are a business between 5 and 75 seats with an SBS Server 3 years old or more, right now is the time to start planning your next upgrade. The good news is, we can help you assess all the options and make the right choice for your infrastructure moving forward.