Wednesday, 22 October 2008

SBS 2008 - Top 10 Wow and Top 10 Learning

Susan talks about her top 10 Wows for SBS 2008: The top ten wow's of SBS 2008 as inspired by a blog post by Dana Epp: Top 10 WOW Features on SBS 2008 which will make me switch from SBS 2003.

For those of you who have heard me talk about SBS 2008, you know I am pretty excited about it ... just ask Constanza and Satish! ;)

There are two aspects to the Wow: Features and Learning.

The SBS 2008 features not necessarily in order:
  1. Security: The simplicity of adding a third party certificate makes managing Remote Web Workplace access, Outlook Mobile Access, and Outlook Anywhere access a dream. A huge time savings for our clients and us.
  2. Security: The new Windows Server 2008 Event Log setup allows for finely tuned filters and things like e-mails being fired off when a certain event happens.
  3. Security: NAP ... NAP ... NAP! Yeah! Talk about the killer app for tightening up that ship! No more rogue systems that are unpatched and have out of date A/V or no A/V at all!
  4. Terminal Services Application Serving: Lots of goodness here ... first place we will go with our setup is publishing our book keeping to eliminate the need for a dedicated RDP desktop! We can see so much potential for our clients here ...
  5. SharePoint V3: The more we use it the more we want it! Top it off, between CompanyWeb SPv3, Windows Vista, and Office 2007 integration we are talking about serious workflow streamlining here!
  6. Mobile Access: Getting ISA off the same box means no more fights with Windows Mobile Exchange integration!
  7. Group Policy: The new Win2K8 OU/GPO structure along with Preferences and so much more give us such a great amount of flexibility and granularity when it comes to setting up our user and computer environments!
  8. Security: The integrated Windows Firewall gives us a breath of fresh air ... no more third party apps breaking things or completely cutting our servers off from the world on install or updates.
  9. Security: ForeFront and Live OneCare for Server: A one source, one stop shop for our server and client protection needs. Just check out the number of AntiSpam and Block List updates we receive in a day! Microsoft looks to be getting on top of their game when it comes to server/client malware protection.
  10. Management: The splitting up of the SBS Consoles is refreshing. The Windows SBS Console is the console we will be using the most. It is simple, has an at-a-glance status page, and enables us to access needed features quickly and simply. Very refreshing. We also get the Windows SBS Native Tools Management Console with the native server component snap-ins for those times we need to get granular.

I don't know about you, but one of the things I really enjoy about our industry is the constant challenge to learn new things ... to stay on top of the products and technologies we work with.

With the advent of so many different products, it has forced me to make a choice: Remain a Jack of all Trades and Master of None, or focus in on something and get really good at it.

I am pretty sure the choice I made is fairly obvious, though I am no where near as good at working with the SBS product as others are ... yet! ;)

Top 10 things to learn on SBS 2008:

  1. How to publish a TSApp through the Remote Web Workplace!
  2. Windows Server 2008 Group Policy changes and implementation structures ... especially the Central Store. Jeremy Moskowitz's books on the table for this one.
  3. Figuring out the XML structures for customizing things like the SBS Console itself or custom alerts.
  4. Network Access Protection (NAP): Learning the ins and outs along with tying it into existing SBS 2008 features.
  5. SQL Server 2008: Database migration techniques for existing LoB applications. Maintenance and Disaster Recovery.
  6. Deployment: Windows Server 2008 setup techniques. Especially Windows Deployment Services for working with Win2K8, SBS 2008, and Vista WIM image deployments.
  7. SBS 2008 Migrations: We are getting ready to migrate our own SBS 2003 R2 Premium setup to SBS 2008. We already have the stand-alone ISA box in place and waiting for production. Going to be the big one! :)
  8. IPv6. At some point we need to sit down and learn this one ... soon!
  9. Pass the SBS 2008 Exam! Not too sure about the status of the Beta I wrote three weeks ago.
  10. How to design a SharePoint Web site from scratch without breaking the whole thing in the first place!
Those are the ones that come to mind at this point. There are a lot of SBS features that are pretty neat and need to be learned.

Another side to SBS 2008 for us: It will be the best way to setup our hosting environment for SPLA. The ability to limit on a per user basis what network resources, features, or desktops a user can access when the log onto the Remote Web Workplace makes this product perfectly suited to providing hosting services for small companies that do not want to spend on a network setup.

The bar was high with SBS 2003, it certainly has been raised with SBS 2008. Good on you SBS Team!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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