Microsoft has unveiled final names and pricing for its next generation of Small Business Servers, which seek to combine on-premises computing with cloud features.
Microsoft is unveiling the final names and pricing for its
new generation of Small Business Servers, which step away from the traditional
small business server model to embrace virtualization and cloud features.
"Since we announced the availability of the beta version of
Windows Small Business Server code-name Aurora and Windows Small Business
Server -7,' both products have been downloaded more than 9,000 times through
both our partner and customer community," Manlio Vecchiet, director for Windows
Server product management and Windows Server marketing, wrote
in a Nov. 2 posting on The Official SBS Blog
. Now the time has come,
evidently, to announce "final names, licensing and estimated availability" for
those products currently in public preview.
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, formerly
known as Aurora, will retail for an estimated $545. Kevin Kean, general manager
of Windows Home and Small Business Servers, wrote
in an August posting on The Official SBS Blog
that Aurora "represents a
significant departure from our traditional fully on-premises model" via its
combination of traditional and cloud computing.
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials offers
advanced backup and file-restoration features, and can be accessed from common
Web browsers. It also offers fast access to online platforms such as Office 365
and hosted e-mail, and supports up to 25 user accounts. It requires no user CALs
for access, and will release in the first half of 2011.
After that comes Windows Small Business Server 2011
Standard, once stuck with the thoroughly unoriginal moniker Windows Small
Business Server "7," which will retail for an estimated $1,096 with CALs priced
at $72. Microsoft
had previously angled this offering, which supports up to 75 users, as more of
an on-premises solution
, once touting it on a corporate Website as "perfect
for small businesses who already have a server or prefer to use e-mail and
collaboration tools hosted directly on premise."
Microsoft expects to release Windows Small Business Server
2011 Standard through its server licensing channels in December, with further
availability via OEMs and System Builders in February 2011.
The company is also offering Windows Small Business Server 2011
Premium Add-On, an additional server for supporting SQL Server-based LOB
applications and access to Windows Server 2008 R2 technologies. The add-on
includes Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard and SQL Server 2008 R2 for Small
Business, and is meant for role-based deployments such as virtualization
Pricing for the add-on is estimated at $1,604 with CALs at
$92. According to Microsoft, it will "also be available with the release of
Windows SBS 2011 Standard in December."
Despite Microsoft's traditional presence in on-premises
servers, the company's newfound "all in" cloud strategy has dictated it begin
incorporating more and more online functionality into its offerings.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft executives have positioned this migration as an
opportunity to fatten its own bottom line while appealing to customers' need
for increased scalability and flexibility.
"We are going to lead with the cloud," Microsoft COO Kevin
Turner said during a speech at the company's Financial Analyst Meeting July 29.
"Leading with the cloud actually helps better position Microsoft to sell more
on-premises products than we ever have before. ... Very strategically, it signals
a very clear commitment to our customers and our partners."
Microsoft's competitors in the enterprise-infrastructure
arena include some of the biggest names in tech, such as IBM and Oracle. While
Microsoft claims a growing number of users for its cloud-based
offerings-Windows Azure supposedly has more than 10,000 users, and the company
claims to control some 20 percent of the virtualization market-those
initiatives have yet to contribute significantly to Microsoft's bottom line,
currently dominated by its traditional on-premises offerings.