Essential Business Server prep and monitoring

I’m a huge fan of Microsoft’s inte­grat­ed serv­er prod­ucts — Small Busi­ness Serv­er and the new kid on the block, Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er. They pro­vide an incred­i­bly robust and reli­able IT core for any organ­i­sa­tion — espe­cial­ly because the in-built mon­i­tor­ing and alter­ing lets you know about poten­tial issues that require your atten­tion. And the inte­grat­ed prod­ucts in EBS for email secu­ri­ty and net­work-edge secu­ri­ty sim­pli­fy your network’s con­fig­u­ra­tion, and its cost.

If you are con­sid­er­ing migrat­ing or upgrad­ing to EBS (and I’d con­sid­er it even if you have an exist­ing mul­ti-serv­er infra­struc­ture,) there have been a num­ber of wiz­ards and white papers released recent­ly which may be of inter­est. They are:

Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er Prepa­ra­tion and Plan­ning Wiz­ards

The Prepa­ra­tion and Plan­ning Wiz­ards help you pre­pare your envi­ron­ment and plan for deploy­ment of Win­dows EBS by scan­ning your net­work envi­ron­ment and iden­ti­fy­ing issues that you need to cor­rect to be able to deploy Win­dows EBS.

Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er Prepa­ra­tion and Plan­ning Guide
This doc­u­ment explains how to pre­pare and plan for a deploy­ment of Win­dows EBS into your exist­ing net­work­ing envi­ron­ment. This doc­u­ment includes infor­ma­tion on how to install and run the Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er Prepa­ra­tion Wiz­ard and the Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er Plan­ning Wiz­ard, and it pro­vides plan­ning guid­ance.

Mon­i­tor­ing Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er
This doc­u­ment pro­vides guid­ance to help you mon­i­tor your Win­dows Essen­tial Busi­ness Serv­er net­work by using the Win­dows EBS Admin­is­tra­tion Con­sole and by using the mon­i­tor­ing capa­bil­i­ties of Microsoft Sys­tem Cen­ter Essen­tials 2007.

This last one is, to me, the most inter­est­ing and impor­tant. Servers do need mon­i­tor­ing and care, but those are tasks that are eas­i­ly ignored in small busi­ness­es with per­haps no ded­i­cat­ed IT staff. Hav­ing the serv­er do the grunt work for you itself is very use­ful indeed — and the main rea­son I would def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend that EBS is con­sid­ered care­ful­ly for any core infra­struc­ture refresh or renew­al in a small com­pa­ny.