Support Learnings of Exchange

A happy New Year to you all – may it be peaceful and prosperous. To help you on your way, I urge you to read this article from Ross Smith IV on the EHLO blog:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2015/01/08/concerning-trends-discovered-during-several-critical-escalations.aspx

now you may read this and, if you’ve read my outpourings over the last few years, remark on the similarity… all I can say is “this is because I’m not lying to you”.

So what does Ross call out?

Software patching. He recommends you be on the latest patch, or the next oldest. I also recommend you leave it a week or so after release before contemplating investigating it, so that you are aware of all the issues that are introduced in the latest patch.

Change control. The article points out the necessity of implementing change control for ALL changes, including the simple ones; on the distaff, change control should not be an excuse for inaction. If your change control process is so sclerotic nothing ever happens, that is just as bad. Possibly worse…

 Complexity. Complexity is the enemy. It leads to unpredictable failure, and “grey areas” where everyone just shrugs their shoulders and says “not my problem, boss.” There is a conflict between solution architects, who relish devising clever solutions to complicated problems, and operations, who want to run solutions as cheaply as possible, and therefore prefer the simple. With a move to shared services, it is imperative* that we consider reducing complexity in everything we do.

Ignoring recommendations. Respect my authoritah! Not because I know more about it than you do, but because I’m speaking to people who do. People like Devin Ganger.

 Deployment practices. You didn’t fill in the role requirements calculator, did you? Or maybe you did, but made up all the input? your users get 4 mails a day. Yes they do. Uhuh. Perhaps you followed the advice from a vendor to turn off background database maintenance while running jetstress? There’s a reason they don’t write that stuff down, you know. Time spent here saves a geometric amount of time (and money) later on. You can’t repair bad design. By the way, there is no law against running through the role requirements calculator every now and then. I’ve checked. It’s a very interesting exercise.

 Historical data, AKA baselining, AKA capacity planning, call it what you want. If I had a pound for every customer that was surprised when they ran out of resource, I’d have 13 pounds. I’ve run webex sessions ion how to do this in the past – if you’d like me to run one again, let me know.

*you should now have at least a line in this week’s game of “captain kirk buzzword bingo”.

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