Doctor Who?

So I have realized that I have become a full on Doctor Who junkie.  I guess watching 4 seasons in 2 weeks can do that to someone.  Since I got back to the states I have been watching Season 5 at a slower pace.  I purchased the previously aired season 5 episodes on Amazon streaming and I am all caught up there, and ready for BBC America to air the last few.  Luckily my car pool buddy is also a fan and we spend a ton of time talking about all things Who on our trips to and from work.  If finally realized what a Dr. Who nerd I have become the other night when I realized I had spent over an hour researching Dr. Who costumes for the huge costume party we attend each year at Halloween.  This research was two fold, one I hate dressing up like some crazy character (Batman last year) and two, I wanted something more comfortable that I might bet a 2nd use out of (like a cool leather jacket).  Anyway, it is a great show and I am really hooked on it.  My wife has started watching some of it with me and seems to like it pretty well so that is good.  Anyway I am glad it is Friday, ready for a nice relaxing weekend.  I am hoping to finish upgrading my machines at home to Windows 7.  I still shamefully have some Vista lingering about my home network .

This makes me unhappy: I spent a good deal of time this week and last on the phone with Microsoft, and I have determined that Exchange 2007 is to email what Windows Vista was to the PC Industry a great big #fail.  It is overly complex and has bugs and problems that Microsoft will not even begin to explain.  I have argued for almost two weeks with a support engineer and his co-workers about a journaling problem we have been fighting.  They keep telling me they are going to research an article that will document my problem.  So far they have not been able to produce one document that covers my issue and pertains to Exchange 2007.  They have sent me documents for Exchange 2000 and 2003 but nothing that says Exchange 2007.  I think they are reluctant to document issues like the one we are facing because they were supposed to be fixed in newer versions.

Our issue is this: When we turn on Journaling to our public folders (Which we have done for over 10 years in older Exchange versions) the journaling mailbox grows to 2 or 3 GB while the store jumps up 20gb and the logs grow to match, in under 24 hours.  Their explanation is that bifurcation of the data happens and this causes this problem, this is a horrible lie.  There is no way that could be the issue unless each message was huge, and sent to 20 people to cause this kind of growth.  Their next line was trying to tell us it was unsupported, but could not produce any documentation to support this for Exchange 2007, the article states this “Avoid message journaling to public folders in standard journaling mode or in envelope journaling mode.” Avoid, since when did avoid = unsupported, this was under the section of disk I/O.  We have a screaming fast SAN and disk I/O is not a limitation we face.  Now, high disk I/O and disks filling at a exponential rate of more than 10 do not seem related to me, but I could be wrong.

The article they sent was this one which states it applies to Exchange Server 2000 and 2003, not 2007.  I brought this up to the engineer who kept saying well if it applies to them it applies to Exchange 2007.  This is terrible logic.  If it applied to 2007, it would say it at the bottom of the knowledge base article.  The articles written for Windows XP do not apply to Vista or Windows 7… so how can one written for old version of Exchange apply to newer ones.  Supposedly Exchange 2007 was all new and special and bright and shiny, really it was just marketing spin for this is the best thing we can shove out the door now; until we can get the product redesigned out of beta (ie… Windows Vista, and the subsequent service pack called Windows 7).  Basically everyone that installs Exchange 2007 is testing the beta for 2010 just like Vista felt like a beta for Windows 7.  At any rate, none of this complaining is going to do me any good.  They are still going to make poor products, provide even worse support for them, and charge me for calling them to find out what I already knew.

I had stated to end this blog right after I said I planned to upgrade my remaining Vista Machines, but right before I could click Publish, the Microsoft Engineer assigned to my “support case” if you want to call it that called to see if the article his co-worker sent would placate me so he could close the case and charge our credit card for the “support”.  I told him to mark it closed because I am tired of going in circles with them.  They are not going to dig into the bug we are seeing.  I don’t know if it is the language barrier or just a general lack of concern but I never felt like they never got a good grasp of the problem, nor made any attempt to do anything other than just brush me off by telling me “Oh, what you are doing is not supported”.  So now at least we can move forward and start whittling away at the multitude of 3rd party solutions that pick up where Microsoft leaves off.  Did I say I was glad it was Friday yet?

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