I’m fortunate enough to be heading to Redmond the home of the SBS product and development teams in a few weeks. I’ll be there listening and contributing to future product development for Microsoft SMB server range. I know what I’d like to see in the products, but wanted to throw the question out to you all. What do YOU want to see in the next versions of SBS and other SMB Server products from Microsoft? Leave me comments here on the blog or email me direct please.
Graeme McKimmie says
I am very serious with this suggestion.
SBS2003 was probably the best thing that MS has done since Exchange, IMHO
The current iterations have moved both sides of what is probably their best market for growth, keeping in mind the burgeoning new markets in China et al.
They would be clever if they “introduce” a new SBS version, using the new technology and security underlying 2008, but back targeted at the SBS2003 user, with the same range of capabilities
Hope this helps
Something that needs urgent attention, even prior to the next version, is getting the Search Server to install correctly on SBS.
We like the way you can mix and match Standard and Premium licenses.
We don’t like the current price points. Far too high for small offices.
Boon Tee says
1. Client image based backups!
2. UC capability for Exchange 2010
Robert Crane says
– Search Server Express running on SBS
– SharePoint 2010 on SBS
– Ability to link SBS to Skydrive or Mesh for saving/syncing files
– Ability to install AD sync tool on SBS (ie single domain controller) to allow migration to BPOS
– Simple mail box archive and locate big attachments tool on console.
– Client based image backup option (like WHS)
Well I’d say DirectAccess – as in Windows 2008 R2 has it, but we need it in SBS – will it be SBS 2008 R2 – or the next version, and will we likewise need an extra server for the DirectAccess functionality, or will it be like the current Outlook over HTTP – as in it is working in the same box.
An extra server kind of makes it not – SBS – but more EBS, and also kind of is the same as why SBS premium now has a second server license included if you get my drift.
Andrew Naar says
1) PC Backup
Similar to WHS backup for PC’s on SBS Network with support for more than 10 PC’s
2) Server Backup
More control/visibility over the built in backup application. Currently it is too hard (time consuming) to see which backups have run, when they ran, if they were successfull etc
3) Admin Console
The management console is great. It would be nice to have an admin console that bring the adming tools (DNS, DHCP, ADUC, Services etc) into one location for easy access (like it was in 2003)
4) SBS BPA
A great tool but can be improved. Most of the links are very general and don’t provide enough detail on a) how to fix it, b) what are the pros and cons of making this change, c) SBS specific content for that fix
Bruce Lindner says
1. visibility of additional email addresses from the admin console
2. sbs 2003 reports – in particular email sent/received weekly/fortnightly summaries.
3. weekly reports that are weekly (or fortnightly or monthly).
4. Reports that are useful!
5. An easier way to add alerts (ie health monitor sbs 2003) rather than having to edit xml.
6. mailbox size report – though this is more an exchange 2007 issue.
Peter Fletcher says
I’d like to see:
1. Client image based backups like Home Server. Could be an optional function of the second server in the Premium version perhaps.
2. A web proxy that tracks web site usage to username. As businesses reach the 40-50 staff mark I get asked for this reporting ability. Something for management to pull down, look at and be able to understand. No IP addresses, top 20 sites per month, number of clicks etc.
Bryce Telfer says
Management consoles that
1. Work properly,
2. that have enough functions so you don’t have to drop into powershell to perform most tasks,
3. and that don’t use massive amounts of memory,
4. or take 5 minutes to open.
The management console speed is probably my biggest gripe with the Server 2008 / Exchange 2007 products.
Bryce Telfer says
We also need well thought out backup options when considering virtualization, e.g. backup to tape, and/or USB pass-through in Hyper-V.
Bryce Telfer says
A lot of work still needs to be done on the TCPIP stack, there are still issues cropping up like SBS dropping it’s default gateway on reboot.
Also, Exchange services in SBS, I find they often don’t start after a reboot.
Jon Paior says
Personally I would like to see more online integration.
Basically I am of the opinion that the next version of SBS will likely be the last. SME’s will mostly move to the cloud for collaboration.
LOB / ERP will take longer, but you don’t need SBS for that.
As for VNext…
Better Backups, Backup to cloud & better exchange backup options (bricks level?)
I would also like to see a seamless migration connector from SBS exchange / sharepoint to the MS Hosted Exchange Apps. Meaning that “roaming users” can have an upgraded CAL & authenticate locally or in the cloud and view emails & sharepoint from the hosted server. Allowing hosted, in house or a hybrid model.
Nicer application deployment, but 2k8 is already a massive improvement.
A centralised reporting console, a bit like trend’s WFRM??? – It would help us out immensely
Built in PBX softswitch (call it an “ultra premium” CAL)
There are a lot of good comments above. Here is my ‘succinct’ list.
1. I want an install that has no EVENTS after it such as 2424, 10016, etc. IT IS EMBARRASING to explain to a customer why a brand new – out of the box – install has event errors. Simply should not be! Didn’t MS see these during testing?
2. I want a single console like the one in SBS2003. It ridiculous to have to find and open various consoles.
3. I want a control over memory usage – in a simple fashion – no DOS commands. I build 12 GB machines and about 5 GB is unused. I want it built in so I can give more memory to Exchange, Sharepoint, et.
4. I want SHUT DOWN to take less than 2 mintues – not 10. Heck – this reminds me of SBS4.5 where Exchange took 20 minutes to shut down. By the way – its still Exchange. If I pre-end those services – shutdown is reasonsable.
5. I want a fast console. Forget the colors (especially the PINKISH one). I want it open – and working for me.
6. I want a real backup. One where I know what happened. One where I can see the images and test them and open them and mount them as images. I want to have a program with a lot more control over the backup and restore. Imaging is ‘finally’ a right step for MS. They should look at Storagecraft or something else. I want to be able to shrink backup images and restore to a small, if possible, hard drive.
7. I want a ‘fix it’ program. One that after I restore to replacement hardware fixes all the ‘specialized’ stuff in SBS that was tied to the old hardware – like LAN card or whatever.
8. I want alerts like I used to have that don’t require me to edit in XML – system UP! (No one should EVER have to edit in XML)!
9. I want MS to stop taking OUT features that were in the last version.
10. I want the Exchange Attachment Stripper back! What were they thinking? If you get a file that you need that is an EXE – you can’t get to it. Outlook needs to have registry changes (LEVEL) to allow it on a particular workstation – but I don’t want it blanket for every user. So – I want a super user to get all the stripped attachments and dole them out. This is a MAJOR, MAJOR loss!
Good luck Mr. Phelps!
— I would like to see an interim upgrade that would give us 2008R2 features (but of course that won’t happen until mid-late 2010 because Exchange 2007 doesn’t work with R2.)
— I like the way that I can add RemoteApp icons to the RWW home page, but I had to read Charlie Russell’s book to do it. Automating the process would be great.
— More wizardry to pull TS nee RDS into the SBS fold.
— Some way to get all of the R2 RDS goodness into the cleverly integrated TS Gateway of SBS 2008. Not sure if RDS R2 will play nice with TS 2008.
— We use Acronis via Kaseya or Zenith BDR to do backups of all servers. Don’t use native backup. Are we missing any cleanup issues? I didn’t like how backup ‘owns’ the backup drive. We don’t use it, so I can’t complain much.
— Interface Exchange with BlackBerrys WITHOUT having to use that abominable piece of CRAP called BES or BIS or whatever! (It still doesn’t run on 2008!!!) We spend an enormous amount of MSP all-you-can-eat support time on BES. What a horrible piece of software for a non-enterprise client.
— Allow virtualization with a real Windows host (not core) even with SBS Standard. I mean, c’mon, what’s the harm having an O/S that does one thing… host the O/S you just bought? (don’t get me started about licensing…)
— EBS suggestion – have a version that loses the Security Server. If you are behind a good firewall, why torture us with the third server? All we really want to do is break the 75 user barrier. (Dirty little secret… SBS could do 200 users and not even breathe hard.) If the worry is that it will work an SBS server to death, get better hardware. Just keepin’ it real…
Thanks for allowing us the privilege to pass on some ideas. I hope they listen…
Bob Nitrio says
Thanks for taking the time to ask for this kid of input. My understanding is that Microsoft is disappointed with the uptake for SBS 2008. In my opinion, they made it too costly for the very small offices to upgrade from SBS 2003. I have a number of deployments of SBS 2003 to offices with only two or three people. It was affordable, reliable and produced a great ROI. With the need for far more robust hardware, SBS 2008 is simply not in the price range of a large portion of the market that made it the success it has been.
I don’t consider Windows Home Server or Foundations Server with hosted Exchange a good substitute for SBS. If Microsoft wants to abandon the smaller businesses, at least come out and have the guts to say that to our faces. But please don’t put us in the position of having to do this for them.
Quite frankly, IBM has recognized what Microsoft has done and with their acquisition of Net Integration they are in a great position to serve the market that Microsoft created and then turned its back on. As much as I love working with SBS, I have to find and recommend the BEST solutions for my clients and I am not convinced that SBS 2008 is that solution for a large portion of my client base. IBM Foundations Start is looking better all the time and Microsoft needs to decide where they plan to position SBS and be honest enough to tell us exactly what that position will be going forward.
I adopted SBS almost within minutes of the release of 4.0 and I find it unbelievable to have to consider moving clients to a different platform. Nonetheless, Microsoft has made it very difficult to move long-term SBS users in small environments to SBS 2008. Hosted SBS might be a solution for some, but I want an affordable SBS option for those clients who want to upgrade and keep their infrastructure intact and onsite. I can only hope that Microsoft will take these comments to heart and not abandon the very small and very loyal SBS clients that we have served oh so faithfully for so many years.
Aaron Jervis says
I would like to see Exchange Exmerge on the SBS server, for archiving of users before removal and backup of Exchange in general. It is a pain in the arse to have to either have a seperate Windows 2003 server to do it or have to log on as the user and export
Chris McLean says
I’m mostly echoing what other people have said but here are my thoughts:
– My biggest issue with 2008 is the backups, primarily I dislike the lack of options and transparency in what’s actually happening. Also the way they take ownership of the full drive is a bit of a pain. In some circumstances the flexibility of the old ntbackup was very useful.
– The point about errors in the logs of a new, clean server was excellent, you really do feel embarrassed as you explain it to a client.
– The performance and general usefulness of the console is a step back from 2003 imo. It might be one of those things that you get used to over time but I find the performance to be sluggish at best and the lack of many options that were available in 2003 has me making very little use of the console in 2008.
– I miss the reporting from 2003, particularly the usage reports on e-mail volumes and VPN access. This was a very simple way to look at how different features of the servers were being utilised.
As for new features I would like it see:
– Extending the backup to include client images would be excellent
– DirectAccess would be a huge addition for a number of our clients.
– Offering some integrated online tools (online options for backups for example) would be excellent as a number of people are starting to look to cloud/online options, particularly for backups, and starting to move them in that direction in a fully integrated way would be very handy.
Andrew Nayler says
For the next version of SBS I would of course like to see the R2 feature set and also a return of working control panels ect like everyone has been asking for.
However my more “unusual” requests is actually around the SBS product itself – When SBS was first released the idea was almost to package up the whole Microsoft “corporate” stack and sell it at a low price to businesses. This of course sounds somewhat crazy except when you understand the reasons behind it – quite simply it was because small business would otherwise look to Linux or some other solution so it not only kept the competition at bay but also it encouraged businesses to also buy Windows “pro/workstation” (instead of home) and also Microsoft Office (instead of Lotus or whatever) – this is where the profits were.
Over the years however the whole SBS concept has been “lost” in that the price keeps going up and the feature set is going down. Furthermore the corporate Microsoft “stack” has progressed but now businesses don’t buy Microsoft CRM or Sharepoint – instead they use 3rd party CRM software and Document management software. Meanwhile the features that are in SBS have become commoditised to a degree -eg hosted email and app services. Microsoft is no “stranger” to giving things away (obviously with a business case) however in recent history this has revolved around battles over games consoles and giving software away to students who were being allured by the prospect of free open source software. Meanwhile the hearts and minds of business owners have slowly been lost to the likes of RIM, Apple, Google ect – whilst Microsoft Office is still very strong the use of Microsoft mobile devices, Microsoft LOB apps (and Access databases), groupware and even “business operating systems” is on the decline – a lot of small business customers just buy the home version these days.
Therefore my suggestion is to make a new suite and don’t be afraid to do something bold like include the full Sharepoint 2010 standard, CRM, SCE, DPM, TMG, APP Virt ect – obviously you can’t include all these but SBS does need to move beyond just email and file services since that no longer reflects the “new efficiency” as Microsoft like to call it. We want to be able to go to customers and have a chat about what we can do to make their business more efficient. The cloud can still be incorporated with “hosted SBS” and also SBS services where online providers might incorporate online continuity, filtering and backup services. If a customer has a hosted SBS then they will still want the integration and their PC’s and devices set up ect – this should not be seen as a drawback but rather an advantage. Remember whilst for some businesses just a “generic” solution is all they need for a lot of other businesses they want an advantage over their competition by integrating the way they do business – this will usually be different to their competition since this is their competitive advantage in the market place and probably the reason they are still in business.
Also do away with the convoluted licensing schemes – make it simple like in SBS 2000 where you just had one type of CAL – none of this premium vs standard vs user vs device – just the one universal cal in packs of 5 or twenty that can be used for a device or a user.
The other thing is that Microsoft needs to embrace their 3rd party software vendors more – have a “SBS Store” where vendors can advertise their products that work with SBS.
Steven Sello says
– as mentioned before more powerful backup options
– a counting of purchased and used licenses with an easy overview similiar to SBS2003
MS why did you put out this feature?
Please fix current bugs and add live report section. Thanks.
gestão de documentos says
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At the very least, it should come with a date and time stamp.
Project Management Software says
Once they have brought each other up-to-date on what has been discussed by
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Collaborative software is quite commonly referred to as groupware or an office without walls.