Friday 5 March 2010

Essential Business Server – Is Discontinued

Perhaps not a lot of folks have really delved into the product, or perhaps there was not a large adoption of the product out of the box. Whatever the root reason, Essential Business Server is no longer.

We realize that this was a _huge_ decision on their part and probably a very painful one within the product groups and the company overall.

Being an SBSer since way back when, it is actually quite disappointing to see that Microsoft has decided to cut their losses and stop development on EBS.

The disappointment stems from our belief that the EBS product was _good_ for businesses that fell in the required seat range of ~75-300. There are just so many “killer app” type features, found in SBS and then EBS, that the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) will no longer have access to.

The number one killer application for SBS and EBS is the Remote Web Workplace. Bar none, having a one stop Web based portal for users to gain access to their network resources including their own workstation makes the administrator’s and the user’s life so much simpler.

A screenshot of the SBS 2003 RWW:


In SBS 2003, we had immediate access to OWA, our desktop via RDP, and our Companyweb SharePoint site. All with the click of a link in the portal.

The same is true of the SBS and EBS 2008 RWW but with critical additional features.

The SBS 2008 version:


RWW in SBS/EBS 2008 also has the ability to utilize the TS Gateway service to publish Terminal Services RemoteApps via a link posted on the RWW page among other new features.

These features, along with the integration of the various server components into the products are what make SBS and EBS great.

So, perhaps the death of the EBS product will bring about the rise of another?

Since RWW was introduced in SBS 2003, we have had many conversations with SME/ENT level support folks about the need for an RWW like solution for them.

It is our hope that somewhere in the midst of all of the shuffling about that is going to happen, that the Remote Web Workplace development team gets the opportunity to put the RWW product into a box so that it can be installed on a SME/ENT network.

It may be too complicated to be accomplished, but we can only hope!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the limited takeup of EBS was that it forced you to architect your network in a very specific way. You HAD to have the security server at the network edge, acting as your firewall, using Forefront TMG. I know this is what turned us away from using the product.

There was no flexibility to NOT use it as the firewall!

Apart from that it was a decent product. Hopefully the next release (in whatever form that comes) will provide SBS-like benefits to the slightly larger clients, without forcing them to fit into an exact model!