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Windows Small Business Server 2008 Product Overview

Updated: March 10, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Overview

Windows SBS 2008 minimizes the time that you need to acquire and deploy a single server solution, because it is easier to deploy and because it combines several server technologies under one Microsoft license. With Windows SBS 2008, you do not need to identify, purchase, or license multiple server technologies, and you do not need to match the technologies to appropriate hardware. You also benefit from an integrated deployment experience—one that fully integrates the configurations of all underlying server technologies into a single installation wizard.

Benefits of Using Windows Small Business Server 2008

Windows SBS 2008 provides you with a simplified installation and management experience, making the transition from peer-to-peer networks to server-based technology virtually painless. It also helps keep your data and systems—including e-mail and documents—highly secure from malicious attacks, disasters, and technology failures.

  • Simplified Setup and Management.   Windows SBS 2008 brings multiple server technologies together into a fully integrated single-server installation and management experience, so you do not need to identify, purchase, install, or manage multiple products or technologies. If you are apprehensive about server technology, the simplified installation and the easy-to-use management tools help ease concerns about adding a new server to your business.

  • An Integrated Setup Experience.   The deployment wizard integrates the setup and configuration of all workloads in Windows SBS 2008. The administrator performs Getting Started Tasks that configure Windows SBS 2008 to the business’s organizational needs. Compared with the installation and configuration of the standalone Microsoft product technologies, the setup wizards significantly decrease deployment times.

    You can also migrate earlier versions of Windows Small Business Server to Windows SBS 2008. For more information about migrating to Windows SBS 2008, see the “Migrate to Windows Small Business Server 2008 from Windows Small Business Server 2003” at the Microsoft Web site.

  • Simplified Management.   Windows SBS 2008 reduces operating system complexities by using an intuitive management console. The console presents the administrator with relevant system information and a matching set of streamlined tasks. These tasks are the ones that administrators need most commonly. Tasks that may take hours to complete with standalone product technologies become very simple, efficient, and effective, and a non-technical person can perform them.

  • Network-Wide Protection.   The volume of business data and the increased reliance on communication tools such as e-mail, line-of-business applications, and remote access require that businesses of all sizes protect these assets. Whether you are protecting against viruses in e-mail or are backing up critical data, Windows SBS 2008 integrates leading-edge protection technologies that help guard your network and your data. Windows SBS 2008 provides you with immediate visibility into the status of your network. Windows SBS 2008 includes real-time status icons, daily health reports, automatic updating of signature files for integrated antivirus and malicious software technologies, automated data backups, and centralized update deployment.

    Management tools also extend beyond the server that is running Windows SBS 2008. You can easily determine which client computers are missing critical protection technologies, and you can help prevent the client computers from joining the domain until the necessary requirements are met. The ability to monitor and manage client computers extends the reach of the administrator without requiring advanced knowledge or troubleshooting skills.

  • E-Mail Protection.   Windows SBS 2008 helps protect against threats and attacks that try to enter your network through e-mail. Advanced protection is provided by Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, which is an enterprise-class antivirus and anti-spam server technology. It provides “always-on” protection, delivering robust and aggressive e-mail filtering to small businesses.

  • Server Protection.   Windows SBS 2008 helps protect your server and keeps your key services running.

  • Client Computer Protection.   Windows SBS 2008 monitors your desktop clients for antivirus status, update compliance, and overall security health. This gives you a quick view into the overall status of your client computers, and it helps you address issues before they arise.

  • Simplified Backup for Business Data.   Backups of the server are extended to include external drives. You can easily back up data to external drives, and you can rotate the drives to offsite storage locations. This simplifies your ability to secure your data and to keep it safe.

  • Enhanced Business Productivity.   Windows SBS 2008 provides a solid foundation for business workloads and provides big business technology at an affordable price. These technologies help you enhance employee productivity and gain a competitive advantage.

  • Access with Remote Web Workplace.   Remote Web Workplace is a Web site that is dynamically updated and that provides a single, simple, and consolidated entry point into a small business network, including a fully-configured internal Web site that is managed by Windows SharePoint Services. Employees or partners can gain access to e-mail, files, or even a desktop computer through Remote Web Workplace. From a deployment perspective, you run a wizard, and then Windows SBS 2008 automates the entire installation and configuration of the underlying technologies.

  • Desktop Synergies with Windows Vista and Office 2007.   If you invest in Windows Vista and in the Microsoft Office Professional 2007 productivity and content management tools and if you add them to the server functionality of Windows SBS 2008, you will have the foundation you need to work fast, smart, and together, to take it on the road, and to help protect all of your business data—from the inside out.

  • Mobile Device Support.   Windows SBS 2008 offers enhanced support for SmartPhones that are enabled for Windows Mobile 6.0. These devices let highly mobile employees, such as sales staff or field personnel, access e-mail, contact lists, calendars, and documents that are stored on the company Web site. You can administer mobile devices as if they were on the local network, installing certificates or remotely wiping devices for security purposes.

  • Internet Business Presence.   Windows SBS 2008 integrates with Microsoft Office Live Small Business, which is an Internet-based set of tools that help you quickly and easily create a professional Web presence. You can your Web presence to stay in touch with customers and to easily access company information from one location.

Integrated product technologies in Windows Small Business Server 2008

Windows SBS 2008 incorporates best-of-breed 64-bit product technologies to deliver a fully integrated environment that is well suited for most small businesses. The product technologies include the following:

  • Server Operating System.   Windows Server 2008 provides the core foundation of Windows SBS 2008. Windows Server 2008 is the most flexible and robust Windows Server operating system to date. For more information, see the Windows Server 2008 home page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132930).

  • Messaging and Collaboration.   Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 introduces advanced e-mail and calendar functionality to Windows SBS 2008. Exchange Server 2007 delivers a seamless end-user collaboration experience and unparalleled security features. For more information, see the Exchange Server 2007 home page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132936).

  • E-Mail Security.   Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server (Forefront) helps protect e-mail from viruses, worms, and spam. Forefront incorporates multiple industry-leading antivirus engines to help provide layered protection against the most recent e-mail-based threats. For more information, see the Forefront home page at the Microsoft Web ite (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132938).

    noteNote
    Windows SBS 2008 includes a 120-day trial version of Forefront. For permanent use, you must license Forefront separately. For more information about purchasing Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, see “How to Buy Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132939).

  • Network Updates and Protection.   Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) helps you deploy the most recent Microsoft product updates to computers that are running Windows. By using WSUS, you can fully manage the distribution of updates from Microsoft Update to computers in your network. For more information, see the Windows Server Update Services home page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132940).

  • Take Business Online.   Office Live Small Business provides what you need to take, promote, and manage a business on the Internet. You can create a professional Web presence without the hassle or expense of setting up a complicated infrastructure or of hiring technical staff to maintain it. Office Live Small Business is a hosted service for customers who have an Internet connection. For more information, see the Office Live Small Business home page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132945).

  • Database.   Windows SBS 2008 Premium adds a second server to Windows SBS 2008 Standard. Premium includes a second copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard, providing you with a comprehensive solution to manage and analyze data. SQL Server 2008 is a performance leader, and it is the fastest growing database solution in the industry today. For customers who are using applications that are not certified for use on SQL Server 2008, a copy of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition is included in Windows SBS 2008 Premium. For more product-specific information, see the SQL Server 2008 home page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132946).

  • Collaboration and Productivity.   Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is a versatile technology that you can use to increase the efficiency of your business processes and to improve team productivity. With tools for sharing work that help people stay connected across organizational and geographic boundaries, Windows SharePoint Services gives people access to information that they need. For more product-specific information, see the Windows SharePoint Services Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132947).

Licensing

Windows SBS 2008 is offered in two editions: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard and Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium. Each edition is covered by a single server license that provides licensing for all of the included technologies. Each edition also includes five temporary client access licenses (CALs) that allow users to connect to the technologies. The CALs may be designated as per-user or per-device, enabling you to choose the licensing model that best suits your needs. For additional users and devices, you must purchase additional CALs. For more information about licensing in Windows SBS 2008, see the “Simplified Licensing” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

Microsoft has announced a new program that helps enable flexibility within this licensing to allow customers to move between Standard and Premium versions of both Server and CAL suite. You can find out more about the Solutions Pathway at the Microsoft Web site.

System requirements

For minimum hardware requirements, see the “System Requirements” section of “Planning your Windows Small Business Server 2008 Network” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132954).

ImportantImportant
Windows SBS 2008 Standard is available only as a 64-bit operating system. Your server hardware must have a 64-bit processor in order for you to install and use Windows SBS 2008. Windows SBS 2008 Premium adds a second server running either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system.

The Windows SBS Console

As a small business, you perform a balancing act of trying to reduce costs while increasing profits. The Windows SBS Console offers you an intuitive and uncomplicated IT management tool that controls IT management costs while providing a customizable environment that is designed to help you reach your full potential.

The Windows SBS Console is the primary hub for managing most aspects of your small business. The console helps minimize the cost of managing and maintaining multiple applications, systems, and network resources, such as users, computers, and devices. Designed for simplicity, the Windows SBS Console abstracts away management complexities by providing a streamlined interface into the most common client computer and server administration tasks for a small business environment. It also offers real-time insight into your organization’s overall health, security, and network management.

The Windows SBS Console launches automatically after you successfully install it or after you restart the server. You can also launch it by using the desktop shortcut or by clicking Start, All Programs, Windows Small Business Server, and then Windows SBS Console.

The Windows SBS Console collects primary management tasks and status indicators into related tabs. Each tab focuses on a set of tasks or functions that can be applied to similar resources on the network. As an example, you can add or modify a user or group through the Users and Groups tab, set a user’s access to various resources, establish mailbox storage quotas for a user, assign a user to a specific client computer, or redirect a user’s My Documents folder to additional storage volumes on the network. Grouping the tasks together makes it easier for you to determine where to go to manage the network and what to do once you are there. .

The console includes the following tabs:

  • Home.   Getting Started Tasks, most frequently used tasks, an overall system health summary, and links to community resources.

  • Users and Groups.   Management of user accounts, user roles, and groups.

  • Network.   Management of computers, devices (including printer and fax devices), and network connections.

  • Shared Folders and Web Sites.   Management of Windows shared folders and Web sites.

  • Backup and Server Storage.   Management of backup settings and server disk drives.

  • Reports.   Standard reports and creation of custom reports.

  • Security.   Security summary and management of Windows updates.

Each of these tabs contains related information and tasks. The secondary tabs help to further categorize information and tasks. Several of the main tabs use color-coded icons to represent the overall health of a particular set of objects. For example, if a computer on the network has not received the most recent update for the operating system, the Security tab displays a red X on the tab, indicating an item needs attention. You can then click the tab, find the computer that generated the alert, and take appropriate action.

The Home tab

The Home tab lists the Getting Started Tasks. You must complete these tasks when you set up Windows SBS 2008. For more information about these tasks, see The “Getting Started tasks” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955). The Home tab also includes the Network Essentials Summary. The summary displays real-time status of the overall health and security of the network. Color-coded icons provide an overall assessment of a particular security or health function. For example, the Updates summary may show a yellow icon, indicating a warning. If you expand the summary, it shows that some updates are not installed, and it links directly to the Security tab, where you can get more information and take the necessary action.

For more information, see “The Home tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Users and Groups tab

You can use the Users and Groups tab to manage all of the user accounts in the Windows SBS 2008 network. You can also use the tab to determine how those user accounts interact with other servers and resources on the network. With the Users and Groups tab, you can do the following:

  • Manage user accounts, including add, delete, or change existing user account properties. You can use the quick task links to reset a password or to disable a user account.

  • Manage user roles, including assign predetermined roles for different user types within the Windows SBS 2008 network.

  • Manage security groups (Security or Distribution lists), including add, delete, or change memberships.

For more information, see “The Users and Groups tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Network tab

The Network tab is the primary location for managing physical devices on the Windows SBS 2008 network. It is also the configuration point for all network services for your small business. On the Network tab, you can do the following:

  • View the overall health and security status of devices on the network. The status includes a snapshot of the security and update compliance of the device.

  • Repair the networking settings of the server with a single wizard.

  • Offer Remote Assistance to a client computer, or remotely control the client computer through Terminal Services Remote Desktop Protocol.

  • View the properties of a computer, and configure which users may use a client computer.

  • Share printers and fax devices with users on the network.

  • Reconfigure the services that are established by using the Getting Started Tasks.

For more information, see “The Network tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Shared Folders and Web Sites tab

The Shared Folders and Web Sites tab offers you a streamlined interface for managing shared folders and Web sites. With the Shared Folders and Web Sites tab, you can do the following:

  • View summary information about all shared folders, including paths, available free space, and established quotas.

  • Stop sharing a folder, with the click of a button.

  • Create new shared folders by using a wizard to define the paths, the access permissions, the access methods, the storage quotas, and the permissible file types.

  • View information about all Windows SBS 2008 Web sites, including URLs and status.

  • Enable or disable a Web site, with a single click.

  • Change the configuration properties, or start the management tools, such as Internet Information Services Manager or the SharePoint Service Central Administration tool.

  • Quickly modify the access permissions of existing Web sites.

For more information, see “The Shared Folders and Web Sites tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Backup and Server Storage tab

The Backup and Server Storage tab provides you with a streamlined toolset to back up your server. It is also the primary place where you can maintain hard disk drives for Windows SBS 2008. With the Backup and Server Storage tab, you can do the following:

  • Use the Configure Server Backup Wizard to create backup schedules, to identify a backup storage medium, and to define what you want to back up.

  • View color-coded indicators of whether the backup was successful.

  • Modify existing backup schedules.

  • Start a backup with a single click.

  • Restore files, folders, and volumes from existing backups.

  • View the size, current usage, and available free space of existing hard disk drives.

  • Move server data, including folders for Exchange Server, folders for Windows SharePoint Services, User shared folders, redirected My Document folders, and Microsoft Update data, to an alternate storage location.

For more information, see “The Backup and Server Storage tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Reports tab

You can use the Reports tab to see consolidated information about the Windows SBS 2008 environment and to distribute this information to other people. With the Reports tab, you can do the following:

  • Leverage native reports to get a complete snapshot of the environment.

  • Generate reports, either immediately or on a schedule, with automatic e-mail forwarding.

  • Create customized reports.

  • View the archived reports.

For more information, see “Reports tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

The Security tab

You can use the Security tab to see real-time information about the network security. This tab is also the main tool for configuring, monitoring, and managing Windows Server Update Services. The Security tab helps you do the following:

  • Quickly identify the status and alerts for anti-spam, antivirus, and malicious software, through color-coded health indicators.

  • View definition and signature file versions for anti-spam and antivirus software.

  • Determine whether any client computers lack security updates.

  • Receive summary information about Windows Server Update Services, including approvals that are pending and update errors.

  • Deploy or decline updates with a single click.

  • Change the synchronization and automatic approval options for Windows Server Update Services.

  • Generate reports that show how an update affects the network.

For more information, see “The Security tab” within the “The Windows SBS Console” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

Remote Web Workplace

Remote Web Workplace is a Web site that is dynamically updated and that provides a single, simple, and consolidated entry point into your network. Authorized users can connect to Remote Web Workplace by using any computer that is connected to the Internet and that has Microsoft Internet Explorer installed. Using Remote Web Workplace, users can remotely access business information and applications, including e-mail, shared folders, and files, and they can remotely connect to their desktop computer at the office. With Remote Web Workplace, remote users enjoy an experience that is similar to being in the office.

Remote Web Workplace provides two interfaces: one for users and one for administrators. For users, Remote Web Workplace provides the following:

  • Full access to e-mail and calendars through Outlook Web Access, to an intranet portal through Windows SharePoint Services, or to their computer desktop through the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

  • A single sign-on experience. A user’s initial authentication passes through to all later actions within Remote Web Workplace for which the user has permissions.

  • Self-service password resets.

For administrators, Remote Web Workplace provides the following:

  • The same access as users, plus access to the Windows SBS Console through an RDP connection.

  • Links to administrative tools.

For more information, see “Remote Web Workplace” within the “The Business-driven Experience” section of the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132955).

Related resources

  • For frequently asked questions about Windows SBS 2008, see the Windows Small Business Server FAQ page at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132959).

  • For a demo of Windows SBS 2008, see the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=132960).

  • For technical documentation to help you evaluate and plan to deploy, maintain, and support Windows SBS 2008, see the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Technical Library” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=103721).

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