SBS 2008 Launch Date Announced

Today, July 7, 2008, at Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) Microsoft announced the official launch date of SBS 2008 (Cougar):

Per Steven VanRoekel:

“I am excited to announce that Nov. 12, 2008, is the official launch date for Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Activities that day will signal availability of both solutions and kick off launch efforts worldwide. In many ways, though, we consider WPC our launch for partners and we want to help them plan and prepare for the solutions.

We are also announcing that both solutions are reaching the Release Candidate 1 milestone, another step toward final release. Pre-release versions of Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 are available for download and evaluation now through www.multiplyyourpower.com.”

Note – That is not RTM date, just the launch date.  There is a lot of discussion in the forums about Software Assurance, what’s in, what’s out, why did they do this or that, etc.. The bottom line is, you have a hard date. So now you can better help customers decide if they should limp along on existing hardware and for another 5 months, or pull the trigger on new hardware purchases using SBS 2003 now and look at SBS 2008 when SP1 is born.

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2008/jul08/07-07QAvanroekel.mspx

BTW – Is it just me, or does the new 2008 marketing material look like a cross between the Zune logo and Line Rider?

Here’s the link to the Line Rider video I’m talking about, which is ‘ok’, but the best Line Rider is here (and imbedded below):

The Super Mario Bros one is cool too. But I digress…

Anyway, I guess it’s fresher than the old ‘Breakout’ / Q*bert marketing stuff from the Server 2003 era:

I won a free game!

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Changes to SBS Phone Support

Demotivator - ChangeWe’ve all been there. It’s 4:50 PM on a Friday afternoon (or a holiday weekend) and you get the call from a client, “Our server just went down.”  In times like that it’s nice to know that you’re not working without a net – you can always call Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS).

Well, before you pick up your keys and phone and start dialing, be aware that starting August 1, 2008, PSS is moving to a call-back support model for SBS. So, when you dial for help, be prepared to leave your critical information and then wait for someone to call you back.

This wrinkle will definitely introduce some logistical and billing issues – especially if the client is paying for your technician to be on-site waiting for a call, or if you’ve got a server room where you can’t get a cell signal. This isn’t a huge issue in the Managed Service / Remote Support scenario because the tech isn’t on-site burning double-time. But for cases where you absolutely have to be on-site, customers need to know that when the IT fire department rolls up, there may be no PSS water in the hoses just yet.  Check your SLAs folks!

At any rate, there are two ways to submit a ticket to request a PSS call-back:

  • Online ticket submission: https://support.microsoft.com/oas
    (only available during business hours – details below)
  • Phone ticket submission: (800) 936-4900
    (available 24×7)

Support hours & fees:

  • Business hours (9AM – 9PM Eastern Monday – Friday) $259 USD
    Tickets can be submitted via phone or business hours URL:
    https://support.microsoft.com/oas
  • After hours (outside hours listed above, including weekends) $515 USD
    Tickets can be submitted via phone ONLY

The Business-Critical After-Hours Support Site also states that “hours of operation are not impacted by holidays” – good to know on days like today.

There’s also email support available for $99 USD (with a 24-hour response time). But the email support doesn’t cover ‘advanced support’ so you’re better off hitting the newsgroups or just searching Susan’s blog.

Note: The above information is accurate as of July 4, 2008. Be sure to check the SBS Team Blog for any updates to these phone numbers or policies: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2008/07/02/announcement-call-back-support-for-small-business-server-products.aspx

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KYSBSUG June 2008 Meeting – SBS 2008

kysbsugEveryone is invited to attend the June 2008 KYSBSUG meeting tonight. Admission is free but registration is required. Details below:

Event: June 2008 KYSBSUG Meeting #52
Topic: SBS 2008 (Cougar)
Date: Wednesday 06/18/2008
Venue: Money Concepts
Address: 323 Townepark Circle, Louisville, KY 40243
Start Time: 6:30 PM Eastern
Registration site: http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=129467

Note: This is our 52nd consecutive free monthly meeting, and we’re still going. So we’d like to say ‘Thanks’ to everyone who has attended a KYSBSUG meeting in the past! You guys rock! 🙂

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RAM Requirements for SBS 2008

cougar I get this question every couple of days, so I’m throwing it on the blog:

QUESTION: "How much RAM will (Cougar) Small Business Server 2008 need, and what’s the maximum amount of RAM it will support?"

ANSWER: Here are the current System Requirements for Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard (one server) and Premium (second server):

Server 1 (SBS 2008 Standard):

  • Processor: 2 GHz or faster x64 min. (no 32-bit servers folks)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM recommended / 32 GB maximum
  • Available Disk Space: 60 GB minimum free space

Server 2 (SBS 2008 Premium):

  • Processor: 2 GHz (x86/x64 processors) or 1 GHz (IA64) or faster
  • Memory:  2 GB RAM recommended
  • Available Disk Space: 12.2 GB minimum free space

Both Servers Also Require:

  • 1 Network Card: Ethernet network interface card from the windows server catalog
  • Internet: Some Internet functionality may require Internet access (fees may apply) and a Windows Live ID Account
  • Fax Modem: Fax Services require fax modem (only if you fax)
  • Supported Client Operating Systems:
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition SP2 or later;
    Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate;
    Windows Mobile 5.0 or later
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Super-VGA (800 × 600) or higher-resolution monitor
  • Keyboard and Microsoft® Mouse or compatible pointing device

Source: Microsoft SBS Site

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SBS 2008 Pricing Announced

Per the Microsoft press release dated 05/13/1008:

Slated for general availability later this year, Windows Essential Server Solutions are much easier for small and midsize companies to implement and manage than separate products. In response to customer and partner feedback, Windows Essential Server Solutions provide flexible pricing and licensing that offer substantial cost savings over purchasing individual products like those included in the solutions. Examples of licensing improvements over the current Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 product include these:

  • Customers will be able to purchase single client access licenses (CALs), so they will pay only for the exact number of employees using the product.
  • Customers can cost-effectively purchase a mix of Standard or Premium CALs, as appropriate to the technologies that individual employees are using.
  • CALs now apply to other copies of Windows Server, SQL Server or Exchange Server on the network, eliminating the need to purchase additional CALs.

Also, Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition includes additional Windows Server 2008 Standard technologies with SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business, making it an ideal platform for critical business applications.

Windows Essential Server Solutions pricing* is as follows:

  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.)

Microsoft also today announced rebates of up to $200 (U.S.) for solution provider partners configuring Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 for their clients who acquire the software and purchase Software Assurance within a certain time period. With Software Assurance, customers will receive the upgrade to Small Business Server 2008 at no additional cost when it is available, as well as access to support, tools and training. Terms and conditions of the rebates are available at http://www.SBSrebate.com.

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/may08/05-13PublicPreviewPricingPR.mspx

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SBS 2008 Slide Deck Download

sbs_2008_logo_small In case you missed the SMB Summit in Texas last week, there’s still an opportunity to get public information on SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  There are slide decks and other information available on the Microsoft Partner (https://partner.microsoft.com)* for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008:

* Note: You must be a Microsoft Registered, Certified or Gold Partner to access the download site.

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Cougar – Screen Shot of SBS 2008

If you haven’t seen what Cougar (SBS 2008) looks like yet, Ron Grattopp (TS2 Presenter extraordinaire) posted a picture of it on his blog last week.

Here’s a copy of the Cougar screenshot:

SBS_2008_Cougar_UI_preview

Looks a lot like Windows Home Server, doesn’t it 😉

Thanks for the screen shot Ron!

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KYSBSUG Feb 2008 – Windows Mobile Hands-On Lab

windows_mobile_palm_treo Are you interested in setting up a Windows Mobile device with SBS, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it?

If so, you’re not alone.  Next to Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Mobile devices are the most under-used killer technology in SBS.

This month our topic for the KYSBSUG meeting is a free hands-on lab / boot camp to get IT Pros and network administrators comfortable with testing, rolling out, and supporting Windows Mobile devices with SBS.

In addition to offering training on Windows Mobile 5 & 6, we’ll also provide resources for connecting Palm mobile devices (such as the new Palm Centro) and Apple iPhones with SBS. 

If you’re shy and have never used Windows Mobile devices before, this event is for you! We’ll take you from a-to-sync. 🙂  Or, if you’re already are a Windows Mobile pro, you’re still invited to attend, compare notes on local wireless carriers, help users with the labs, and be registered for the door prizes.

You are invited to register and attend in person!
Cost:  FREE

Event: KYSBSUG February 2008 Meeting (#47)
Topic: Windows Mobile Hands-On Lab / Boot Camp
Date: Wed Feb 20, 2008
Time: 6:30 PM Eastern – 9:00 PM Eastern
Location: Money Concepts
Address: 323 Townepark Circle
City St Zip: Louisville, KY 40243
Registration Required?: Yes
Invitees: IT Pros, Network Administrators, KYSBSUG Members & Geeks
Registration URL: http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=125230

Below is a list of what you’ll need to complete the lab.

Note: If you’re missing any of the pieces below to complete the lab, don’t worry. You’re still invited to attend to receive a copy of the simulator software and to see what pieces you need to put in place to properly configure a Windows Mobile device on your (or your customer’s) network. Just be sure to bring a flash drive.

IMPORTANT – You DO NOT need to have a Pocket PC or SmartPhone to complete this lab. We will provide attendees with a Windows Mobile emulator that runs on your PC. (We also have a Palm emulator as well).

To complete the lab you will need:

  • Laptop PC (Vista or XP) with WiFi
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 1-1.5 GB available hard drive space
  • Remote access to an SBS server with RWW properly configured (CEICW already run & ports open in your firewall)
  • An ‘A’ record pointing to your RWW site (such as remote.domain.com or server.domain.com)
  • Administrator credentials for your SBS server
  • AC powerstrip / surge protector or extension cord
  • 1 GB or larger USB flash drive

OPTIONAL – If you DO decide to bring a SmartPhone or Pocket PC, please also bring:

  • Your Windows Mobile device
  • The charger / AC adapter
  • The data cable / cradle
  • Any software (CDs) that came with the phone
  • An SD / Mini SD / Micro SD card (whatever your device takes)
  • A card reader or adapter to read the SD card on your PC

There is already a lot of interest in this topic and seating is limited, so please register early to guarantee a seat.

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More News on SBS Cougar

cougarToday Microsoft TS2 presenter
Charles Van Heusen tips Microsoft’s hand a bit to show a little more information about Windows Small Business Server
(Codename “Cougar”), a.k.a. SBS 2008.

What’s to know?

  • No direct upgrades
  • Migration paths
  • Details about Standard and Premium editions (big change in Premium)

Check out Charles ‘Are You Ready for SBS Cougar‘ post for the details:
Click here

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