With Windows Essential Business Server (formerly codenamed Centro), its new bundle of server software geared toward mid-size companies, Microsoft is hoping to build upon the success of the Small Business Server (SBS), a product designed for companies with up to 75 users, reports Redmond Developer News.
While Small Business Server can be used on only one server, Essential Business Server allows users to spread functions across three servers. A director of product marketing in Microsoft's Windows Server Solution group tells Redmond Developer the company expects the new software will be most appealing for companies with 75 to 250 employees and perhaps one or two dedicated IT staffers.
Like SBS, the new product will include simplified licensing and management features and Windows remote management. It fills what the story calls "a big gap in Microsoft's infrastructure lineup." The president of a Microsoft partner explains:
We have lots of clients on SBS and bursting at the 75-seat limit. Until now they were forced into the enterprise Windows level, getting into multiple boxes and managing that gets very messy and hard to control. Centro will help amazingly in terms of CALs (central client access licenses).
According to internetnews.com, public beta testing of the new software is slated to begin in the first half of 2008, following completion of a limited, "private" beta that is currently under way, and to ship in the second half of the year.
No pricing is offered for the product, which will be available from both hardware partners and third-party solution providers. The standard edition will include Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange, System Center Essentials, and Internet Security and Acceleration Server. SQL Server 2008 will be added in the "premium" edition.