Journeys of a cranky community organizer..
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  • SBS SA Make-Good is NOT, Microsoft should be ashamed of itself.

    Posted on November 29th, 2012 HandyAndy 10 comments


    Let me start off with a sincere apology to anyone who took my advice over the years and bought SA for their SBS licenses. In the past when Microsoft killed off a product that had SA on it, there was a reasonable make good offer made. Some offering that would let you continue to run your infrastructure mostly uninterrupted. Not so in the case of the SBS make good.

    As we all know by now Microsoft recently put a stake through the heart of SBS.  This week my first client’s license is up for renewal so I am working with the disty (License Online in this case) and trying to figure out what to order so my client can continue to run their network in a fashion that makes sense for them. This cannot be done with the current make-good which is one copy of server standard for SBS and one copy of server standard for the PAO add-on. The latter by the way is just fine and what would be expected, one copy of server and one copy of SQL to run on it.

    The problem is with the SBS make-good itself.
    SBS needs an OS for AD/File&Print and another for Exchange. It requires two OSes to replace SBS. Microsoft’s answer is to virtualize the one copy of server, but that is not necessarily in the best interest of the smaller client and they may not want to go there for any number of reasons. The make good should in all good conscience be a copy of server standard to hold exchange and a copy of Essentials server to hold the AD/File&Print. The Cals are a no brain-er and take care of themselves swapping out SBS Cals for the same number of Server and Exchange Cals. This would be as close to apples to apples as one would expect historically and ethically. It is not reasonable to expect these smaller clients have to bear the overhead and technical challenges of running a virtual network and the additional headaches it involves. I am not concerned about the larger clients; they are probably already looking into or implementing virtualization. I am concerned about the under 25 crowd, the majority of SBS networks.    

    Having trouble following along what the issue is?
    Let me try this example.
    Let’s compare this to a fire insurance policy.

    Say you have a 3 bedroom house.
    Let’s call those bedrooms AD/File&Print, Exchange and PAO/SQL.
    You insure it, let’s call that policy SA.
    It burns down.

    When you call the insurance company they tell you they can’t rebuild your house, what they can do is make you a two bedroom house instead. They will make one bedroom and you can put in bunk beds (let’s call them virtualization) to hold AD and Exchange and then another bedroom to hold PAO/SQL. This is what Microsoft is doing, forcing the small businesses that bought into the SA lie into either buying a copy of Essentials or running their infrastructure in Virtual Servers which many don’t want and is not the best fit for many of them either. They deserve apples to apples like SA always provided in the past. This is how make goods were handled in the past. In this new paradigm SA is a BAD INVESTMENT, since you are no longer guaranteed a reasonable make good. Microsoft’s word is no longer to be trusted regarding SA when they say they will take care of you. They are leaving us holding the bag and out in the cold, a bedroom short if you will.

    I and many of the SBS-MVP’s having been having this fight for you behind the scenes for months now. We have not been able to get anyone at Microsoft to see reason. To be fair a few folks have understood the problem and agreed with us, but were powerless to get it fixed. Every time it looks like they finally get it, someone throws a monkey wrench into the works.  It appears the only way to get them to be reasonable is to become a squeaky wheel, so to speak. So please, if you find yourself in this position with your clients, write to the powers that be at Microsoft and let your dis-satisfaction and your opinion be heard. It is the only way they may right this wrong.

    Here are a few folks you can contact to pass along you views. Please keep in mind as you write to them, they are not the problem. Don’t take out your frustrations on them. They are stuck in the middle, but they can pass along your collective views to those in power to try and right this wrong.

    David Fabritius        
    Clinton Ho                
    Kevin Beares            
    Eric Ligman              
    Kevin Turner           
    Steve Ballmer           (the buck stops here)

    Your Community Advocate,