On-Premise: Microsoft SBS 2008

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

To host or not to host, that is the question many solution providers are asking themselves when it comes to e-mail and collaboration packages. Find out which ones serve the customer best, while still preserving solution provider revenue.

Microsoft Small Business Server 2008
A premise-based solution is the old standby, which entails the customer purchasing a server, software and paying for the integration of the hardware and software. Premise-based solutions can include server appliances, traditional servers and a variety of software packages. In many cases, solution providers will turn to a package built around Microsoft’s Small Business Server and a traditional file server. More adventurous solution providers may select a Linux distribution for their network operating system, but may run into issues supporting some vertical market packages that may be needed for line-of-business applications.

For many solution providers, a traditional approach seems to be the most straightforward way to introduce e-mail and collaboration into a small business. It’s hard to beat what Microsoft has to offer with Small Business Server 2008, a 64-bit network operating system that combines many Microsoft technologies to create a collaboration platform with offers a plethora of services aimed squarely at the small business. It’s worth noting that an SBS 2008-based network requires an upfront investment from the customer and there’s quite a bit of integration and setup needed to make it all work. Good news for a solution provider, but perhaps not the best of news for a customer.

Here’s the costs for setting up a typical SBS network for a 10-user environment.

 Basic File Server                        


 SBS 2008 Standard Edition (with 5 users) 


 SBS 2008 CAL Suite 5 pack               


 Data Backup Solution (Drive & Software) 


 Network AntiVirus/AntiSpam   


 Installation and Setup ($90/Hr)


 Maintenance & Support (3 Years)


With an on premise solution with three-year service expectancy works out to $14,254, with a solution provider seeing a gross profit of roughly $8,800 over three years. For the customer, the cost works out to about $40 per user per month.

Of course, with a premise-based solution such as this, solution providers can expect to profit from add-on sales and customers will most likely need additional support, training and will want to integrate other products over time. A solution provider can expect to realize more profits over time as a relationship is built with the customer.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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