Other people have already talked at length about the new release of Small Business Server from Microsoft so I will try to brief and highlight why I like the product.
Why I like SBS2K
I have been using SBS2K for about a year. I think the old product, SBS2K, had a lot of value for small businesses and I think the new product, SBS2003, expands that scope. The reasons I liked the old product was because it was a solid fileserver, mailserver, and firewall. It has some other features such as SQL2000, fax server, and IIS web server. For most small businesses these are low priority items. For some businesses the firewall would be a low priority item but it was nice that it was included. There has been a lot of heated arguements from big business consultants that it is a bad practice to have the firewall on the domain controller. I see the small business viewpoint differently. There are probably some small businesses without a firewall or incorrectly set up firewall. That is bad! ISA is a solid firewall and for many customers appears to be free since that is not the reason they are buying SBS2K. Good firewalls are still expensive. One good firewall is good and two good firewalls is great! There are some nice competitors in this area, such as Linux and Novell's Groupwise, but I believe most small businesses would feel more secure with a Microsoft solution. I know I would feel comfortable walking away from an installation and not coming back for thirty days.
SBS 2003, What I like
The two most attractive new features to SBS2003 is remote web workplace and sharepoint services.
- Remote web workplace is an attractive replacement for vpn. It appears to be easy to configure and setup at both ends.
- Sharepoint services looks like a more attractive way to share files in a team environment.
Volume Shadow Backup looks interesting. In the presentation it sounded like it could keep file versions during the day. I need to investigate.