Thursday, 26 November 2009

Microsoft's strange decisions


I know it may seem like I am trying to find fault with everything but my aim was to help those that might be having trouble. It wouldn't be much help to anyone if I simply said everythings great, some stuff doesn't work but we fixed it. I like Microsoft (not a thing many techies would say), I am very impressed with Windows 7 and some of the funtionality in Server 2008 is great.

That being said some things Microsoft has done seems like it is just making more work for everyone. Removing some the most useful features and releasing new products that are incompatable.

First there was the decision to remove NTbackup from Server 2008. True there is a replacement in Windows Server Backup but this does not let you backup to tape (we invested in 19.2TB of tapes not too long ago), it cannot backup Exchange (critical to any business), you cannot backup individual shares, files or folders but instead it must be the entire volume, if you automate it you have to backup the C: drive (or the drive containing your OS) and it won't backup drives over 2TB (no use for any of our NAS servers).

It also decided to make Exchange 2007 64bit only. Another upgrade needed.

So you have gone to Windows 7, you need Server 2008r2 for all the advantages and the tools like VPN-less networking and the full features of remote desktop? Well you cannot run Exchange 2007 on Server 2008r2. Microsoft wants you to install Exchange 2010. We were one of the first schools to install Windows 7 and to be honest, maybe we should have waited. Being released at the end of the school summer holidays left little time for fixing any problems that arise. We tested the RC without problems but when you go live with around 1,500 users it is obviously going to give you different problems and with not a lot of support out there. We will not be one of the first to implement Exchange 2010.

We have Exchange 2007 running on Server 2008 and Windows 7 clients in our school and currently no way of backing up mailboxes (our paid for solution does not support 2007 and our IT spend frozen until the school goes through BSF). But wait, there is an Exchange 2007 SP2, great. It includes backup functionality, super. It is 32 and 64 bit, wonderful. I don't know why it wasn't on our Volume License Agreement downloads page. Now when will be able to install it, not until next summer? Oh, and it still won't work on 2008r2.