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Commentary from a long term NetWorker consultant and Backup Theorist

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Wait! Don’t apply that service pack!

Posted by Preston on 2009-11-06

Recently we’re seeing a lot of people upgrading to Windows 2008 SP2, without first checking to see that release notes and compatibility guides state that NetWorker doesn’t yet support this release.

I fully agree that this represents monumental slowness on the part of EMC … there’s absolutely no excuse – none whatsoever – for them not to be on the relevant developer programmes and partner programmes for all the supported operating systems so they get access to the new releases before they come out and then make sure there’s either hot-fixes or cumulative updates available to support new operating systems.

They don’t have to be on the same day, but it’s foolish short-sightedness at best that they don’t support a new OS release within say, 2 weeks of it hitting the general public, given that partner and developer programmes will give access to it for months in advance of that point.

Now, back to my original point – if you’re planning on rolling out a new service pack to an operating system, please take a few minutes to read the release notes or software compatibility guides – or ask your support team to fill you in, and if it’s not supported, roll out to a test client first so you can confirm the impact to your backup environment.

It takes two to tango – EMC needs to improve their response to new operating systems and new major updates to operating systems, but it’s equally important for people to remember to check these things before they upgrade, not after they get the first backup (or worse! recovery) error.

(Do I do these checks all the time? No – only in lab environments. It’s my job to identify bugs and issues before my customers find them as much as possible.)

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