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At the recent Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, some pundits predicted cloud computing would kill small business servers. But don't tell Microsoft. The software giant is preparing two Windows Small Business Server upgrades. And one of the upgrades -- code-named SBS Aurora -- will have some integrated cloud capabilities.

The VAR Guy

July 14, 2010

windows small business server aurora cloud

At the recent Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, some pundits predicted cloud computing would kill small business servers. But don’t tell Microsoft. The software giant is preparing two Windows Small Business Server upgrades. And one of the upgrades — code-named SBS Aurora — will have some integrated cloud capabilities. Partners like Diskeeper, Hewlett-Packard, Level Platforms and Symantec are signing on. Here’s what VARs need to know.

At Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 (WPC10), Microsoft confirmed plans for two SBS betas. According to a blog entry from SBS team member Kevin Kean, Microsoft is preparing:

  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS) “7” Preview: The next version of Windows Small Business Server will include a richer remote access experience, as well as updates to all of the component software in the suite to the latest versions (Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange Server 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010 Foundation, Windows Server Update Services 3.0 and SQL Server 2008 R2). As a result, small business customers will find significant security and management enhancements as well as much richer features for providing file-and-print, email and Internet services to employees. SBS 7 will support up to 75 users.

  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS) Code Name “Aurora” Preview: A new edition of Windows Small Business Server, Aurora is an affordable, easy to use “first server” option for small businesses that will be the company’s first to deliver both traditional and cloud capabilities. With SBS Aurora, customers will be able to better protect their business data through automated backup and restore capabilities, easily organize and access business information from almost anywhere and run a variety of business tools and software. SBS Aurora will support up to 25 users.

Plus, you can find more details in this video:

Server Competition?

As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft says Hewlett-Packard, Diskeeper, Level Platforms and Symantec all are involved in the new SBS efforts.

That sets up a potential SBS cloud showdown between Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. Lenovo announced an MSP-centric server in April 2010. In some ways, HP’s efforts with SBS Aurora are similar.

At the same time, watch for SBS Aurora to potentially play a role in the Intel Hybrid Cloud strategy, which involves an on-premises, pay-as-you-go server running Windows Server, SBS and managed services software.

The VAR Guy has to be honest: He wonders if on-premises server sales will shrink a bit amid all the cloud hype. But efforts like SBS Aurora and Intel Hybrid Cloud provide the flip-side of a story that’s just starting — rather than ending.

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