Overclockers Australia Forums

OCAU News - Wiki - QuickLinks - Pix - Sponsors  

Go Back   Overclockers Australia Forums > Specific Hardware Topics > Business & Enterprise Computing

Notices


Sign up for a free OCAU account and this ad will go away!
Search our forums with Google:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 19th May 2017, 9:02 PM   #23701
looktall
Working Class Hero
 
looktall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: brabham.wa.au
Posts: 22,810
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbb1935 View Post

Tried twisting the O365 arm and got "too expensive, lets do when we downsize" (~ < 6 months).... and today "why aren't we going O365".
And?
What did you tell them?
looktall is offline   Reply With Quote

Join OCAU to remove this ad!
Old 20th May 2017, 12:37 PM   #23702
elvis Thread Starter
Old school old fool
 
elvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 28,698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phreeky82 View Post
I can understand why people outsource email, but never understood why people were so eager to. One of the least demanding systems to manage, and most of the work (helpdesk calls) don't go away regardless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSanity View Post
From what i've seen - its because a shit ton of people have implemented Exchange poorly and/or have inherited systems implemented poorly.
Nah, you're both missing the bigger picture.

As someone else here said a while back (might have been PabloEscobar, might have been someone else, can't remember), "email" isn't just "email" any more. What folks actually mean is "GroupWare".

"Exchange" isn't enough any more. Email is not the one and only way we collaborate and communicate. What we want now are tightly integrated systems of information sharing. If you don't have an integrated email, calendar, IM, voice/video/online-meeting, document/spreadsheet, knowledgebase, wiki, support portal, etc, etc system, then you're already behind.

Is "Exchange" non-demanding to manage? Sure. Is Exchange + Lync/Skype + SharePoint + Office + a bunch of other shit? Now you're starting to get into a world of high effort, high cost rollouts.

And this is where Microsoft missed the ball (initially, they're catching up now finally). Microsoft won the day in a pre-internet world *precisely because* of integration. They had a bunch of products that were quite frankly pretty average by themselves, but the sheer attraction was the end-to-end integration between all their stuff. Then this thing called the Internet happened, and Microsoft's model fell apart.

You've got that old model: "Buy version X of 5 different major products, integrate them, wait 2-3 years, version X+1 is released, wait for it to be tested and patched to SP1 and ready, buy it all again at huge dollar cost, upgrade your shit at huge I.T effort and dollar cost, and do it all again in 3 years". Suddenly there's a new model: "Pay a monthly subscription, have someone else constantly upgrade little tiny pieces of it as you go". Ask yourself - what version of GMail is out right now? Answer: who the fuck cares, it's always the latest. Is it a bit devops/#yolo? Sure, but that's what we demand these days. Today's release is tomorrow's legacy.

That last point is ludicrously important for me. I've got fuck-all spare staff and spare hours to throw at upgrades. I've got a metric shitload of other business problems that aren't generic, that literally no other company on Earth can do for me, that I need very my very industry-specific crew working on full time without distraction. I can't throw them at periodic upgrades. Worse, massive upgrades aren't just technical problems. They're people problems. Adapting folks to change is exhausting, and requires far more skill than just upgrading a software release. I can't think of software as "current here and now" any more. Everything I install, I need to think about what will happen when it's legacy. Jesus, look at the NHS and what happened to them, stuck on WindowsXP. Nightmare stuff.

Why do *I* outsource email? For the reasons above. First, it's not just email. It's a suite of stuff (we use 20 odd different, fully integrated Google tools in production, with lots more available to us). And it's upgraded for us constantly in small increments that don't shock our user base. Along with that is a constant, silent infrastructure upgrade to go with it. Our industry needs to invest every single dollar spent on hardware it can into render power. Unlike most reading this, we are constantly waiting for faster hardware to appear. For most, some 50+ core, 128GB+ RAM box is total overkill for what they need to do. For us, it could easily be 10 times faster and still not be fast enough. With that in mind, I don't want to be worrying about hardware for my auxiliary services. The fact that every now and then Google email me and go "oh hey, we just upgraded all your users to an extra 5GB of storage each, don't stress about it" means I know they'll take care of those constant micro upgrades in hardware as well as software.

(And I say "Google" in all of the above because that's what we went with - Office365 with the full suite of tools is just as competent, but was 3 years too late and too expensive for our business. However it is a good fit for many places today, and IMHO an upgrade to Exchange for all the reasons I outline in this post).

If it was literally *just* email, I'd still have my trusty Dovecot server running. But those days are long gone.
__________________
Play old games with me!

Last edited by elvis; 20th May 2017 at 12:55 PM.
elvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 2:44 PM   #23703
wintermute000
Member
 
wintermute000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 729
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSanity View Post
From what i've seen - its because a shit ton of people have implemented Exchange poorly and/or have inherited systems implemented poorly. Honestly, I've come across 2 deployments out of probably 100+ that I would say "hey, someone did this right, and all it needs is a certificate now and then or a patch".

Like a lot of MS stuff - it will largely just work, even if you're an absolute retard - but it becomes troublesome and painful to manage/operate.

Removing the design and implementation of the infrastructure side of Email is an obvious advantage if you're struggling because your core infrastructure was junk - hence its attraction.

However If you don't have those problems thrust upon you - I firmly believe (and have experience with) that it is administratively more cumbersome to manage O365/G-Suite than it is to manage a well tuned Exchange 2010 onwards deployment.

Depending on when you got on board with 365/Google Apps, I'd argue that 2003 was still easier if you were kicking those tyres with the cloud behemoths in the early early days.
Are you factoring in hardware/storage/hypervisor/network/rack/power/cooling + redundancy and patching/upgrade and integration-into-XYZ work?
wintermute000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 4:52 PM   #23704
Daemon
Member
 
Daemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: qld.au
Posts: 4,731
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phreeky82 View Post
I can understand why people outsource email, but never understood why people were so eager to. One of the least demanding systems to manage, and most of the work (helpdesk calls) don't go away regardless.
Because it lowers the support calls further The calls do go away and on the rare occasions where there are issues with O365 / GApps... they're fixed far quicker than most Exchange failures.

End result is more time working on IT rather than working around shitty limitations and corner cases which take days to diagnose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSanity View Post
From what i've seen - its because a shit ton of people have implemented Exchange poorly and/or have inherited systems implemented poorly. Honestly, I've come across 2 deployments out of probably 100+ that I would say "hey, someone did this right, and all it needs is a certificate now and then or a patch".
I sell services purely based on the fact that MSP's are so good (read: days of downtime) at running Exchange in small offices. You'd hate to know how badly many of them are configured and how bad some of the systems really are. I still see Server 2003 with Exchange 2007 in active service, how they're missed is beyond me.

What's more, many of them quote many thousands to migrate to O365 for sub-10 mailboxes to ensure it's "too expensive" to move away. Even CBB's system could be migrated within a week, it's such trivial work with the right tools. So many cowboys out there unfortunately, if you've seen Exchange deployed and well maintained then you'd be in the minority.
__________________
Fixing the internet... one cloud at a time.
Daemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 5:02 PM   #23705
PabloEscobar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 9,122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
I sell services purely based on the fact that MSP's are so good (read: days of downtime) at running Exchange in small offices. You'd hate to know how badly many of them are configured and how bad some of the systems really are. I still see Server 2003 with Exchange 2007 in active service, how they're missed is beyond me.

What's more, many of them quote many thousands to migrate to O365 for sub-10 mailboxes to ensure it's "too expensive" to move away. Even CBB's system could be migrated within a week, it's such trivial work with the right tools. So many cowboys out there unfortunately, if you've seen Exchange deployed and well maintained then you'd be in the minority.
There's a bit of survivors bias there... You don't see the well managed Exchange organisations, because they aren't the as likely to meed your services. ("If its not broken, don't fix it")

My 4 Box Exchange 2013 setup has better uptime than Exchange Online .
PabloEscobar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 6:07 PM   #23706
elvis Thread Starter
Old school old fool
 
elvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 28,698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
There's a bit of survivors bias there
Perhaps, but you could also factor that in to yet another reason why out-sourcing to a large vendor like Google is popular. At least with Google the customer experience is identical across the entire customer base, and the minefield of trying to find a non-cowboy vendor is removed all together.

When we looked at options to dump our internal Exchange infrastructure, we did the due diligence and looked at local support, including hosted Exchange. What was blatantly obvious was that it was nigh impossible to find one that came with 100% consistently rated services, with a wide diversity of opinion on local vendors, large and small.

Google's uptime and track record is very public. It's not perfect, but it's out there for everyone to see, and you know you're getting identical service to everyone else no matter how large or small they are (important for SMBs, who always get shafted for the bigger customers when shit goes bad).

But again, that's just one part of the picture. The "email needs to be much more than email" argument above stands as the biggest reason I see people jumping across, along with the "constantly and silently upgrading and expanding features in the background" factor. We literally get extra features appearing in the list of stuff we get for the same price all the time. For example, we spent a while considering an expensive MDM. Out of the blue, Google gives it to us for free for the same price. Expensive upgrade project goes away, and we get an extra tick in our list of compliance items for zero business cost or IT effort.

The counter argument, of course, is if you don't need constant upgrades. But given that I work in an industry that's all about communication and is chasing the latest and greatest at every turn, it suits our business model to a tee.
__________________
Play old games with me!
elvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 6:18 PM   #23707
Diode
Member
 
Diode's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,546
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
My 4 Box Exchange 2013 setup has better uptime than Exchange Online .
That maybe so, we sort of found that our Exchange 2010 seemed to have less issues in the beginning, though things have seemed to settled down for us in Exchange Online land. We know part of the pain is from Microsoft constantly releasing new features and changing the back end, but that's exactly why people make the hop. Businesses are willing to have a little disruption in being able to deliver new tools faster. Exchange Online has worlds better compliance features and so easy manage compared to managing the same thing on-prem.
Diode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 7:14 PM   #23708
PabloEscobar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 9,122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elvis View Post
But again, that's just one part of the picture. The "email needs to be much more than email" argument above stands as the biggest reason I see people jumping across, along with the "constantly and silently upgrading and expanding features in the background" factor. We literally get extra features appearing in the list of stuff we get for the same price all the time. For example, we spent a while considering an expensive MDM. Out of the blue, Google gives it to us for free for the same price. Expensive upgrade project goes away, and we get an extra tick in our list of compliance items for zero business cost or IT effort.
The Cloud giveth, and the cloud taketh away.

I've not had any experience with Googles business offerings, but I am still bitter about the discontinuation of Reader. If they add a feature, and you invest heavily in it, and then they remove it... your investment goes with it.

I've got a clearly defined lifecycle for my Microsoft stack that I can use for future planning. Do google offer something similar for their products? or are they still calling everything "beta" so they don't need to support it.
PabloEscobar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 7:18 PM   #23709
Daemon
Member
 
Daemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: qld.au
Posts: 4,731
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
There's a bit of survivors bias there... You don't see the well managed Exchange organisations, because they aren't the as likely to meed your services. ("If its not broken, don't fix it")
Possibly, but generally we make the suggestion not the MSP (we mostly deal direct with the end customer). The percentage of systems we see without issues really isn't high. You've probably been lucky enough to work in decent environments, but whatever you do don't go looking at SMB land :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
My 4 Box Exchange 2013 setup has better uptime than Exchange Online .
And how many hours a month in maintenance and underlying OS patching? I have servers which have been running since before O365 was even a thing too, but it doesn't necessarily make it better.

If you have a bit enough IT team then Exchange may still make sense, but anyone with sub-5 IT staff should really be looking at outsourcing that and getting on with more meaningful tasks.
__________________
Fixing the internet... one cloud at a time.
Daemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 8:00 PM   #23710
PabloEscobar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 9,122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
And how many hours a month in maintenance and underlying OS patching? I have servers which have been running since before O365 was even a thing too, but it doesn't necessarily make it better.
OS patching is mostly automated, maybe 15 minutes a month.

A little bit longer each quarter for a CU. (It's on the cards to automate, but since CU8 fucked Outlook, there's a bit of trepidation around it).
PabloEscobar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 8:06 PM   #23711
elvis Thread Starter
Old school old fool
 
elvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 28,698
Default

[QUOTE=PabloEscobar;17553602]The Cloud giveth, and the cloud taketh away.

I've not had any experience with Googles business offerings, but I am still bitter about the discontinuation of Reader. If they add a feature, and you invest heavily in it, and then they remove it... your investment goes with it./QUOTE]

100% understood and appreciated. I too was a fan of Google Reader (and now have a paid subscription with The Old Reader, which spawned as a result of people getting upset with that vanishing).

BUT

Reader was not a business service. You can try and spin that it was, but it wasn't. Google's focus on keeping business products moving forwards, and even if they discontinue offering a superior alternative with data upgrade path, has been excellent.

So yes, there are pros and cons to "always upgrading". And I repeat, for our business, the pros far outweigh the cons when we need to be right up with the bleeding edge in order to stay competitive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
I've got a clearly defined lifecycle for my Microsoft stack that I can use for future planning. Do google offer something similar for their products? or are they still calling everything "beta" so they don't need to support it.
Two questions there. Do Google have a formal "lifecycle" per product? No. But specific to our industry, not a single vendor does. The products we use are mostly released on an annual basis ("Maya 2017", "Flame 2017", "Photoshop 2017", etc). There's a handful of vendors we have who allow us access to NIGHTLY builds that we use in PRODUCTION. How's that for fun?

We also have products that get acquired rapidly as is the nature of our industry. We pay company X for support, and then out of nowhere they get bought by company Y and we need to renegotiate support terms. That's just the way our industry works. It moves 10 times faster than everyone else, it seems. Across our 200+ industry-specific production applications, we're seeing an upgrade to at least 2-3 major applications every month. I say again: we just need to keep moving forwards. We don't have the luxury of sitting on the same version of something for 3-5 years, and that goes for our communication and group ware as much as anything else.

Second question: is everything always beta? No, that vanished when they offered business products. Everything we pay for is supported. And to be honest, Google don't change shit on us without notice. New products that are unrelated to anything else can get sprung on us (which is fine, as that doesn't affect us). But we'll always get 6+ months notice of a current product that's changing or going away, with a plan on how to migrate. For example, Google Talk turned into Google Hangouts with roughly a year of notice. No big deal, and it let our staff upgrade on a per-account basis, giving even the slowest plenty of chance to switch.
__________________
Play old games with me!

Last edited by elvis; 20th May 2017 at 9:33 PM.
elvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 8:12 PM   #23712
Frozen_Hell
Member
 
Frozen_Hell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,771
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
There's a bit of survivors bias there... You don't see the well managed Exchange organisations, because they aren't the as likely to meed your services. ("If its not broken, don't fix it")

My 4 Box Exchange 2013 setup has better uptime than Exchange Online .
Until you need to upgrade either the software and/or hardware, which to be the least disruptive to your end-users will have you working nights/weekends... who really wants to do that shit?

It has become a commodity, there are people doing it cheaper than you can do it on-premises and that is a fact. The company I work for has 36k staff and you can double that if you include contractors (both directly engaged and through partners), and we're in the middle of being migrated to O365. The end result for users is a far superior experience. And elvis above is absolutely correct, its not just email.. its the whole collaboration suite.

The only people sticking to running their own either are resistant to change - and honestly you're just making yourself irrelevant in this industry if you're doing so - or those that have ulterior motives, i.e. you're milking customers who run this stuff on-premises.

The other aspect is that if you're running this for in-house, then aren't there better things the company could be getting you to do with your time? You running a mail server is a lost opportunity cost for the company and for yourself really, as that is hardly developing your personal skills either is it?

A line I've seen stated a few times now is that in IT, you're only as relevant as the last 2 years of technologies you have been working with. I would suggest that is quite true, unless you're right on the bleeding edge of the next adoption wave, then you might get more mileage riding that wave - but then the longer you ride it, the more you've missed the next relevant thing too.
__________________
Flickr
Frozen_Hell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 8:23 PM   #23713
PabloEscobar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 9,122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen_Hell View Post
Until you need to upgrade either the software and/or hardware, which to be the least disruptive to your end-users will have you working nights/weekends... who really wants to do that shit?
Except its not 2000 anymore, and I don't. I've got a pretty simple 2 Node Dag. I can just shut one down in the middle of the day update it, wait for the database to sync, and then shutdown the other one.

Hardware upgrades are covered by virtualisation... Move server to new hardware, reboot to pickup new capabilities... done.

Software upgrades are the same. We're planning a move to 2016 at the moment, Thus far, it looks like this will be seamless to the users as well. I'll just move their mailbox from the existing dag to the new one, and the clients will pickup the change.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen_Hell View Post
The other aspect is that if you're running this for in-house, then aren't there better things the company could be getting you to do with your time? You running a mail server is a lost opportunity cost for the company and for yourself really, as that is hardly developing your personal skills either is it?
Running a mail server isn't a big imposition. I literally spend more time each week on the shitter than I do babysitting exchange.
While there are better things I could be doing with my time (more angry birds on the shitter obv), Moving to O365 really wouldn't free up that much time, and it would introduce cost (Current exchange is a sunk cost at the moment, This will change when renewal time comes around and will be revisited then).

Last edited by PabloEscobar; 20th May 2017 at 8:27 PM.
PabloEscobar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 9:46 PM   #23714
elvis Thread Starter
Old school old fool
 
elvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 28,698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
Running a mail server isn't a big imposition. I literally spend more time each week on the shitter than I do babysitting exchange.
I guess the point is that any time is still greater than zero time, even if it's minimal. Fair enough if you've got plenty of spare time anyway. We don't, with all the other insanity that goes on (some of which I've exposed in these last few posts) and such a small team to do it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloEscobar View Post
(Current exchange is a sunk cost at the moment, This will change when renewal time comes around and will be revisited then).
Which is where we got to - the end of the "sunk cost" cycle (and a long one at that), looking at renewing, and staring down the barrel of quite a large cost to get everything we wanted (again, much more than just email).

Outsourcing that shit just became the easy answer with minimal effort. And it's not the first thing we've outsourced either. Our support/trouble-ticket system got outsourced. Our job management tool got outsourced. And the split second other things cross over the cost ratio boundary, they'll get outsourced too.
__________________
Play old games with me!
elvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2017, 10:06 PM   #23715
shredder
Member
 
shredder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Dec 1991
Posts: 9,011
Default

Exchange wankers!!!

/runs off
shredder is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Sign up for a free OCAU account and this ad will go away!

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 7:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
OCAU is not responsible for the content of individual messages posted by others.
Other content copyright Overclockers Australia.
OCAU is hosted by Micron21!