On November 8, Microsoft took the wraps off a new version of Windows Storage Server, which seems to be is the product codenamed "Breckenridge."
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, like its Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 sibling, is a platform for network-attached storage appliances. The difference is Storage Server Essentials is aimed at small businesses (up to 25 users) -- companies which may or may not have dedicated IT pros on staff.
From a new blog post on the Windows Storage Server blog:
"Configuring Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is easy: remove from box, connect to network, power up and access the device from a browser to configure it. The management dashboard makes it simple to manage, maintain and monitor the health of the Windows Storage Server Essentials device, and client computers."
Breckenridge is one of a handful of new home/small-business server products in the "Colorado" codename family. It "shares common features and usability" with both Windows Home Server "Vail" and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials ("Aurora").
Among the type of tasks for which Storage Server Essentials is well suited, the Softies said, are:
•Server and PC backup, including file, folder and image based restore
•Centralized storage for file data and easier sharing
•Console driven administration for easier management
•Access to your data from virtually anywhere through Remote Web Access
•Network health monitoring for both Windows and Mac PC’s
•Active Directory Domain join
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials -- like the Storage Server 2008 R2 Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise SKUs -- will be available through hardware partners only, according to Microsoft.
There's no word on the Microsoft blogs as to when Microsoft will be conducting beta tests of Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. Final release is slated for first half of 2011.
(Thanks to Guy Gregory for the heads-up on the Storage Server Essentials information today.)