Late in 2010, Microsoft released one of the proposed versions of its new Small Business Server 2011 line up.  In the next few months, Microsoft plans to release an additional version, giving you even greater choice when selecting infrastructure designed to meet your business needs.

Both products are called Small Business Server 2011 (SBS 2011) but come as Standard and Essentials versions.  In this article we’ll discuss the more traditional “SBS 2011 Standard”.

SBS 2011 Standard is designed for businesses with up to 75 users in their network.  It’s very similar to its predecessor SBS 2008 in that it includes the facility to provide file sharing, central control over security of your information, your own Exchange mail system, and SharePoint for your company Intranet.  In that respect it’s almost identical to SBS 2008, except that it uses the latest versions of the products under the covers to provide some nice new features and advantages.

What is really cool in SBS 2011 Standard is the new Remote Web Workplace – now called Remote Web Access (RWA).  The New RWA interface is not only customisable, but also now allows file transfer up and down to your network without the need for a VPN.  This is great for workers who have to work on a couple of small files from home, as we don’t need to go through the hassle of helping them create a VPN back to the office simply to get access to those files.  Certainly the security you put in place with respect to who can access what files is maintained, but the ability to access this information from anywhere in the world with just a web browser is simply awesome.

We see the initial demand for moving to SBS 2011 will be from those of you still on the older SBS 2003 system.  Your hardware will by now be well past the used by date, out of warranty and potentially already causing you problems with reliability.  It makes sense therefore when replacing that hardware to move up to SBS 2011 Standard at the same time.

In terms of physically moving your current system to SBS 2011 Standard, the process – while not overly onerous – is one that requires a fair bit of effort and planning.  Our team at Correct Solutions has been doing migrations like this now for over 10 years, having pioneered some of the techniques that Microsoft now use and recommend as best practice.