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The Move to Windows 8 and Away from Small Business Server

November 19, 2012

With the release of Windows 8, I decided this was an opportune time for some significant changes in our home technology infrastructure: we cease using Small Business Server 2008 and start using Windows 8 on the six client PCs scattered throughout our house.

This change was prompted in the main by two changes in Windows and Small Business Server: Windows 8 would allow syncing various aspects of users settings and files that had previously been done using our Small Business Server Domain; and the latest version of Small Business Server ceased to include Exchange.

Running Small Business Server in our home had brought the benefit of a home Exchange Server (e.g. shared family calendars) and an easy single sign on using any PC in the house. But it had also brought its share of travails:

  • WSUS ceased to function on several occasions
  • There was a nagging DCOM problem
  • It was slow
  • J River Media Center was hard to set up on it
  • Mobile email access required special work with certificates
  • A problem with SBS made it hard for other PCs to access the internet
  • and so on…

With the advent of Windows 8, I thought had the opportunity to keep the advantages of SBS while getting rid of the complexity.

The first step in the plan was moving from our SBS 2008 Exchange Server to Exchange in the cloud: Office 365.

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