IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Saying goodbye to SBS: It's not 1997 anymore

So if you happen to be looking for some step by steps to see what SharePoint 2013 is like I spotted some here.

I saw this article today and it kinda made me sad.  It reminded me that back in 1999 a Microsoft Gold Partner said to me "We find SBS too limiting, you'll outgrow it". That was 1999. I'm still running SBS in my business today. The Microsoft Gold Partner who said that to me is now out of business.

No trusts. Never had a need for them. FSMO roles on the DC. In the era of image based backups, I found the single DC/restore it back to be the best DR plan. 75 user max. Never outgrew that.

SBS for my firm was not then, nor is it now synonymous with limits. What I am finding however is that I'm not wanting to trade cost effective solutions with locked into cash outflow solutions. I'm trying to strike a balance to ensure that I find a solution where the consultants and resources are there, are understandable, and are talking to each other. I'm not comfortable yet with remote PowerShell, nor do I feel are the vast majority of consultant that I can afford and are willing to work on SMB solutions (no disrespect intended to anyone in the SMB consultant space, but I think I can be forgiven, and you guys can admit that the knowledge of PowerShell to manage Office 365 is still in it's infancy in this space). There are still adjustments to be made to email limits, disclaimers to be placed on email and just the odd "can you see if X person actually sent me an email" searches that while can be done in hosted platforms, are either not as well exposed or sometimes needs the odd PowerShell to dig out.

There's a reason those SBS 2003 boxes are being ridden into the grave. Economy has been horrific and Microsoft hasn't given them a compelling reason to upgrade from the solution stack they got back in 2003.

Now there is Essentials, which has some interesting traits indeed, but make no mistake, there's still wizards under the hood that if not followed means you'll have to go back and fix things up (hint - adding a user manually to the ADUC won't populate the users into the Essentials console, you'll need to use PowerShell, so don't just go adding users via ADUC for just one example).

I do not want another SBS 2011 standard.  Let me say that again - we can no longer put all of the parts on the same operating system.  But I would like everyone saying that they are glad SBS is dead to step back and realize that if you thought it was limiting, you didn't take the time to understand it. If you complained about how hard it was to monitor/patch/maintain and it wasn't built for small businesses to just work, and psconfig on SharePoint should have just automatically psconfig'd - as a consultant that was your job to learn how to maintain this box.

If IT truly just worked, you'd be out of a job.

And now I challenge you to grab a blog or a forum or a web site and start learning. You no longer have a finished house to sell. You have to build one. There is no longer the one sized fits all of SBS 2003 era. SBS was "dead" actually back in SBS 2008 in some respects when it no longer was a low powered server/with a firewall/all in one.

As the IT decision maker for my firm, I am now trying to ensure that I provide the right balance of a good supported solution combined with a reasonable price tag and trying to minimize the annual cash outflow that is increasing for all of these cloud services. I'm actually looking at a price increase, not a price decrease and more annual cash outflow, not less. So please forgive me when I get a bit hot and bothered under the collar when people say that things are cheaper now and my options are more flexible and affordable.

P.S. for the record SBS 2003 doesn't randomly shut down.  It's 21 days after the SBS's fsmo roles get moved.  And with "no clear inplace upgrade path" ever available makes it sound like the folks asking for an inplace upgrade path from a 32 bit Windows operating system to a 64 bit Windows operating system.  Knock yourself trying to do that one on any Windows server.

About the Author

Susan Bradley's picture

Susan is just a wacko SBSer who started down her path by hanging out in the SBS newsgroup community. She's not a Microsoft employee or affiliated with Microsoft. Get a feel of the SBS “vibe” and join in the SBS community!

ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.