Microsoft VLSC N-2 Media Downloads


Microsoft’s VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) is the central portal for volume licensing customers to manage and download licence keys and media.

Microsoft’s Volume Licences all include “Downgrade Rights” which let you run previous version of the software, for instance:

Buy Windows 7, install XP or Buy Office 2010, install 2007

However, Microsoft have only ever provided the media for 1 previous version AKA N-1 so:

Windows 7 = Vista

Office 2010 = Office 2007

Exchange 2010 = Exchange 2003

If you needed to downgrade further than that, you were required to provide your own media…usually from a previous install.

That being said, Microsoft are now changing that!

From July 2010, VLSC users have been able to access:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003 R2

and from September 2010, the following N-2 downloads will be made available:

  • Office 2003
  • SQL Server 2005
  • Exchange Server 2003

This will make it easier for organizations who still need to run these older versions.

(via Eric Ligman)

Microsoft Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008


Microsoft Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 is set to be released on 12//11/08 (12th November), along with Small Business Server (SBS) 2008.

What is it?

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 provides a unified Administration Console to manage an integrated IT infrastructure with the latest versions of management, messaging, and security server technologies.

EBS 2008 is aimed at medium sized businesses and the aim is that it will make your infrastructure more efficeint, cost effective and easier to manage. There are 2 version of EBS 2008..

Standard Edition includes:

  • 3 x Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
  • 1 x Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition
  • 1 x Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007
  • 1Yr subscription to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange
  • 1Yr subscription to Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition

The Premium Edition includes all the above as well as:

  • 1 x Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition (making a total of 4)
  • 1 x SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition

From a licensing point of view, EBS allows up to 300 users and there is a single Client Access Licence (CAL) that gives access to all the included programmes.

Licensing:

There are two types of CAL for EBS 2008. Standard CALs for all users/devices connecting to any part of the EBS network and Premium CALS for any users/devices connecting to the PREMIUM features of EBS (so SQL Server).

Another change is that CALs will be available individually as well as in 5, 20 & 50 packs. The ability to purchase CALs on their own makes it more cost effective when adding new members of staff.

One thing to note is that you are NOT able to downgrade the components of EBS 2008 to previous versions. To this end, Microsoft have made SQL 2005 available as an EBS 20008 component to prevent any possible issues with customized Line-Of-Business (LOB) applications. This will last for approx. 1 year.

EBS 2008 aims to make medium sized businesses more efficient and cost effective, and helps to reduce the workload for system administrators. The inclusion of System Center Essentials means that admins will be able to track assets, install patches and updates, deploy software packages and more all from the EBS Central Admin Console.