For those just looking for “What’s New” and the official Release Documentation for SBS 2011 Standard Edition those are found here:
It seems that the Premium Edition is rebranded as a “Premium Add-on” though it is the same thing as before. BTW there isn’t a Premium download as of yet.
IMO this release looks and feels much more like an R2 rather than a full revamp of the platform. Kudos to Hilton Travis for that idea. Perhaps the R2 branding is being dropped from the Microsoft marketing lexicon branding wheel.
After having gone through a lab build out and poked around in the UI, I can say that the reworked RWW page is nicer with its published “Shared Folders” visible much that same as previously seen in WHS. Using SharePoint Foundation 2010 will make for a richer and more easily adoptable teamwork platform. The improved and renamed “Internet Address Management Wizard” simplifies setting up a public domain name complete with DNS records creation if hosted at Enom or GoDaddy. You can separately purchase the domain name and the wizard accommodates this …thankfully. The rest of the newness is attributed to Windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 SP1 including WSUS 3.0 w/ SP2 allowing for usage of Branch Cache. Also SQL gets a bump to SQL 2008 R2 Express (Std Ed) or SQL 2008 R2 Std (Prem) …FWIW
Plan on two rounds of updates. At not even weaned from infancy (or available from OEM’s) I downloaded 11 initial updates and then 36 more the second reboot go around. Wish the boys up top could avoid saddling every install with massive time taking patching. If this minor miracle of technology could be automated or avoided it would easily stimulate businesses with cost savings on the technology deployment that could be better spent on training and adoption of the new goodness.
As in SBS 2008 there is an Answer File Tool for creation of this file required if doing a Microsoft migration. Both it and an .html file tutorial are found under Tools off the root of the media (you have to create).
Speaking about media …since the download is a whopping 6 + GB in size no mere mortal DVD will do. As alluded to by many already …plan on building a bootable USB drive. Tim Barrett’s helpful and well written tutorial works exactly as advertised. Per the suggestion of a colleague I’ve also tried a cool Open Source tool “UNetbootin” which made the bootable USB drive a synch by merely pointing to the .iso and clicking OK (expect it to take over 30 minutes). I’ve also confirmed that the Dell Systems Build and Update Utility recognizes both the Tim Barrett method and the UNetbootin method created USB Flash Drives as ‘OS Media’ and will succeed in installing SBS 2011.