Jump to content
Can't remember your login details? Read more... ×
michael.jenkin

I need to vent

Recommended Posts

I am completly in shock that Microsoft have made Small Business Server - end of life !

I run my business supporting this product. I have 9 staff who are out there maintaining and servicing what I class as a best of breed product,

 

I can't believe that a product can run for over 20 years, be installed and supported in millions of places and be such a huge help to the Small Business comunity and then Microsoft can turn it's back on it.

 

Small business breeds innovation. If Microsoft don't want innovation ... let's take our business elsewhere. I am disgusted. To think I have sat in the project planning rooms in Redmond and bowed at the feet of their progress.

 

 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/201...essentials.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've already started investigating alternatives to all MS products. I just don't like the company any more. I appreciate some of their products, and some of their engineers, but as a whole the direction they're going is brainfucked.

 

It's like they're trying to be like Google and consolidate everything into core products, and onto the cloud. Pity they don't understand either of those concepts.

 

But your problems are much greater than mine. If Google has something that can achieve what you want, I'd say that'd be a good place to start if you want to stick it to MS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear that your business has hit a speed-bump, and I hope you are able to tackle the challenges successfully.

 

But, that being said, doesn't that blog post make it pretty clear that it's just a name change?

 

[edit]: Ah, they say its just a name change, but it appears that they're stripping out Exchange, is this correct?

 

Rob.

Edited by robzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've already started investigating alternatives to all MS products. I just don't like the company any more. I appreciate some of their products, and some of their engineers, but as a whole the direction they're going is brainfucked.

 

It's like they're trying to be like Google and consolidate everything into core products, and onto the cloud. Pity they don't understand either of those concepts.

 

But your problems are much greater than mine. If Google has something that can achieve what you want, I'd say that'd be a good place to start if you want to stick it to MS.

 

What so they can pull the same shit? Oh wait everything with google is a "cloud" offering the cloud is bullshit its like a bunch of marketing dickheads got together and did Acid and thought up this shitty idea. Whilst cloud offerings of service's are neat "google apps" being one of them If you have a crappy internet connection your going to have a shitty experience. What good is "cloud" storage when you have an upload speed of 100kbs?

 

Microsoft with this decision has totally forgotten about their bread and butter business. I remember SBS for tons of business's when I was 17-18 it was a great product easy to support and you had good margins. It doesnt effect me directly as I guess I support what people call the "cloud" now as I sit in a data center most of the time.

 

Are you going to Tech ED this year michael.jenkin? I'm sure there are going to be lots of interesting questions about metro being apart of Windows Server 2012.

 

Also why did this thread get moved when the google glass one is in the green room too?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand your frustration, but everything has a shelf life.

 

Microsoft's Office365 does everything Small Business Server can. Why run two competing products for the same target market?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

office365 is fine, as long as you have a decent and reliable net connection. even during outages on a self hosted exchange, you can internal email.

 

it really is frustrating. cloud in south Korea, us and other places that have reasonable broadband makes sense. but this will be a problem. even your internal emails will count. more quota means more costs for the small business.

 

but at least Microsoft will earn more money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AD, your lack of capitalisation at the beginning of sentences made your post surprisingly hard to read :P

 

By the way, Michael Jenkins, I read an interesting article recently about how - despite what one may think - you aren't selling your customers a specific product, your selling them a solution to a problem they have.

 

Your customers use Windows SBS and your support to provide solutions to problems they have e.g. internal email and access control and what-have-you. Now that they can't buy Windows SBS any more, they're going to be turning to you for help on how to solve those problems.

 

Perhaps you can also take this as an opportunity to diversify? Because having all your eggs in one basket is a risky move.

 

Rob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mobile phone post robzy.

 

as for solutions, the ms product sbs was just the best. easy to put all your eggs in one basket as it did all you needed in one box .

 

the price was right, easy to administrate etc.

now if you were supplying this product why would you make a change that has a potential to scare a large chunk of your customer base away. also, what other options are there? will novell make a come back? hope not. it is horrible to maintain. only salesmen recommend lotusnnotes. the open source options have issues.

 

Microsoft appear to have made this change, not because they value the customer, and scarily not because they want to be the best offering.

 

money for them at the cost of small business.

 

ad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mobile phone post robzy.

It doesn't capitalise after full-stops automatically? (for the record, this isn't a big deal :P it just honestly surprised me how difficult it was for my brain to parse your previous post)

 

as for solutions, the ms product sbs was just the best. easy to put all your eggs in one basket as it did all you needed in one box .

I'd argue that the fact it did everything in one box should not be a reason to put all your eggs in one basket. There's always the possibility that the manufacturer will discontinue it, neuter it, or that it won't keep up with advances, or it simply loses favour with your clients.

 

Microsoft appear to have made this change, not because they value the customer, and scarily not because they want to be the best offering.

 

money for them at the cost of small business.

To be fair, they aren't a charity. If a product is not profitable for them, they'll discontinue it. Though, that's not to say that I take issue with the backlash their receiving.

 

I should point out that I have a lot of respect for Michael Jenkins, I'd even describe myself as jealous of all he's managed to achieve. It's for this reason that I feel relatively comfortable that he'll be able to overcome this obstacle, and find a way to evolve his business.

 

Rob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if they wanted to make this change, then ideally it should have been a small premium for exchange. instead you require a seperate server for it, which is thousands of dollars which a small business often can't justify. we deal with some businesses where the budget is so tight that $2 - 3000 requires months of planning. this change could blow a small business finances for 2 years.

 

and don't forget migration costs if they choose to leave.

 

ad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair point.

 

The OP posted about it from the perspective of his own business, and that's how I was examining the issue. When you look at it from the perspective of the end-user then I see where you're coming from.

 

Rob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can certainly understand the frustration, I don't think any of the software giants understand that private networks are good, that alot of people dont' want to be contstantly connected to the net at a high speed.

 

I work for a big company and we just moved from exchange to office 365, I'm only an end user and all the issues we have been having, I feel sorry for the tech guys that have to deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While we provide a cloud offering - for our on-premises customers, we long long ago stopped providing SBS. It was too expensive and cumbersome.

 

Instead we provided a Windows Domain Controller, normal Windows Shares, and installed Kerio instead of Exchange.

 

Kerio has far more functionality than Exchange (for a start, anti-spam and anti-virus is free) and it's almost 100% exchange compatible - along with Active Sync.

 

Then we use group policy to deploy the Kerio Outlook client to domain PCs.

 

 

 

 

Easy.

 

 

 

 

When you live in a Microsoft world, you will always lose when Microsoft makes a change that makes sense to themselves. Never have your eggs in one basket :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear that your business has hit a speed-bump, and I hope you are able to tackle the challenges successfully.

 

But, that being said, doesn't that blog post make it pretty clear that it's just a name change?

 

[edit]: Ah, they say its just a name change, but it appears that they're stripping out Exchange, is this correct?

 

Rob.

Yes, they are pulling Exchange and making many of the built in normal services, cloud based. They have also changed the SBSC credential and retiring many of the SBS related projects :(

They are pushing for us to put everything in the cloud ready or not :(

 

 

I've already started investigating alternatives to all MS products. I just don't like the company any more. I appreciate some of their products, and some of their engineers, but as a whole the direction they're going is brainfucked.

 

It's like they're trying to be like Google and consolidate everything into core products, and onto the cloud. Pity they don't understand either of those concepts.

 

But your problems are much greater than mine. If Google has something that can achieve what you want, I'd say that'd be a good place to start if you want to stick it to MS.

 

What so they can pull the same shit? Oh wait everything with google is a "cloud" offering the cloud is bullshit its like a bunch of marketing dickheads got together and did Acid and thought up this shitty idea. Whilst cloud offerings of service's are neat "google apps" being one of them If you have a crappy internet connection your going to have a shitty experience. What good is "cloud" storage when you have an upload speed of 100kbs?

 

Microsoft with this decision has totally forgotten about their bread and butter business. I remember SBS for tons of business's when I was 17-18 it was a great product easy to support and you had good margins. It doesnt effect me directly as I guess I support what people call the "cloud" now as I sit in a data center most of the time.

 

Are you going to Tech ED this year michael.jenkin? I'm sure there are going to be lots of interesting questions about metro being apart of Windows Server 2012.

 

Also why did this thread get moved when the google glass one is in the green room too?

 

Hmm, I thought the Green room was a great place to vent and not necessarily get into the tech talk. I was surprised it was moved.

I wish I could go to TechEd. I have been offered free tickets as a Vendor (GITCA) and possibly also present on stage but I have work commitments (While I still have a business that can sell SBS)

 

 

 

 

 

I can understand your frustration, but everything has a shelf life.

 

Microsoft's Office365 does everything Small Business Server can. Why run two competing products for the same target market?

Actually Office365 can't do everything. It can't intergrate with my CRM. It can't provide public contact and calendar folders. It can't work with my antispam.

It can't give me second mailbox access at a reasonable speed over the slow Aussie broadband speeds. It can't leave my data in Australia (Which violates many laws for medical, accounting and tax companies). It can't guarantee my data privacy. I can keep going .....

 

I have spent the last year taking clients back out of Office365 as they are so dissapointed. The biggest selling tool I have for SBS, is Office365. People ask me after a few months .. is there something better ? yes. It is called SBS. I can't wait until someone teaches Microsoft a lesson. Can't wait for Office 365 to reach it's shelf life.

 

By the way, Michael Jenkins, I read an interesting article recently about how - despite what one may think - you aren't selling your customers a specific product, your selling them a solution to a problem they have.

 

Your customers use Windows SBS and your support to provide solutions to problems they have e.g. internal email and access control and what-have-you. Now that they can't buy Windows SBS any more, they're going to be turning to you for help on how to solve those problems.

 

Perhaps you can also take this as an opportunity to diversify? Because having all your eggs in one basket is a risky move.

 

Rob.

I agree. My research is starting tomorrow.

 

While we provide a cloud offering - for our on-premises customers, we long long ago stopped providing SBS. It was too expensive and cumbersome.

 

Instead we provided a Windows Domain Controller, normal Windows Shares, and installed Kerio instead of Exchange.

 

Kerio has far more functionality than Exchange (for a start, anti-spam and anti-virus is free) and it's almost 100% exchange compatible - along with Active Sync.

 

Then we use group policy to deploy the Kerio Outlook client to domain PCs.

This is the top of my "to look into" list. Sounds like it has a lot of promise.

 

I should point out that I have a lot of respect for Michael Jenkins, I'd even describe myself as jealous of all he's managed to achieve. It's for this reason that I feel relatively comfortable that he'll be able to overcome this obstacle, and find a way to evolve his business.

 

Rob.

Thanks Rob.

I have had a rather blessed IT life and have managed to do a great number things. Don't be Jealous though as my other skills are few and far between.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Office365 can't do everything. It can't intergrate with my CRM.

It can integrate with MS Dynamics CRM.

 

It can't provide public contact and calendar folders.

Public Folders can easily be replicated using another account to store common data in.

 

Calendar Folders and Public Contacts are what Sharepoint Lists are for :)

 

I'm not saying they're perfect solutions - but they do work. And the benefit of them is that they're synchronizable to mobile devices whereas Public Folders were not.

 

It can't work with my antispam.

It can. As long as you host it.

 

It can't give me second mailbox access at a reasonable speed over the slow Aussie broadband speeds.

It's (from testing) much better at providing a cached second mailbox from Singapore than from your average 512kbps upload speed on an ADSL2+ small business link.

 

It can't leave my data in Australia (Which violates many laws for medical, accounting and tax companies). It can't guarantee my data privacy. I can keep going .....

This is true. But watch this space... :)

 

I have spent the last year taking clients back out of Office365 as they are so dissapointed. The biggest selling tool I have for SBS, is Office365. People ask me after a few months .. is there something better ? yes. It is called SBS. I can't wait until someone teaches Microsoft a lesson. Can't wait for Office 365 to reach it's shelf life.

Sure. And we've taken a lot of clients off Google and Office 365.

 

Yet they both keep growing. For each client we take away, they put another 20 on.

 

Clouds aren't for everyone and for everything. But they are damned useful and becoming more and more pervasive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get some clarification, sorry, on the difference between SBS and SBS essential? I'm struggling to get my head around the blog in the OP because I'm not very familiar with the SBS family, but it read more like they're rolling Essential into a cloud offering, but not changing Standard and etc.

 

...oh, it's at the very end: Standard 2011 will be the final version :

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to pick this to pieces however, these are real world issues that I want to expose so here goes.

 

Firstly, thanks for all the replies. Some very well thought out questions and answers. We all understand that not every situation and solution is the same as everyone, or will work for everyone.

 

Quotes taken from Leonid's posts in an effort to make this post easier to read and shorter:)

 

(L)It can integrate with MS Dynamics CRM.

(L)Public Folders can easily be replicated using another account to store common data in.

(L)Calendar Folders and Public Contacts are what Sharepoint Lists are for :)

(L)I'm not saying they're perfect solutions - but they do work. And the benefit of them is that they're synchronizable to mobile devices whereas Public Folders were not.

(MJ)It can't work with my antispam - (L)It can. As long as you host it.

(MJ)It can't leave my data in Australia (Which violates many laws for medical, accounting and tax companies). It can't guarantee my data privacy. I can keep going .....

(L)Clouds aren't for everyone and for everything. But they are damned useful and becoming more and more pervasive.

Most people I know do not use Dynamics CRM. they use an industry specific one. Myself, I use one built for IT. It allows tickets to be escalated and technical data to be kept. It allows data min ing in a technical mindset, not a standard client CRM.

We also have clients with products like this in the mining, manufacturing, wine, accounting, legal and more industries. For every 20 CRM's I see, one might be Dynamics.

The issue with my CRM is it intergrates an email helpdesk and newsletter features that can't integrate with the cloud. This is just one of my examples. I have loads of them (Unfortunatly).

 

With the Public folders and storing data in other mailboxes, that falls over due to the maintenance. Clients don't want to have to keep mondifying share permissions, delegate permissions and the like. It also falls over in OWA and O365 on slow links.

We tried it and most of our clients pleeded to have Public folders back :(

 

I agree Calendar Folders and Public Contacts are what Microsoft want Sharepoint Lists for, however, they are great at displaying appointments, not so great for using as resource booking calendars and suck when you are remote :(

 

With the antispam, we work with quite a few transport and customs connected businesses. They must have specific rules in the antivirus to let through customised encrypted emails to release containers in quarantine etc. We tried forefront and many hosted solutions. They do not wo0rk and the emails get removed from the email queue. The only way we have found a way to make these emails work, it with on premise AV and local rules. This will work fine for those companies big enough to have an "enterprise" as such but this is a death sentence for the small versions of these businesses. If they miss a message and leave a container for 1 hour too long on the docks, it is a $10,000 fine. Imagine leaving a whole shipload where you are not meant to :(

 

I look forward to better cloud storage solutions in Australia however, we can't expect it to be Microsoft. They don't see beyond the US. They have over 230 million people in the US and local US data centres. Australia is about 22 million and not big enough to warrant one. that is why our data is in Singapore and HongKong in the case of failover. I don't see Small Bussiness Essentials allowing us to choose our own vendors :(

 

I agree the cloud will happen. Atomic forum is a cloud app. flickr, linkedin, Hotmail, Skydrive, facebook and even my IT CRM is all cloud based (But talks to my local Exchange). The Cloud is here to stay. My "Vent" is that they have taken the choice away. they are forcing us into a subscription model so that they have recurrign revenue and givign us a poorer product.

 

I do agree with much of what you say however, as I have hundreds of SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 servers out there and have exposure to 100's of different businesses, I can see where this will work and where it just hurts. I wish people were given the choice by Microsoft. The choice now, as others has said, is to look at other 3rd party apps.

 

 

 

...oh, it's at the very end: Standard 2011 will be the final version :<

Yup. There is a funeral march right there at the end ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael,

 

The other option you can try - which will make your life and your client's lives simpler, is build your own Exchange Cloud.

 

Exchange 2010 SP2 comes with ABR rules so you can separate customers without going into the powershell-only mode of Exchange Hosted Mode.

 

All you need are a small SAN, a tape library, two decently specced Xen/KVM servers, 1 medium-specced backup server - a Microsoft SPLA agreement and a 1/3 rack in a datacentre. You'll also need a pair of ASA5510s or 5520s and two cheapish L3 switches from HP or Dell.

 

You could create your own Federated/non-federated Microsoft Exchange cloud. There's even a free control panel for clients to use - WebsitePanel.

 

You could integrate it with your cloud CRM and sell this as a feature to future Business Essentials (or whatever the name is of these future SBSs).

 

The benefit is that you can charge your clients monthly maintenance - give them a free copy of Outlook and never hear complaints about slow links with email.

 

If you ever want to talk about this (because this is EXACTLY what I do - or a component thereof), drop me a PM with your mobile number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The simple benefits of this are:

 

1. You can provide your own AV/antispam

2. You can provide redundancy (dual internet links, dual firewalls, dual switches, redundant servers, redundant SAN controllers, redundant LUs with RAID 5/RAID 6, redundant replicating Exchange Mailbox servers, Redundant CASs, Redundant TMG2010 Enterprise array, Redundant Domain Controllers.

 

You can sell all this at $25 per user, have the data hosted in Australia, have a continuous income stream and support Public Folders, Sharepoint as you wanted.

 

Your clients can even host files with you (OwnCloud - ala Dropbox) or via WebDAV over SSL or via Sharepoint. Alternatively they can host files locally on a Windows 2008 R2 server, with an OpenVPN client and a DFSR link over VPN to your domain, where you perform backups of their replicated data.

 

Look on this as an opportunity.

 

Microsoft have just given your business the kick-start to innovate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Microsoft have just given your business the kick-start to innovate.

Very true.

 

With your offer, we already have access to Hosted Exchange via various suppliers but always keen to hear more.

I may very well take you up on your offer :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main complaint seems to be that now customers will have a higher upfront cost to replicate SBS (which is not that much if they just use Exchange).

 

However, SBS is inefficient, almost everything has to be done through its crappy wizards...how much is that costing them for people to manage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main complaint seems to be that now customers will have a higher upfront cost to replicate SBS (which is not that much if they just use Exchange).

However, SBS is inefficient, almost everything has to be done through its crappy wizards...how much is that costing them for people to manage?

Actually it is more than that.

There are many wizards and features that were SBS only. Things like Remote Web Workplace and the pop3 connector. Did you know that desktop faxing was first initiated on SBS and so many new features went from SBS into Server standard.

SBS was the inovator. We have lost taht innovator and now need 3rd party vendors to pick up the tourch.

 

There are a bunch of things that server standard can not do.

 

In SBS land, 1 server = AD, DNS, DHCP, Sharepoint, Exchange, file, print, OWA, RWW, Wsus, health monitoring, selfSSL and much more.

 

In Server standard land, this is a minimum of 2 servers. Exchange should not go on an AD, Sharepoint needs to not be on an AD. There is no health monitoring, SBS reports. There is no RWW. There are many other features you can't replicate.

 

As the SBS user groups, SBS MVP's, SBS Pals, SMBitPro's were so passionate about all the really cool features, the really good server installs included all features turned on and functioning 100% and those businesses loved it.

The community has done such a good job at selling the features and now .. many of the features can't be replicated.

 

Not to mention the install time for SBS was 1/3 the install time for all the same major features in Server Std.

 

The SMB space won big time with SBS.

 

As a company with 100's of SBS servers out there and also 100's of server std out there, I can honestly say the management and setup of SBS saves people money. That hurts me as there is less they spend with me, however, that being said, they won.

the wizards actually help, not hinder. If you 100% commit to using the wizards, things are fantastic. I know as I have replicated this 100's of times over.

 

If you 100% don't commit to the wizards and are used to the enterprise way, processes are slower but can still be done and the client would still be happy.

 

If you blur the two ideas, things break and the wizards are a nightmare. (We are talking SBS 2008/2011/2003 as SBS 2000 was best not configured in the wizards, SBS 4 and 4.5 must use the wizards)

 

I know I have a unique view on this and people could think this distorts my view. I helped write a few SBS books, I was an SBS MVP for 5 years and had input into SBS 2003 and some of it's features. I have been with the project team in Redmond many times. I know what power SBS has.

 

Taking this asside, looking at it from my staff's point of view where they have not had these insights, looking at the expeariance of my company with such a large install base, talking to IT companies out there (with my role as GITCA), it turns out the others out there who are in the trenches agree. It seems my view could be tainted but it is not.

 

I have not always been loyal to Microsoft. I have installed a number of Suse, Redhat, Apple servers. I have a wide expeariance with products long gone (AS400, Bayan, Netware, Beos). I am not banging the Microsoft drum, when they are clearly wrong. I am not scared to bang heads with them. I just feel that the SBS 2011 product has matured and is an excellent on premsis solution.

 

it reduces maintenance costs, hardware costs, licencing costs, install times and headaches. It gave unique features and allowed the SMB space to play in the enterprise market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point was that with Standard and so on you have greater flexibility with the way to manage things, eg PowerShell.

 

With SBS you are restricted to the wizards for most things.

 

You can never improve upon this. To add a user in SBS takes me 5-10 mins every time. With Standard I could have it take me almost zero time with some upfront effort.

 

In 5-10 years Windows servers will be GUI-less anyway. People who haven't learnt the CLI will not be employed before people who have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×