Ok – with all the announcements last week about the death of SBS as we know it, there’s a few things that have been missed. I really feel that Microsoft could have done a better job of highlighting them so that people would have an understanding of just what was included in Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Here’s my summary of what’s in the box.
From the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ PDF here’s a few excerpts…
- Caters for up to 25 users and 50 devices without the need to purchase additional CALs beyond the base server cost
- Allows in place conversion to Window Server 2012 Standard – i.e. no need to reinstall your entire network once you grow above 25 users/50 devices.
- Integrates with Cloud based applications including Email and Online Backup
- Automated backup and restore capabilities of the server
- Windows Server 2012 Operating System and all the coolness that comes with it
- Data Protection – Storage Spaces allows you to create a space to store your data using hard drives that are not all identical – giving you more flexibility
- Data Protection – Client PC backup – a feature carried over from SBS 2011 Essentials and previous products, this allows you to backup and restore client computers even if the entire hard drive of that computer dies.
- Data Protection – Support for volumes greater than 2 TB in size – this is a big one as there is no way to make current versions of SBS or Windows Server natively backup more than 2TB of data.
- Data Protection – Online Backup, which can be used to protect your key files and folders on your server by backing up to the cloud.
- Anywhere Access – Remote Web Access (previously called Remote Web Workplace) is still there, but it’s been improved to give touch based access to files and folders on your server using just Internet Explorer. In addition there’s a new Metro App for Windows 8 clients to allow for easier access to things on the server.
- VPN connectivity can be used to allow for remote clients to join the domain – something we’ve asked for now for a long time.
- Health Monitoring – not just the server, but also Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac OSX 10.5 and higher clients.
- Capability to link in directly with your on-premise Exchange server (purchased separately), Office 365, or third party hosted Exchange providers.
So there it is buried in the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ PDF are a few gems of hope. Check out the PDF to see more info across the board.