Yesterday, Microsoft announced the immediate availability of BackOffice Server 2000, the company's integrated suite of server products geared to midsized businesses. BackOffice Server 2000 includes standard editions of Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 1 (SP1), Exchange 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, Systems Management Server 2.0, and Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000, as well as a MultiServer deployment option, an integrated turnkey setup, Windows Terminal Services-based management facilities, a new Health Monitor application (which works across multiple servers), shared fax and modem services, and a number of other features. The goal with this release was to provide a solution for businesses that want to leverage Win2K and the 2000 server products without requiring any of the complexities of a typical multiple-server product installation and management scenario.
"We're excited to launch BackOffice Server 2000," Tracie Edwards, the lead product manager for BackOffice Server, told me yesterday. "It has exciting features that haven't been available before, new components, and integrated tools built on top of the great products that are unique to BackOffice." Chief among these tools is the new MultiServer feature, which Microsoft added at the request of customers. With this new feature, you can install the server products in BackOffice Server 2000 on up to three servers, ending the limitation of a multiple-server install on a single machine. "The MultiServer Deployment Wizard lets you install BackOffice on up to three separate servers," Edwards said, "It lets you split up the servers according to your business needs and gives you greater management flexibility."
The integrated Health Monitor application automates monitoring, and Microsoft upgraded the version included in BackOffice Server 2000 to work with the new MultiServer feature. Like Small Business Server, BackOffice 2000 includes an integrated "turn-key" setup application and simplified administration consoles that make management easier than with separately installed server products. "The \[BackOffice\] group has worked very hard to simplify the setup," Edwards noted. "It will automate the installation of Active Directory (AD), Exchange 2000 Server, and the other products to make sure the deployment goes smoothly. Setup will handle the different dependencies, even across a multiserver installation."
For more information about BackOffice Server 2000, visit the Microsoft Web site.