Windows Server 2012: Storage, Virtualization for SMBs?

What is the Windows Server 2012 opportunity within the SMB market? Jim Brisimitzis, director of business development, Global OEM Division, Microsoft, is offering some updates at Synnex National Conference. He sees five areas of potential upside sales growth. But The VAR Guy wonders -- will SMBs shift that money to the cloud and away from on-premises servers? Hmmm...

Brisimitzis sure sounds optimistic. There are 3.3 million Windows Server 2003 systems in the installed base, so there's huge compelling value to go to Windows Server 2012, he asserted. Plus, storage is a recession-proof market that offers an upgrade or first-time sales opportunity, he said.

The Windows Server 2012 Editions include:

  • Foundation Server: It has no virtualization rights and limited features.
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials: Positioned as a cloud-connected first server... or essentially the successor to Small Business Server. Supports up to 25 users.
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard: Supports two virtual instances. There is an upgrade path from Essentials to Standard.
  • Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard: Sold direct to OEM.
  • Windows Server 2012 Data Center: If a customer is going to virtualize heavily then they should jump directly to this, he said. Microsoft now has 11 million virtual machine deployments, he asserted.
  • He got into licensing specifics. But, um... The VAR Guy will defer to readers to track down that info because it varies from product to product.
So where is the potential upside growth for VARs? He suggested VARs focus on five opportunities:
  1. Windows Server 2003 upgrades
  2. First server deployments for customers that currently lack servers
  3. Storage
  4. Private cloud
  5. Appliances (SQL) -- which are available from Dell, HP and others
Yes, email, collaboration and document management are starting to move to the cloud in many ways. But many companies want to keep their data on-premises, hence the sales opportunities above, he asserted. And there are a backload of orders for 2012, he concluded.
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