Windows codename "Centro" now has a name — Windows Essential Business Server. If you haven’t heard of "Centro", it’s Microsoft’s upcoming server solution for "mid-sized businesses."

More info is at this blog post:
http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/11/07/5955270.aspx

The surprising part is that this is not just one server running a bunch of software, it is "an integrated server infrastructure solution."

Windows EBS Standard consist of three servers:

  • Management Server (Windows Server 2008 with Active Directory Services and Systems Center Essentials)
  • Messaging Server (Active Directory Services, Exchange Server 2007, and Forefront Security for Exchange)
  • Security Server (Exchange Server 2007 and ISA Server vNext).

Windows EBS Premium adds a Database server running SQL Server 2008.

This is a big departure from the "cram it in one box" approach of Windows Small Business Server 2003, but it’s definitely a more serious approach to a Windows Server Infrastruction.

Additionally, I wouldn’t be surprised if this infrastructure eventually lends itself to virtualization. That would be a bit tough for now, because the Windows EBS infrastructure requires 64-bit operating systems, and Virtual Server 2005 R2 only supports 32-bit guest operating systems. But it won’t be long before it’s a real possibility.

What I’m really excited about is Windows codename "Cougar," a.k.a. Windows Small Business Server 2008. More on that to come…