Has anyone found anything good about Microsoft servers yet?

I’m not really bashing their workstations, i’m actually quite fond of Vista on my laptop.

However, when it comes to servers, I view being in an environment where Microsoft is the PRIMARY operating system by a factor of 20:1 as a form of torture akin to having my finger-naiils pulled out or being tied to a chair and forced to listen to “Barney” all day.

What I hate most about Microsoft – (and if I keep this up, I’m going to have to rename this site to Microsoft-Hates-Me.Com) – is that it can’t handle the simplest tasks.

For a split-mirror backup, whether it be TimeFinder/Mirror, TF/Clone, or TF/SNAP, the process is the same:

1.  Freeze the database / filesystem
2.  Snap the volumes.
3.  Thaw the database / filesystem
4.  Mount the volumes on your media server host.
5.  Back the filesystems up.
6.  Unmount the volumes from the media server
7.  Terminate the Snap session

Seems pretty basic.  Microsoft seems to have trouble with #4 and #6.  Seems this “Super OS” they’ve got can’t handle the idea that SCSI devices might go on and off the bus at different times. 

EMC gives a tool, TFIM (TimeFinder Integration Modules) at at least allows you to perform the commands that Microsoft doesn’t even make available, mount, unmount, flush, etc.   But god forbid you reboot a host while the SNAPS are inactive or the BCV’s are established (and thereby not ready to the host).  You’re screwed.

Can *SOMEONE* please write a decent SCSI driver for Windows?  Please?


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    • on February 12, 2007 at 7:30 pm
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    In the *small business* where it originally got it’s foothold I still think it’s pretty decent. If you’ve got an all windows shop already, it’s far easier for someone who knows *NOTHING* about setting up a server to get active directory rolling with some windows shares, than the typical LDAP/samba kludge that is linux.

    Granted, I go for the samba route myself because I

  1. The main problem with that is Microsoft defaults to being wide open. Still to this day the only way to get DoD security out of a windows box is to disconnect it from the network and turn it off.

    Just like the TPM hardware on my laptop. When it comes down to it, Trusted Platform Management is a great thing for insuring that the harddrive can’t be taken out of one laptop and put into another, such as when you replace a drive and recycle the old one, the data then is useless.

    However keeping the key with the lock, IE the encryption key with the harddrive that’s encrypted, is six different kinds of useless.

    • on February 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm
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    Admsnap is another piece of EMC command line software that provides flush capability for when you want to script snapshots on clariion. (tells it to dump cache to the disk so you have a cogent snap) Also mountvol allows you to mount and unmount volumes in windows. Now the implementation of a lot of emc’s software which uses snapshots, vss, solutions enabler makes the majority of the operations more complicated than they need to be and provides very little in the way of troubleshooting operation issues. For instance you shouldnt need to use vss to mount a volume unless it is being mounted to the same host which would be in a cluster (disk signatures changing and resources not being able to come online) or your using (god forbid) dynamic volumes spanning mulitple luns (once again changes disk signatures and has the potential to make all your data go away). Vss has quite a few updates to fix problems with its implementation which once again in my opinion isnt really needed most of the time. I just found your site and am enjoying it. Have a good one.

  2. Yeah, the other part of that, contained in the SIU (Symmetrix Integration Utilities) is Admhost, which provides most of the same functionality.

    Glad you are liking it. This started out as more of a place for me to vent, but I’m finding I’m learning much, and hopefully passing on some of my experiences as well.

    At this point, this is left to the poor sod who comes in to replace me, as all of my energy right now is making sure that they don’t fall COMPLETELY on their face come monday.

    • on March 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm
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    Use Storport drivers, not SCSI port drivers. Both QLogic and Emulex have HBA StorPort drivers.

    Issue solved. Not very diffucult.

    If you can get over your irrational view on MS technologies, you would save yourself headaches.

    Its really quite annoying and honestly detracts from the value of your ‘blog’.

  3. Dude – an irrational view of something ceases to be so when embraced by a majority of others. Like it or not, you are not in the majority.

    The fact that there are two different types of drivers for two different types of applications and neither of them fulfills 100% of the needs only serves to illustrate this point.

    I can count the number of Microsoft true beleivers I’ve worked with in my life without using my toes, including you. Most “right-thinking” people realize that a necessary evil is an evil nonetheless and do everything in their power to avoid it. I run linux on my laptop, I run a windows VM only because there are still a few things that I have to run windows for. Parallels desktop and Crossover have all but eliminated even that need. I am knowledgable enough to get through most Microsoft problems though I don’t really advertise it on my resume. I run enough microsoft in my corporate infrastructure to run Exchange as an email server ONLY because blackberry doesn’t make an enterprise server for Zimbra or other alternatives to Exchange. When they do I will switch in a cocaine-heartbeat.

    If this were an OS blog i would probably agree with you as to my , it’s kind of one-sided. But I complain about the things that need complaining about, and microsoft is usually somewhere on the list, ESPECIALLY from a storage admin standpoint.

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