Do you need Microsoft Support?
Following on from Karl’s post about the quality of Microsoft PSS for SBS 2003, I’ve seen a couple of posts which have amazed me. Apparently, there are some people out there who don’t ever need support from Microsoft and think anyone calling PSS is some king of incompetent fool. Apparently, if you follow all the best practices and generally go by the book nothing will ever go wrong. These people know so much about this product, that it’s a sign of mental weakness to pick up the phone and ask for help! In fact one such person hasn’t had to reboot one of his servers for about 1.5 years while still patching them! Wow, is he running Windows? Is he sure someone hasn’t sneaked in and replaced it with Linux? Maybe all these patches were applied using the Windows “hot patching” facility that we all use all of the time. I’ve noticed this kind of behaviour quite a bit in the IT sector, it’s a kind of machismo where you must assert your superiority (or pretence of it?). It’s the “I always do things perfect” or “my systems never fail”, so underlying this is people trying to say “I’m better than you” syndrome! Well, actually I live in the real world and know that complex IT systems (which IT system isn’t complex?) fail for many and varied reasons and being a software developer with 15 years experience with both development and test knowledge, I know no system is bug free. You just haven’t found the set of circumstances that will highlight the failure case. But, I guess these people could rewrite the Windows source code anyway, it’d only take them a weekend. What’s so hard about that? Can’t you do it?
So, of course we need Microsoft’s Support and need it to be of the highest quality. I can’t comment on Microsoft PSS myself, not having used it myself but I’m glad it’s there. However, if someone like Karl is pissed off then there’s a damn good reason for it!