MICROSOFT RULES? Unless YOU know better…


Microsoft Small Business Server 2003/2008/2011 has been one of the best value, best featured packages that Microsoft has ever released, but sadly the power that be have completely lost the plot and are no longer going to develop the Small Business Server line, so SBS 2011 is the final version.

With this happening, there is a massive market now going to be left struggling to find an all in one, affordable solution, and I believe this could be the time for some other company to snatch this sector if they actually have the right solution on offer.

Through the years I have become so fed up and tired of listening to people arguing about operating systems, what is the best, what is the worst, who sucks at this etc… so once again I am going to ask people to stand up or shut up about how great their chosen platform is by getting them to enter the real world of opportunities that are about to be opened up by Microsoft’s crazy visions of dropping the best all-in-one solution there is for Small Business.

Microsoft haters, Apple haters, Linux Haters, time for you to put all this nonsense to end once and for all with regards the real world of business!!

So, here’s the scenario, and it’s up to YOU to provide the solution… if you can of course…..

A small office, with 5 computers all running the same desktop operating system.

Server for storing their data.

  • The need to have an office suite in place for word processing, spreadsheet and email.
  • The email must be on each desktop, and there has to be the facility for the sharing of diaries, and sharing of email accounts for certain users. Internal email as well as external email must be in place.
  • They must have the facility for remote access to their email and documents from home, and access to their email from iPhone, Blackberry etc.
  • There must be the facility for creating individual user accounts, with security options to restrict access to certain folders (company accounts and the likes).
  • Backup of data should be available on external hard drives, or offline via ftp.

So, come on now everyone who staunchly defends their operating systems, their great applications and their hardware! Time to put something on the table, and not in a half arsed guessing manner, present a hardware/software solution that will allow a small business to do the same, or more, than can be done with Microsoft Small Business Server.

If you constantly bitch online about stuff (like I do) you have to be prepared to put up something that can justify what it is that gets on your goat, and also get ready for other people to come back at you with idea’s and solutions that you maybe did not really know about… and this is where I lay it on the line and say this.

I have yet to find any software solution that is as easy to configure, install and maintain as Small Business Server has been through the years. The whole package has been an incredible collection of components, released at a really great price, and as yet; I believe there is nothing else on the market that compares to it for the complete functionality and solution that it provides to a small business.

C’mon now, don’t be shy, provide the solution that can do all that Small Business Server currently does for a business. Who knows, if you can, present a solution, I may see myself shifting to it since Microsoft will be leaving a major gap in this sector wide open from next year, and I’m just curious who will have the tech savvy to snatch this opportunity up.

So… the simplest of things for your platform of choice to be able to do, is set in front of you. I just have this feeling that there is not going to be any affordable solution presented…. Why not prove me completely wrong?

Posted on September 8, 2012, in Apple, How To, Microsoft, Opinion, Software, Wittering. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Apple Mac Mini Server featuring an Core i7 – £849
    OSX Server has the options listed and is easy for a small business to administer.
    As for Desktops – Cheapest is Mac Mini at £520 each , need to factor in buying keyboard and mouse (£8) plus monitor (£89).

    Save on IT costs due to not have to learn about this Linux stuff and the like :)

  2. The need to have an office suite in place for word processing, spreadsheet and email. = open office/ libre office/ google docs

    The email must be on each desktop, and there has to be the facility for the sharing of diaries, and sharing of email accounts for certain users. Internal email as well as external email must be in place. = Any Email client with IMAP/pop3/smtp or google services.

    They must have the facility for remote access to their email and documents from home, and access to their email from iPhone, Blackberry etc. = google docs ( i dont know if apple iphone allows this TBH)

    There must be the facility for creating individual user accounts, with security options to restrict access to certain folders (company accounts and the likes). = if continuing to use windows OS wouldnt group policy do this ( altho might need to be configged on all 5 computers seperately)

    Backup of data should be available on external hard drives, or offline via ftp. = google cloud or Independant NAS box or a headless pc running freeNAS

    as u see a lot of my answers is pointing to google , as Bruce Naylor mentioned http://cloud.google.com/

    seems like the only options is ubuntu server with paid support , osx server , or google services i guess its down to which can do the most for you and which is going to be the most cost effective. Good Luck !

  3. That’s easy. Install Debian GNU/Linux with LTSP and squirrel-mail on the best and most-secure PC. Add extra hard drives in a RAID 1 configuration and an extra NIC for the Internet. You may need a network switch for the LAN. Set up the clients to boot PXE from the LTSP server. Open port 80 or whatever port you desire to the Internet. Add a good firewall like. If the extra hard drives and NIC are installed it would take less than 1 hour to set this up. If the users are not completely trusted, remove the X-server from the LTSP server to make sure one user cannot spy on the other users’ keyboards. Cost: a couple hours of the admin’s time. To maintain the system, only one computer needs to be maintained for software. The clients get all their software from the server and file-caching will make opening a window very fast. You want a couple hundred MB of RAM per user on the server.

  4. How about this: http://www.univention.de/en/products/ucs/
    Recently it was described in c’t (a (or “the” german computer magazine) how to migrate an existing SBS installation to Linux based UCS. Keeping all the desktops as they where.
    This side of the atlantic, the thing even comes with professional support.

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