SBS R2 – Collective Information gathered by me, a Microsoft Partner

There has been a lot of discussion on various newsgroups about Small Business Server 2003 R2 and what it does and does not include.   I am sorry to say, but Microsoft has not been clear enough on the point and therefore I am going to try to assist the many people confused by this in this blog post.

I should be clear that these opinions are my own interpretations of various posts and discussions that have gone on around the web.   I will provide you with some references where I can.

Does SBS 2003 Include any of the Windows 2003 R2 Feature Set?

First, the quick answer……   

No.     This was publicly announced at SBM Nation 2005 on this powerpoint slide.

Now for the long answer….    
SBS 2003 R2 includes the following features, and only these features: (From the
SBS Blog) 

  • Automated, network-wide patch and update management for all Microsoft Update supported products, lowering the costs of managing a Microsoft-based network and helping to maintain a more secure network
  • Increased mailbox limits from 16 GB to 75 GB, enabling improved productivity for employees
  • Inclusion of SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition technology in SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition
  • Expanded client access license (CAL) rights, including access to additional Exchange Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition servers in the SBS 2003 R2 network, allowing customers more flexibility in growth

Paula Rooney wrote this about SBS R2 as well if you want more information.

OK, so what does it include?

Also public is the fact that SBS R2 will include SBS 2003 Server Pack 1 out of the box, with some other patches that have been released since then.   I read this on the Yahoogroups.

You can see on the Microsoft Page for SBS R2 that “Automated, network-wide patch and update management” will be included.   I assume that this will be WSUS, maybe with SBS type interfaces, but I am guessing 😉

So, what do you think about this Nick?

Honestly…   I cannot make my mind up.    I think that Microsoft Marketing have gotten there hands on the product and are naming it incorrectly and in the most confusing way possible.   That I am pretty pissed about…

The main reason for being so annoyed is that I know that SBS 2003 is a great product, and one which the product team, the MVP’s and the end users love.    What all of those groups hate more than anything is being “the evil smaller product”.   I believe that because of Marketing, we are going to be portrayed (no matter how true it is) in a bad light against the “full products”.    People are going to have the ammo (like in the SBS 4.0 days) to say “SBS Is different…”, and by different I meant more than just the current well known restrictions.

I suppose that I am looking at this not as a MVP, but as a Microsoft Partner.    It has given me a bad taste in my mouth and made me seriously consider not selling the product.   Microsoft Marketing needs to understand that.    If you can give me, and avid fan of the product, this feeling…. You can give it to anyone…



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