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Windows Small Business Server 7 and Code Name “Aurora”

By:Christine Fettinger

Microsoft is making changes to its Small Business Server (SBS) line of products! The next installation in the series will be a pair of products; one (SBS 7) is an update to the expected old SBS options and the second has been called Aurora which partially relies on cloud services. While the both of these products are targeted towards small businesses, they are drastically different.

Small Business Server 7 offers the same type of old school on-premise support which will be appealing to businesses already using Small Business Server. SBS has always been geared towards providing easy back-up and collaboration for small businesses, but, Microsoft seems to think that new customers to SBS products will prefer Aurora. As Microsoft advertises it, SBS 7 is “Designed for people who want enterprise class technology in an affordable, all-in-one suite,” and Aurora is “Designed for people who never thought they could use a server.”

When you take a look into features of these two new products, you realize that both Aurora and SBS 7 are based on Windows Server 2008 R2, and are both only available as 64-bit operating systems. Both new branches of the small business server family have all of the necessary features of a server product. Small Business Server 7 has the on-premise capabilities for Exchange and SharePoint, whereas Aurora will not have these features on-premise. Aurora will thus provide Exchange and SharePoint on a cloud. This is part of the reason why Aurora only supports a maximum of 25 user accounts when SBS 7 can handle up to 75.

Additionally, Microsoft is only making Aurora available to new clients meaning that Aurora can only be used to as the first server in a new domain in either a new business or one that has not previously had a server infrastructure. Just as Microsoft has advertised, Aurora is easy-to-use with an interface similar to the Windows Home Server and is ideal for the newly formed business.

Both Aurora and SBS 7 are currently in the beta testing phase.