I love Vlad's straight talking. If you get a chance read the whole of the blog entry Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Windows Server 2003 SP2 EEULA & CYA because as far as I am concerned he is preaching to the converted.
I will stand by my view that Service Packs are tested as much as possible, but you need to do your own validation (see Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others thi) to ensure that your application vendor is also happy to support their products on that service pack. If you only have MS products, check the release notes AND SUPPORT.MICROSOFT.COM as both may well have important information.
I've extracted part of Vlads process to avoid a bloody head - read his post for more as people like Susan Bradley wishes she had :-)
However, a part of me wonders just how heavy the rock was. You know, the one that he was under since Microsoft started releasing service packs. As painful as the above is to read, and as painful as this process has been for him, this outlines the fundamental lack of respect for change management we have in the IT industry.
First, where is the full backup of the server that this was done on. At the very least this would have allowed him to take the server back to the last known good configuration.
Second, where is the test system on which he checked Act 6.0 for compatibility?
Third, never change more than one thing. If you installed the Service Pack and it broke things, do not proceed to install drivers (that likely have not been tested with the said service pack) and do more exotic changes.
Fourth, test, test, test, test. Forget about the stuff you should have done before you patched, too late to setup a test vm, too late to do a full backup, too late to check the app vendor for advisories related to the patch, too late. You’re patched, there is a whole new world on your network. Isn’t the first thing to check all the workstations and rerun MBSA, performance testing, reset the performance counter on both server and workstations, build new baselines, etc? If not, why?
Perparing for a Service Pack
There are a few simple things you can do to minimize your chances of a 35 hour support call:
Sun, Jun 24 2007 2:14 AM
Filed under: SBS 2003, Support and Tools, Security, Community, Windows Server 2003, SBSC, SBS 2003 R2, Small business, Partner, Service Pack, System Update, If you only read one post today