Many of our clients have used Microsoft Small Business Server for the last decade.  It has worked really well for them and us.  It was a great package since in combined three of the most used features (File and Print services, Exchange and Remote Access) into one affordable package.

Microsoft in their infinite wisdom has decided to strip the next version down in an effort to force users to use their cloud services.  In the next version, they will discontinue offering Exchange software as part of the package.  Instead you will have to subscribe to their cloud exchange services, or someone else’s.

We see several problems at this time to that.  First in the rural area that we work in, Internet service is not as reliable as in the metro areas.  We also have less choice if we want to look at redundant connections.  So if you rely on access to Exchange for email and scheduling you are at a high risk for business interruptions.  Our legal firms are a prime example of this.  They rely on the scheduling minute by minute.

Second, for Privacy reasons many of the businesses we take care of are loath to host their information in the cloud.  Our Medical offices being the primary clients affected by this.

So for now we are going to be contacting our clients that are still on SBS 2003 and helping them get upgraded to SBS 2011 before June of 2013.  After that we will no longer be able to offer that upgrade.

That should give us 4-5 years to see how the cloud shakes out here and then we will be able to make a better judgement call on it’s effectiveness in our area.

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