Microsoft has announced a public preview of its upcoming Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 7, available now from the Microsoft Connect website.
Based on the latest 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, SBS7 is a direct follow-on from previous small business server products and, like those, includes email and collaboration servers. Naturally, these too get updated, with Exchange Server 2010 Standard and SharePoint Foundation 2010 employed here, complete with support for the new Office Web Apps, enabling SBS7 to deliver cut-down Word, Excel and PowerPoint document editors to users via a browser.
As before, an implementation with SQL Server will also be available. You'll also get much the same kind of integrated console to simplify management tasks, plus Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) to manage and automate the delivery of software updates.
Unlike previous versions, however, SBS7 isn’t the only kid on the Microsoft small business server block. Recognising that a lot of companies don’t want to run complicated email and collaboration servers themselves, Microsoft has also announced an even smaller, small business server, code-named Aurora.
Effectively a business version of Windows Home Server, Aurora has been available for preview since August and is aimed at companies with up to 25 users who out-source email and other services. As such Aurora majors, primarily, on PC backup plus file and print sharing and doesn’t include either Exchange or SharePoint servers.
Pricing and release dates have yet to be confirmed for either product, but you can get more detailed information on the Microsoft SBS website. We’ll also be reviewing and comparing the public previews over the coming weeks.