Microsoft Releases SBS 2011 Standard for Volume Licensing Customers

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard (formerly code-named "Windows SBS 7") and the SBS 2011 Premium Add-on are now available to Microsoft's volume licensing customers, the company said on Thursday.

The products, geared toward small and medium-sized businesses, were released in December 2010 to hardware partners for imaging on servers. Both are now broadly available through Microsoft OEMs and Microsoft volume licensing, though Thursday's release to volume licensing customers appears to be two months late; in December, Microsoft had projected an availability date in "early January."

The 64-bit SBS 2011 Standard Trial version can be downloaded here. It's designed for a quad-core system at minimum with at least 8 GB of RAM.

HP announced the availability of its server product running SBS 2011 Standard this week, according to Microsoft's announcement, and Dell plans to support SBS 2011 Standard on its server hardware. More details about Dell's plans will come in a webinar talk scheduled for March 22. A webinar describing HP's server solution was recorded on March 15 and is available for playback on demand here (requires Windows ID).

With this release, Microsoft is emphasizing SBS 2011 Standard's support for mobile device security and a "streamlined Outlook Web Access interface," as well as easier migration support. The product is built on Windows Server 2008 R2 and integrates other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1, Windows Server Update Services and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010. It's designed to support organizations with up to 75 users with capabilities such as management, backup and restore, network and client security, plus remote access to e-mail, calendar and contacts data.

The Premium Add-on product is a supplement available for both Windows SBS 2011 Standard and the forthcoming Windows SBS 2011 Essentials (formerly code-named "Aurora"). Windows SBS 2011 Essentials is expected to arrive in the first half of this year. Capabilities enabled by the Premium Add-on include SQL Server line-of-business application support, access to Window Server 2008 R2 technologies, plus Remote Desktop Services access and virtualization through Hyper-V.

Microsoft provides an overview of the differences between SBS 2011 Standard, SBS 2011 Essentials and SBS Premium Add-on at this page. SBS 2011 Standard requires Client Access Licenses (CALs), but SBS Essentials, designed for up to 25 users, does not. The Premium Add-on requires CALs to use it. Microsoft summarizes the licensing here.

SBS 2011 Standard and the Premium Add-on can be purchased through Microsoft's partners, as well as retailers, OEMs and system builders. More information is available at the main SBS Web page here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.