back to article Microsoft's support tweaks leave some email admins out in the cold

Microsoft’s wonky Exchange Server roadmap has claimed a high-class victim in Redmond’s 22 October OS launch assault, as its recently released Exchange Server 2007 SP2 won’t support Windows Server 2008 R2. The software giant quietly revealed the decision in a backwater blog post on Monday. "Two primary technical points drove our …

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FAIL

What?!

Bahahaha - and Microsoft wonder why us sysadmins refuse to upgrade to a new OS or system application for the first year or so, or more in the case of server operating systems.

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Boffin

A wizard that's...

Oh, yes. I _so_ enjoy upgrading OSs and mail servers. It's definitely my idea of a great evening. Oh, wow! Can I? Please? Let me! Let me! Let me!

<rolls eyes>

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Thumb Down

Meh...

2 words: modular systems. Windows is so entangled that one little change breaks everything.

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N2

Here we go again

“We felt that thoroughly validating the combination of Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2 allowed us to focus on delivering great solutions which would be fully tested and would support the features of Windows Server 2008 R2,”

Which loosly translated means: Weve created yet another abyss into which the customer must take a leap of faith along with a very large cheque.

Thanks for fuck all

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WTF?

Rubbish article

Why would a service pack for a 2 yr old mail server, one that's being replaced shortly, support an as yet unreleased to the general public server OS?

And the main Exchange Team blog is hardly a backwater blog.

Anti MS fud again. Go after GMail, you can't run their software on any server OS, not that any competent business would want to.

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Why on earth....

...can't the mail server run on any version of the OS?

Postfix runs on:

* Debian Linux packages.

* FreeBSD port of Postfix source code.

* Gentoo Linux packages

* IRIX packages by Tom G. Christensen.

* Mac OS X packages.

* Mandriva Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* NetBSD ships with Postfix built in.

* OpenBSD port of Postfix source code. * Debian Linux packages.

* FreeBSD port of Postfix source code.

* Gentoo Linux packages

* IRIX packages by Tom G. Christensen.

* Mac OS X packages.

* Mandriva Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* NetBSD ships with Postfix built in.

* OpenBSD port of Postfix source code.

* RedHat Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* RedHat Linux packages archive by Simon J Mudd for Intel, Alpha and for System 390 :-).

* Slackware Linux packages.

* SuSE Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* Ubuntu Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* CentOS (Japanese localised) packages by Keitaro Yoshimura.

* RedHat Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* RedHat Linux packages archive by Simon J Mudd for Intel, Alpha and for System 390 :-).

* Slackware Linux packages.

* Solaris packages by Ihsan Dogan.

* SuSE Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* Ubuntu Linux ships with Postfix built in.

* CentOS (Japanese localised) packages by Keitaro Yoshimura.

and can work with LDAP and probably active directory. I know we use distro packages generally - but most versions of Postfix can probably be compiled to run on most versions of the OS's.

Can someone tell MS that the OS is supposed to be an operating system - I.e. a layer between the applications and the hardware.

This is actually quite serious.

Software projects either get bloated and untidy and fix upon fix upon bodge eventually means that no-one can understand it (problems are then unfixable and the system has to be replaced form scratch) - or, if it's done well, it gets honed and continuously refactored to make it leaner and leaner.

I would say that MS have now lost control of the 'story' behind two of their major products. Let's read the article - one of their versions of a major server application can't run on one of the current versions of their (only) major operating system.

So - MS - for all their money and resources and smart people can't - just simply *can't* - get this application to work reliably on one version of their operating system.

My view - this is not simply a matter of MS trying to get more money. No-one currently at MS understands completely either Windows Server or Exchange. I think we're nearing the end-game of the bloatware. My feeling is that some point soon there are going to be problems which are unfixable.

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FAIL

@ Kevin Bailey

I know you're keen to trash Exchange/Windows, but repeating entries to make your list look really long is a bit silly?

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Boffin

It's not really big news

Every Exchange 'upgrade' has been a pain and riddled with caveats and hurdles. Surely no-one should be surprised that this is just more of the same again.

On the other hand, Lotus Domino... consistent upgrades and far less fussy about the OS. I couldn't imagine IBM telling it's customers that they'll have to build new servers and migrate the mail boxes over. It just doesn't happen.

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Silver badge
Gates Horns

The end is nigh for MS

As others have mentioned, MS have gotten to the point that their OS and apps have such a terrifying number of inter-dependancies that no one is really sure what is going on. Good coders know that good code is always loosely coupled. Microsoft have forgotten this somewhere along the line and have created what is without a doubt the most tightly coupled software suite in the short history of computer programming.

They have gotten to the point where they are finding it increasingly difficult to make their different apps interoperate without problems. They seem to have a lets-run-it-on-this-and-fix-the-parts-that-break method of getting everything to co-operate.

They can't keep it up forever.

*sigh* I'm soooo sick of the BillG icon. Surely it's time for a refresh?

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Troll

RE: Why on earth....

None of this is "quite serious" at all.

Firstly Postfix and Exchange aren't really in the same ball park. You could probably compare the Hub Transport component of Exchange 2007 however this component would probably be the easiest to validate on Windows 2008 R2.

Other components like the Client Access Server do tie into other services that ship with the OS such as IIS and the cluster service. So it's clear that you would want MS to validate 2007 SP2 against 2008 R2 RTM code especially as it's going to be one of your employer's most important systems.

If you'd read the article and actually understood, Windows 2008 R2 isn't yet "launched". When it is launched, so will Exchange 2010 which means the current version of Exchange will work on the current (and previous) version of the Server OS.

I am also aware that 2008 R2 RTM has been available on Technet, MSDN and Volume Licensing for a while now but don't forget 2007 SP2 has been on general release for a while too.

Many organisations aren't going to be able to upgrade their production server stock to Windows Server 2008 R2 straight away anyway and the reason is nothing to do with MS. It's got more to do with third party vendors, such as backup vendors.

The reality is Exchange is the market leader and for good reason. If articles like this are the best people can do to knock it, then it's doing pretty well.

PS, Kevin, try Exim instead of Postfix.

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Wise decision

Very good. The less chaos - the better. All the development and testing time must be used to ensure [Windows 2008 R2 + Exchange 2010] SOLUTION has the minimum bugs possible at the release date.

People want what Java initially promised - "Write once, run everywhere". Good theoretically but in practice that was "Write once, TEST everywhere".

The same can be valid for the Windows 7 x64 and Office. I do not need OS only for business, I need solution for workspace. So I will upgrade all desktops when Windows 7 x64 and Office 2010 x64 will be available and fully integration tested.

The mixes can maybe mean something to those who are not on software assurance and need to pay for new licenses. But if licenses are the problem, just do nothing and save on all licenses for another 3 years until Windows 2013/Exchange 2013 are released, and then you can save again waiting for Windows 2016/Exchange 2016. You will also save on hardware.

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FAIL

RE: Why on Earth ... Bloated list

You really did some list padding there,

Almost everything is mentioned two times, why, you need to install post-fix twice to get it to work or something ?

I would also count all the various Linux distributions as the same (Linux kernel version) OS, repackaged by the company that created the Linux distribution. (And so does most of the OSS world BTW).

the same goes for the BSD variations (including MAC OS X) they are all the same kernel, repackaged, but the same OS. You also don't mention the amount of work people like Keitaro Yoshimura and Simon J Mudd had to do to get their packages to work.

And to make your list even longer, Post-fix is also available on the windows platform.

All that aside, there is a big difference in functionality between a full unified messaging and collaboration solution like Microsoft Exchange 2007 and a simple dime a dozen email handler like post-fix. for instance does post-fix do calender sharing or resource planning ? How about PABX integrations or recieving Faxes. (without add-ons)

Sorry to come down on you like that, but comparing post-fix with Exchange really is comparing Apples with Oranges.

Oh and some of you may now think that I am pro Microsoft or anti Linux (OSS) , this is not the case, I am a email admin on both platforms, with multi year experience with Post-fix, Sendmail Lotus Notes and MS Exchange and think this kind of MS bashing is soooo last century, not to mention career limiting. as a professional sysadmin you must be prepared to support whatever comes your way.

Rob.

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Silver badge
FAIL

as if...

...Exchange 2007 wasn't messy and expensive enough...

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Happy

ffs

@Kevin, couldn't agree more.

@By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 25th September 2009 19:08 GMT, while I agree with the blog statement you made the rest is tosh, read Kevin's comment, then read it again, rinse and repeat until you understand it, eedjut.

Great article and a warning for those who are about to embark on this adventure. I.T's stressful enough without this sort of thing fucking you up all the time. Cheers MS, another spectacular balls up.

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Gold badge

Email doesn't change much.

Given the nature of email and the fact email technology doesn't change that quickly, why would anyone upgrade a working 2007 install to 2010? Ok there's some collab functionality like meeting requests, but 2007 has all that.

Sure, there's support and security fixes, but this sounds like Microsoft are forcing people to upgrade.

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Megaphone

Exchange server on a what??

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with installing Exchange on a domain controller.

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Grenade

@Kevin Bailey

"I think we're nearing the end-game of the bloatware. My feeling is that some point soon there are going to be problems which are unfixable."

That is my perception as well... its a train wreck waiting to happen...

The first foot to fall was when servers became dedicated to one application... this conveniently side-stepped many of the bloatware issues and obscured the problems behind security and performance considerations...

This story indicates that the second foot is just begin to fall... I have always viewed Exchange as delicate and demanding while it should be simply robust... my guess is that SharePoint is heading in the same direction...

This overall perception is reinforced whenever I hear of delays in getting the Small Business Server bundle packaged for market... and if you take the view that Windows 7 is just a Vista service pack then the second foot has already fallen... perhaps that is why so many people view Vista as a train wreck....

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Thumb Up

Re: Wise decision

"just do nothing and save on all licenses for another 3 years until Windows 2013/Exchange 2013 are released, and then you can save again waiting for Windows 2016/Exchange 2016. You will also save on hardware."

An excellent idea... which seems to be increasingly understood...

Why go through all those years of paying and pain? NO IDEA!

Who benefits? NOT THE CUSTOMER!

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Some unusual dependencies

Exchange has an Installable File System driver which presents the Store as a file system. In Exchange 2000, this was presented as drive M:, but since Exchange 2003 it has not been mapped as a drive letter, so that anti-virus and backup tools don't randomly lock 'files'. Various parts of Exchange, such as Outlook Web Access, use this file system.

This driver was what prevented Exchange 2003 from being installed on a 64-bit OS, because the driver was 32-bit and Windows requires that the drivers match the OS. I can imagine that the driver from Exchange Server 2007 isn't compatible with a new version of Windows, which despite its minor version number tweak has significant changes to the kernel. It is Windows 7 Server, rather than Windows Vista Server.

It's not about blocking a service pack - it's that NO VERSION of Exchange Server 2007 will work on Windows Server 2008 R2. Not supported. The discussion of domain controllers is around ensuring that if you upgrade your DCs to Server 2008 R2, thereby upgrading the schema, that Exchange will still work - Exchange uses Active Directory as its configuration database and user directory. It has never been a recommended configuration to run Exchange directly on the domain controller - this doesn't stop people doing it, of course.

For the moment, anyone introducing a new Exchange 2007 server into their environment will have to choose Windows Server 2003 - in mainstream support until July next year, extended support until 2015 - or Windows Server 2008 (not 'R2'), in mainstream support until 2013. You should normally have at least one dedicated Exchange server anyway, rather than combining roles, so there is no reason to use the new OS.

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Oh come on now

If you're the least bit surprised by something like this, you haven't been working in IT long enough...

Moving along, nothing to see here.

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I've got one word for you .......

Domino.

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