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Is Microsoft right to pull Exchange Server from Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

Is Microsoft right to pull Exchange Server from Windows server 2012 Essentials?  Interesting question this as it depends on which side of the fence you sit.  To answer it we first need to understand the logic behind it.

Microsoft has decided that it is going down the cloud route and are trying to position themselves (and their technology) as a major cloud player.  To this end they are pooling all their resources into developing a seamless path into the cloud (Office 365, Exchange Online etc) which they hope small businesses (and the enterprise) will take advantage of.  Just one problem many small businesses are not ready to take the leap into the cloud just yet with many liking to keep their data (emails included) in house.

So how exactly does this effect small businesses and what choices do they now have?


1. Small Business Server 2011 Standard will be supported until 2015.  This means that you don’t have to make the painful decisions just yet (I would start thinking about it though!!).

2. If you decide to keep Exchange Server inhouse after 2015 then you are going to need Windows Server 2012 Essentials installed on one server with a separate server for Windows Server 2012 Standard and Exchange (you can’t install Exchange Server on Windows Server 2012 Essentials by all accounts).  That is now three licences instead of the usual one.  It might work out cheaper to go for one Standard version instead of Essentials but either way it means more licences and more systems running.

3. What is the expertise of internal IT staff. Small Business Server 2011 Standard makes setting up Exchange Server very easy.  If you had to deploy Exchange Server on its own would your staff have the experience to do it? If not you would have to outsource meaning more overhead costs.

4. You could go down the cloud route and have your email hosted (either by Microsoft or someone else).  This would probably be the cheapest option but it means your data would be held off site.

5. Move to Linux or Mac instead.  Both Linux and Apple offer server options but again how comfortable would you or your staff be in setting up and maintaining the server (have you ever tried to set up an email server on Linux –  not easy).

Interesting choices hey?

To answer the question though personally I think Microsoft is right to pull Exchange from Windows Server 2011 Essentials and the main reason for this is that the IT landscape is changing.  Everything is moving to the cloud in some shape or another.  Small Business Server was never a standalone product but essentially a group of already established software (Server 2008 R2, Sharepoint, Exchange Server etc) and took time and money for Microsoft to continually support it.  Yes this will hit small businesses hard and will probably make money for Microsoft (it already has the small business market pretty much sewn up) but Microsoft had to go with the changing landscape.  If people like it or not the future is the cloud.

People wiser than me will have their own opinions so lets get the conversation started.  Do you agree?

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to schedule a backup in Small Business Server 2011

Most small companies who require a server for their network will be using Microsoft Small Business Server.  Today we will be looking at Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, specifically using the inbuilt tools to backup the server.  These steps will work on all variants of the Small Business Server 2011 software.

For this tutorial I have Small Business Server 2011 Essentials installed inside a virtual machine using Virtualbox.

First thing we need to do is access the backup utility.

Start – All programs – Accessories – System Tools – Windows Server backup

You should get the screenshot below.

Now we need to schedule a backup so click on Backup Schedule (top right) to start the wizard.  On the following page click next.


You should now be faced with the Select Backup Configuration page as shown below.

In my experience unless you have a specific need to backup only certain parts of the server configuration it is easier and safer to backup the full configuration.  Once you have decided click next.

On the following page you are asked to set the backup schedule.  Choose a schedule that suits you and then click next.

You will now be asked to specify the backup destination as shown below.

What you do next is determined by your backup strategy.  If your strategy is to backup to external hard drives then click on Back up to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups.  If your strategy is to backup to a network share (as is the purpose of this tutorial) click on Back up to a shared network folder. Once decided click next.

Word of warning if you backup to a network share your existing backup will get overwritten each time so you only have one backup on the share.

Because I specified a network share I now have to tell the server where that share is.

When you have specified the backup location click on next.  You will then be asked for network credentials to access the share.

On the final page review the backup schedule and click finish.  Your backups will now be taken at the time you specified.  Just remember to have your server switched on!!

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

 

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