Should I choose Essential Business Server?


Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS) is Microsoft’s mid-range business server bundle. Making the choice to move to EBS is one that should be considered by anyone with network supporting between 25-250 users. I hope this post will help with the decision.

Reasons to consider EBS:

  • EBS has a 300 user limit. Take this into account, if you are near 300 users choose Standard Server instead.
  • Are you out growing SBS? EBS is a good upgrade path from SBS.
  • Do you have in house IT? EBS simplifies administration and improves productivity around systems administration. In house IT staff will have more time for other things.
  • Standardising on Microsoft? EBS is a cost effective way to purchase and deploy a comprehensive Microsoft platform. Remember to choose Premium Edition if you require SQL 2008.
  • You are upgrading to Windows 2008, Exchange 2007 and System Centre Essentials. The EBS bundle is a good option with a few nice extras.

EBS is a 64bit solution and so it is important to check that your applications are supported in this type of environment. Generally if the application supports Windows 2008 x64 edition then it should be fine in the EBS environment. It is well worth spending the time doing this as many older applications have specific requirements. Peripheral devices such as older printers, hardware locks and modems should be checked too. As a work around it may be necessary to include an additional server (physical or virtual) running a 32bit version of Windows as a (hopefully) short term work around.

EBS can be deployed on either physical servers or in a partially or fully virtualised environment. You should give virtualisation serious consideration when deploying EBS, a modern server with plenty of RAM and good multi-core CPU’s is ideal and you could save a significant amount in hardware. If you prefer physical servers then blade or rack mount server options should be considered. Three servers are required must have 64bit CPU’s and a minimum 4GB of RAM and 45GB of disk each. An additional server is required for the Premium Edition, this can be 32 or 64bit.

I have written a few posts on this blog which detail EBS in more detail including some personal experiences with installations. The EBS resources link at the top of this blog has plenty of resources for EBS users.

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