Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) was the product everyone needed in the early 2000’s and earlier. It was their “Business in a box” offering that provided every service a small business (under 50 users) could want. Email, Calendar, File Sharing, Directory Services, DNS, DHCP, Webhosting. It was truly the go-to deployment for most companies.
I administered 3 different versions of SBS, and did a fresh deployment of 1 before Microsoft killed it off for their new hybrid-cloud solution of Microsoft Server Essentials paired with Office 365.
To be clear, SBS was not a perfect product, but in my experience, was a fine, affordable, one-time expense solution that worked for a great number of companies in my area.
So, the SBS pitch thesis went something like this, “I can give you the ability to login anywhere in your office, have professional email using your .com name, share files between computers, and all of this for a low entry cost of (WhateverTheBoxCosts) Dollars.
Easy to sell, you either want the stuff, or you don’t.
The Microsoft Essentials Pitch now goes something like “I can give you the ability to log in anywhere in your office, and share files between your computers for a low entry cost of (WhateverTheBoxCosts) Dollars, and if you want professional email and cloud storage and it’s between 8 and 15 dollars per month, per user, forever.
Less appealing right? You have a significant upfront cost, and then now I have also baked in overhead forever, that only swells as your company grows.
YunoHost describes itself as “a server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to as many people as possible, without taking away from the quality and reliability of the software.”
In practice, at least for my use case, YunoHost was an incredibly easy to deploy, rock solid Email, cloud storage, and web hosting platform. In fact you’re reading on a YunoHost box right now!
Deployment is very easy, they have well written guides for deploying on hobbyist platforms like Raspberry Pi, Certain ARM boards or business class Debian linux servers.
Installing on a Debian VPS can be as easy as 1 command, and then filling in forms as prompted.
curl https://install.yunohost.org | bash
That’s it, really. This platform is dead simple to deploy and would be easy to manage as any other Debian based appliance. This is the new business in a box. It supports SSO via LDAP, IMAP mail, two web mail clients, DokuWiki, NextCloud, XMPP based chat services, WordPress.
This is a platform I would like to see more clients use, here’s the pitch.
“I can give you the ability to log in using 1 set of credentials (directory services), regardless of what computer or device you’re at. You can have as many professional email addresses and users as you have storage for, cloud storage under the same limitation, group messaging, and total control of your data, all for the price of the hardware it runs on.”