Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Positive review from ComputerWorld

Review: Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Release Candidate 1
By Jonathan Hassell

-“Overall, I like EBS a lot. I think it serves a definite market need and helps administrators who are overworked and completely reactive to problems to set up an environment where they can gain control and freedom to enhance their businesses rather than just being problem-solvers."
-“With mail, management, security and (in the premium edition) database needs in one box, it's hard to argue with the value the suite approach brings to a midmarket business. It will be interesting to track this product to release, but at this point, it's looking good.”
-"EBS allows you to manage these licenses through the integrated administration console, so you always know what you have. Kudos to Microsoft for clearing up a big burden that, to be fair, it imposed on its customers."
-"The team at Microsoft analyzed records of customer support calls and looked for ways to, in an automated fashion, identify these issues and offer best practices advice in correcting them. One bonus of all of this: You don't need to be considering EBS, or purchase EBS, to use these tools. They're free for everyone, so if you're just looking for a better environment, you, too, can take advantage of the guidance from these "automated assistants." You can find these tools here."

Monday, July 28, 2008

EBS Preparation Wizard

Who is it for? Mid size businesses (25-300 PC environments) who are either interested in upgrading to EBS as well as anyone considering upgrades or even wanting just to get healthier.

What is it? A really great tool that scans the existing network environment looking for the most common mis-configuration and server health issues that affect setting up of new server roles. There are 91 different configurations that are scanned including:
· Active Directory
· DNS/Networking
· Exchange
· Windows Server Configuration (Service packs, Hard Drive Space, Memory, etc)

When does it ship? The EBS Preparation Tool is available TODAY!

Why is it cool? I needed to check out the details of a scan, so I reached out to a friend of mine who has an environment that is a perfect EBS candidate. He ran the tool and came up with a few errors and warnings. Below is an example of what you see when you use the tool (the name of the server has been removed for privacy reasons). Notice how the error not only tells you the name of the server and what issue it has, but also includes a link to the knowledge base article on correcting the issue.

What do I need to have before I can use the tool? The following software needs to be installed to run the Preparation Wizard:
· .NET Framework 1.1
· .NET Framework 2.0
· Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) 2.8
· Make sure you have the latest service packs and updates for the .NET Framework.
· Be aware that there are IIS dependencies for the Exchange BPA.
· The Exchange BPA must be installed in the default location.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Partner testimonials and insights about EBS at the Worldwide Partner Conference

EBS Planning Tool and Installation Wizard

60% of EBS Technology Adoption Partners installed EBS without needing assistance from Customer Service and Support The remaining TAP required on average 40% of the support typically required for the installation of one of the EBS component products.
The installation wizard provides 300 pages of best practice white papers.

Monday, July 14, 2008

EBS in South Africa

Square One leads SA experience in MS Essential Business Server

Square One is a Microsoft Gold Partner previewing EBS.

"It is an integrated and predictable platform designed to transform businesses by helping them save time and money while significantly increasing productivity."

"From a Square One viewpoint EBS is providing more management and control of the company's IT environment through additional functionality with a secure and stable platform upon which the business can grow."