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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,


    9 responses to “SBS SA Make-Good is NOT, Microsoft should be ashamed of itself.” RSS icon

    • Nicely done. I’ve linked to it from my site:

    • Andy,

      You have pointed out one of the things that I have been discussing frequently in recent years. Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about the SMB market anymore. Its sights are set on much larger things and despite some really great people within Microsoft understanding what the company is doing to its SMB customers, the people calling the shots really can’t be bothered with us anymore.

      This is shameful in my view. The numerous discussions I have had with Microsoft executives about this have been cordial and we have reached agreement on things that we should be doing together for our mutual SMB clients. However, when they try to kick the discussion upstairs it goes nowhere.

      One day Microsoft will likely find a reason to embrace the SMB market again and we will be asked to be their evangelists in that effort. They will be surprised to learned that those bridges that they are burning today would have come in handy when they need us again. Sometimes there is just no going back when you burn bridges and relationships. You have to start over and that is a time-consuming and costly endeavor.

    • I assume that they don’t want the 25 shop SBSers doing their own thing and that they want them on Office 365. If that is where they want those customers than herding them there with a bad SA “Make Good” makes sense (from their prospective).

      Also I never ever trusted the whole “Make Good” idea. It wasn’t in writing what you would get and I don’t trust anything that isn’t in writing. Heck, I barely trust something IN writing.

    • REMEMBER it’s all about PUSHING YOU KICKING AND SCREAMING TO THE CLOUD!!! (Yes this is all caps for a reason) Microsoft wants to be a SAAS Vendor, Period.. Even if they have to Kill customers..

    • Hi Andy,

      Me again. I posted a reply up on the other thread on Facebook about your blog. Here is my reply. For anyone reading this, if you have any comments, questions, concerns you would like to discuss, you can contact me directly at the email Andy was kind enough to share…

    • Thankx Kevin, for those of you looking for the post Kevin is refering to it is on the You Know You Grew Up With SBS If group on FB, here is the link “!/groups/131473643614130/” I think you may have to be a memebr to view it, but there is no requirement to join other than to do it.

    • Hi Andy. I have several customers with SA for SBS with Prem Ad on’s as well. You are totally correct, the virtualization model doesn’t fit every customer. I think Microsoft just wants to get as many people into their Office 365 system to have a larger impact against Google Apps. It is very wrong to use their customers as the pawns in their game.

    • I drank the Microsoft “Kool Aid” as a “Microsoft Partner” for a long time (OVER 15 YEARS). But not anymore! As a provider in the Small Business Community, they have attempted to push us in a direction many of us don’t want to go “The Cloud” it’s not that I don’t want to go but my customers don’t want to go. They’ve killed products like Small Business Server which filled a nice cost effective niche in the SMB market. They are late to market with Win8 for Tablets, and Phones not to mention the sticker shock consumers encounter when they look at “Surface”. And to further support your question about “do they care about us” they quietly uninvited us “Partners” from participate in its launch and sale. In my opinion, there is no compelling reason for anyone to upgrade to Win8 utilizing current hardware. They “Blew” the opportunity to migrate the remaining XP market who hesitated to upgrade due to the recession, via Windows 8 (not to mention huge learning curve for the average user to accomplish that task). I am telling customers DO NOT upgrade Win7 to Win8 because there is no compelling reason to do so on existing hardware platforms, (more lost revenue). They Blew the Skype opportunity which I hoped they would integrate into their Linx product and then bundle that with SBS. Instead, they completely KILLED the SBS product. I sincerely don’t think Microsoft realizes the silent Army of us out here who are actively evaluating other viable solutions. The income and profits of some of Microsoft’s “Cash Cows” like Office are slowly going to come to an end (just like Lotus, Word Perfect and others). And WHEN a customer wants to go to the “Cloud” I will not take them there via Microsoft. I am tired of them ramming things like “Office 365” down my throat. There are other, more “cost effective” solutions available now. I certainly enjoyed the ride and made some money in the process for that I thank them. And you’re correct Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about those of us who made a significant investment and commitment to the SBS product, the Certifications, selling SA and everything else we swallowed and then loyally marched to Market like dedicated solders of Microsoft. Shielding them, defending them, at times when frankly they didn’t deserve it! Regardless… time to move on… I’m trading in the “Tin Lizzy” for a more “Cost Effective and sleek” SMB solution(s).

    • Many of my clients simply can not go to the cloud. They may be small business, but they have government-regulated security requirements that simply don’t allow them to work in this way; their auditors would have a fit.

      Microsoft’s latest round of moves encompasing Windows 8 and Server 2012 indicate to me that upper management no longer cares about a number of client bases they used to, and they are not listening to feedback from customers or IT professionals actively working in the industry. This “our way or the highway” mentality is incredibly disheartening and frustrating.

      Microsoft, I don’t want you to be Google. I don’t want you to be Apple. I want you to be MICROSOFT, that’s why I have purchased your products in the past, and encouraged the sale of your products to others, both in education and small business. If you continue on this course, I will be hoping for new companies that will rise up to compete with you, or the resurgence (Novell?) of others, so I can find a suitable alternative, made up of people that listen and provide choices to their customers, not “take it or leave it, we’re doing it the way we want you to do it”.

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