For some time I’ve heard colleagues say Microsoft is slowly forcing us to the cloud. I never truly understood what this meant…until now. Yes, Microsoft has and is focused on selling their cloud products. However, the change to Microsoft’s Server product line greatly affects small businesses essentially forcing them to Office 365.

When Microsoft first released Office 365, Small Business Server 2011 was the product of choice for small to medium businesses. SBS 2011 included Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (maximum of 75 users/devices and some other limitations), Exchange Server 2010 Standard, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express and WSUS 3.0. SBS 2011 CALs included licenses for all services – Server, Exchange and SharePoint. (SQL Server Express and WSUS are free.) SBS 2011 Premium Add-on included a second Windows Server 2008 R2 license and SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard. Today, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials has replaced SBS 2011. Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials includes Windows Server 2012 R2 with a maximum of 25 users, 50 devices and some other limitation – no Exchange, no SharePoint.

So what are small and medium businesses to do? Convert to Office 365 of course! Office 365 includes “Business class email, calendar, and contacts”* replacing the functionality of Exchange Server 2010. “File storage and sharing”, “Intranet site” and “Corporate social network”* replace the functionality of SharePoint Foundation 2010. Now your on-premise server does not need as much processor, memory and storage without Exchange and SharePoint running on it – saving you money! If SQL Server Express does not meet your needs, you must purchase SQL Server Standard separately.

If you need help migrating to Office 365 or upgrading your Small Business Server, contact M7 Technology Solutions. We can help!

* Reference