In late February, Microsoft finally shipped its full-fledged integrated server suite based on the standard editions of Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1), SQL Server 2000, and Exchange 2000 Server. Microsoft BackOffice Server 2000, which targets the midsized business market, features a new integrated, turnkey setup program and simplified management tools that facilitate administration. The suite also features shared modem and fax capabilities as well as Win2K Server Terminal Services-based tools for remote administration; these features are similar to the tools that appear in Small Business Server (SBS) 2000, which targets businesses with fewer than 50 PCs.

For the first time, users can install BackOffice Server in the new MultiServer mode, which lets users distribute various server applications across as many as three servers. "The MultiServer Deployment Wizard lets you install BackOffice 2000 on up to three separate servers," says Tracie Edwards, lead product manager for BackOffice Server. "This makes deployment much easier. The Setup Wizard goes through the dependencies, making sure it's deployed correctly."

BackOffice Server comes with SQL Server 2000, Exchange 2000 Server, and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000. Also included in the suite are Systems Management Server (SMS) 2.0, Host Integration Server 2000, and the new Health Monitor application that works across multiple servers with the MultiServer feature.