The next SBS, WSE, beta is now available. Windows Server 2012 Essentials Beta (and SDK) is now available
Date published: 7/11/2012
SBS8PrivacyStatementENU-Final.docx, 105 KB
WindowsServer2012Essentials-Beta-English-Install.iso, 4.0 GB
WindowsServer2012Essentials-Beta-English-Restore.iso, 560.9 MB
Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials (formerly Windows Small Business Server Essentials) is a flexible, affordable, and easy-to-use server solution designed and priced for small businesses with up to 25 uses and 50 devices that helps them reduce costs and be more productive. Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials is an ideal first server, and it can also be used as the primary server in a multi-server environment for small businesses.
Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials enables small businesses to protect, centralize, organize and access their applications and information from almost anywhere using virtually any device. Additionally, Essentials has the ability to grow as your business grows, providing an elastic solution that allows you to purchase and then perform an in-place conversion to Windows Server 2012 Standard if your business needs change over time.
If you are interested there is now a public beta of ‘SBS8’ or Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Back to the beta…
I would encourage you try it out, if only on a VM, I have been running it for a while and it is quite light, runs perfectly well with 4gb of ram albeit with zero workload. The current build is almost identical to SBS Essentials, with the improvements noted below in my amazing table.
I will be posting some more articles soon going through the process to install WSE, and also the process of getting an OnPrem Exchange installed and running.
Let’s look at some interesting features of WSE.
WSE will be a Domain Controller, like previous versions of SBS it will be the forest root, you will only be allowed one WSE per Domain, and you will not be allowed Domain Trusts. There is no option to run WSE without Active Directory.
The Remote Web Access Wizard, still has the same failings, however we are promised this is being worked on and will be a lot better in the next build.
Perhaps one of the biggest improvements is the addition, in the beta at least, of Direct Access.
There will be a migration path to WSE from previous versions of SBS, for those of you who want it.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials (formerly known as Windows Small Business Server Essentials) is ideal as a first server for small businesses with up to 25 users. It provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services for email and backup.
It's kind of a shame that AD is required for WSE. I've been looking at Windows Home Server for a while and if there had been a US distributer, I would have picked one up. But now that WHS is officially dead, I was hoping that WSE would fill that void. Primarily to act as a backup destination (including bare metal restores), media streaming and general/central file share. Now WSE does all this, but requires an AD and domain joined PC's. I've played that game in the past with all the computers in the house before and then, admittedly years ago, it was more of a pain than it was worth. Maybe enough has changed now? I kind of hope so and will be keeping my eye on this space to see...