The apc magazine has a good article explaining Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) a.k.a. Centro. In a way, this is the big brother of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS). SBS targets small businesses that have up to 75 clients and EBS is for organizations that have 25 to 250 computers. In this post, I summarized the apc article.

These seem to be the main points of Essential Business Server:

  • Editions: There is Standard Edition and Premium Edition
  • The Standard Edition comes with three server types: Management Server, Messaging Server, Security Server; The Premium Edition has a Database Server also.
  • Management Server: Windows Server 2008, System Center Essentials
  • Messaging Server: Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007 and Forefront Security for Exchange Server
  • Security Server: Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007 gateway, ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server
  • Database Server: Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition
  • Licensing: There is a unified server license and a special EBS CAL (Client Access License), maximum is 250 clients; there is an upgrade license available to unlock the EBS restriction
  • Management console: lets you monitor the health of all servers, track down problems, and "points administrators in the right direction to get tasks accomplished; third party vendors can utilize this console
  • Remote Web Workplace: remotely access email and shared resources

Considering that the Windows environment gets more and more complex, it makes sense to offer such a product which can help administrators of smaller businesses handle their servers in an easier way. However, one also has to take into account that the majority of Windows shops probably prefer the regular products. So if you run into problems, you can never be sure if it is just an EBS issue.

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