Home > Windows > NT will hold back Windows Server 2003 NT will hold back Windows Server 2003 Eugenia Loli 2003-11-24 Windows 42 Comments The product holding back sales of Windows Server 2003 is Windows NT 4, according to analysts. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 42 Comments 2003-11-24 7:24 pm For many small to medium companies, the NT4 domain model is sufficient. If you have an NT4 domain implemented, why bother to upgrade (except for security patches, but for internal usage it is not really critical). You don’t need active directory to manage 50 workstations and a printer. Interfacer 2003-11-24 7:37 pm who said that again? I believe it! I think that there isnt enough incentice for users to upgrade, just like Interfacer said. If it is a security or stability issues people will upgrade (although even with newer windows machines you dont get rock solid security lol), but if it is for other reasons there isn’t enough reason to spend (how much?!) to get windows server 2003 2003-11-24 7:40 pm I would have figured it was the price. 2003-11-24 7:53 pm What about moving to Samba 3? Will it save cost and perform the same function of NT4 server services at the same time? 2003-11-24 7:56 pm Between NT4 and Windows Server 2003 lie the multiple versions of Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, Advanced server, Datacenter, Earth core, Galaxy nucleus,…, whatever). Why would any business owner rush to buy the latest offering from Microsoft when the 2000 products have been tested and patched over time ? Microsoft execs shot themselves in the foot when they told people that some of their current software wouldn’t run on Windows Server 2003. After all, was it really smart to assume that most corporations would be happy to ditch the software they had painfully customized for months ? I think people realize that it doesn’t make sense to use a Windows server for every task imaginable. The licensing scheme put forth by Redmond makes customers wonder why they should endure the hassle when better and reliable alternatives (linux and the BSD) are available. Case in point : why run an internal web server on Windows 2003 (and the related expensive hardware) when NetBSD will efficiently do the job on a 6 years old computer ? Microsoft has to understand that even the best con artist can’t pull out scams forever; sooner or later, dupes end up opening their eyes. 2003-11-24 8:02 pm Along with purchasing 2003 wont a lot of people need to also purchase virtual pc just to have the same functionality as NT4. Granted 2003 may have more options in other realms, but software compatibility is lacking for legacy apps. Also along the lines if It aint broke, dont fix it, is the knowledge that NT4 has suited their needs and they wont be any less productive with NT 4 now that 2003 is out. 2003-11-24 8:05 pm Business has better more important things to do than worry about moving to the latest version of software or operating systems. Like someone else said. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”. Now as long Microsoft doesn’t set out to break things on purpose their customers will remain happy. Otherwise they will be opening the door to other technologys that treat customers fairly….like Linux. 2003-11-24 8:09 pm Chuck Austin, the senior product manager for Kentucky Education Technology System, should have been fired a long time ago. Not only does he find it normal to waste taxpayers money on 3,500 Windows NT 4 servers and 50 Windows Server 2003 systems, he has the nerve to pretend that Windows allows schools to educate kids instead of spending time troubleshooting technology. Don’t tell me,…, he probably holds a MBA and is a MCSE. 2003-11-24 8:14 pm Just because it isn’t broken doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be fixed. Case in point, Windows 2003 may in some cases have a lower operational cost all around as compared to NT4, and if you can save enough money, it will definately be worth it to upgrade. 2003-11-24 8:20 pm Interesting that Alan Cox is working on his MBA. I wonder if he will lose his credibility in your view of course. Most people don’t look down on education. 2003-11-24 8:25 pm translation from the suits: “we really don’t know which software is cheaper to operate, but if we keep throwing terms at ya like ROI, TCO and ‘leveraging’…we’ll keep you guessing” re: CPUguy dude, there isn’t a shred of evidence that 2k3 will save someone money. and i’m glad you carried on with that theme by offering your own non-evidence. 2003-11-24 8:36 pm And I love how you didn’t really read my post, you are just trying to bash someone. Notice I said it MAY have lower operational costs for SOME cases. I, in no way shape or form, said that Windows 2003 had a lower TCO. 2003-11-24 9:01 pm What Microsoft is facing with Windows is the same thing any software company faces once it achieves a mature product. There comes a time when an application (or a server OS) does everything it was supposed to do and does it well, and after that point everything else added is bloat/cruft/complexity/candy. How do you convince people to shell out more cash for a new product when their old one does everything they need it to? You force them somehow. You introduce a new product that is incompatible with the old one, stop offering support/patches for the old one, and wait for the new one to reach a critical mass. That’s MS’s only option right now. 2003-11-24 9:05 pm My experience has shown that upgrading from NT4 to Windows 2003 Server also requires new hardware. So you get a double whammy – $$$$ for the software and $$$$ for the hardware. Small shops are also picking up used/refurbed or off lease equipment that is perfectly good to save $$$$. Not everyone can afford to drop $$$$$$ on bleeding edge hardware/software when a 1U P3 will do more than enough. 2003-11-24 10:36 pm Since Pig2003 might fly under some circumstances and hell2003 might be frozen in some parts we should upgrade to them? Don’t think so. Only when there is very good evidence (and I’m not talking about MS bought evidence but truely independent and qualified evidence) that MS 2003 is absolustly less expensive and more secure and more stable then people should consider it as ONE of the possible solutions along with Linux and BSD. Otherwise it shouldn’t be considered at all. 2003-11-24 11:03 pm Interesting that Alan Cox is working on his MBA. I wonder if he will lose his credibility in your view of course. Most people don’t look down on education. Actually, they don’t. Most people look down at idiots that think because they have a degree they suddenly know something. When it comes to IT, the two brightest and most effective people I’ve ever met and worked with have been self taught high school drop outs. Both worked with Ph.D.s from time to time and often tutored, mentored, or educated. Simple fact is, a piece of paper doesn’t make you smart. Furthermore, having a body knowledge (degree) doesn’t mean you know how to apply it effectively. 2003-11-24 11:04 pm Bleeding Edge: Because you go thru a lot of BLOOD, sweat, and tears to make it work how it’s supposed to. NOT an early adopter are we? 2003-11-24 11:09 pm One thing I’ve found looking at MS spec sheets is that the “base” model of their server OS keeps getting thinner with every new version. With NT4 there was only workstation and Advanced Server…most of the Advanced server features have been “migrated” to the Enterprise server [base W2k3 is limited in features and connections without more $$$]…as well as slapped with per-user CALs…you have to pay twice to get “upgraded” to what you already got! and if what you got still works… 2003-11-24 11:25 pm …simply doesn’t understand and might never understand. People/corporations don’t upgrade their mission-critical applications or servers as often as they are willing to upgrade their operating system and non-critical applications. This is one thing that will likely be a ‘thorn’ in Microsoft’s side for a very long time. The only major thing to push their newer servers onto corporations is to feign (or create) security issues in the older server domain models which ‘warrants’ the creation of a new domain model that the newer desktop Windows Operating Systems will ONLY be compatible with. They have to use their monopoly powers to force the market, which would be easy to do and also very illegal. 2003-11-25 12:25 am MSFT will be pitching the consolidation and migration line soon. 2003-11-25 12:28 am “One thing I’ve found looking at MS spec sheets is that the “base” model of their server OS keeps getting thinner with every new version. With NT4 there was only workstation and Advanced Server…” I’m not a fan of Microsoft, but your statement is purely wrong and very misleading. First of all, NT 4 had 4 versions, Workstation (1-2 cpu’s), Server (1-4 cpu’s), Enterprise Server (1-8 cpu’s), and Terminal Server Edition. Second of all, Microsoft has added a lot more features to even the base install over the years. This includes improved clustering, ipsec support, processor support, memory support, ipv6 support, plug and play, filesystem encryption, LDAP, kerberos, certifcate server, Terminal Server Administration Mode, and tons of other stuff. I could go through the list… but I have better things than list a thousand new features that you get free with the upgrade. 2003-11-25 12:35 am The large number of customers that use NT 4 are in no rush to upgrade to newer software or are in the process of moving to Windows 2000, analysts say … Gartner estimates that by the end of 2004, as much as one-third of NT 4 users will move to Windows Server 2003. “Two-thirds to 75 percent” will still be NT 4 customers by the end of next year OK, so in Gartner math, 1/3 (33%) (moving + (range:2/3 (67%) to 3/4 (75%)) + (large number of customers moving from NT4 to 2000) = 100% Then again, with 64 case studies, I’m guessing the margin of error is somewhere around 75% anyway. 2003-11-25 1:26 am Well, Samba2 and Samba3 outperform Windows 2000 and Windows 2003: http://www.itweek.co.uk/News/1144312 http://www.itweek.co.uk/ITWeek/itw_graph_1144289.jsp http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,17201,00.asp Taken from http://de.samba.org/samba/whatsnew/ Such isn’t the only factor ofcourse, however regarding performance and scalability Samba makes more sense (especially version 3). 2003-11-25 2:00 am Interesting that Alan Cox is working on his MBA. I wonder if he will lose his credibility in your view of course. Most people don’t look down on education. No he won’t because unlike most MBA’s, he’ll have a clue about informationt technology. Talk to you average MBA wizz-kid, they assume because their degree included a module covering Word, Excel, PowerPoint, an introduction to Access and Outlook, that suddenly they’re a computer genius and that they can tell all their IT people to bugger off. Behind EVERY business that collapses there is a wet-behind-the-ear MBA claiming that because he “studied” for 3 years, it makes him an all knowing and seeing guru of the business world. People who are successful are those who are not only qualified but actually realise when they’re WAY over of the depth. When that occurs, they LISTEN to the experts, in this case their IT department, and not the local merchant selling snake oil whilst claiming it can cure all ills whilst using pointless gobbly-goop like ROI, TCO, TCA and “developing a coherient synergy between the customer and business through an integrated B2B network” 2003-11-25 3:54 am reason to upgrade, a USB DiskOnKey. I don’t think NT 4.0 with service pack 5 or 6 supports USB. I know windows 2k (with no included service packs also doesn’t support USB.) NT 4.0 will run on a Pentium 75. 2003-11-25 4:03 am Coming from a Network Administrator that has worked in a NT 4 and Windows Server 2003 shopes. NT 4 is dead or dying, no matter how you look at it. The operating system is a headache just waiting to happen. You will save more money upgrading to – at least Windows 2000 – do to the fact of paying man hour to support the darn thing. I have spent one too many late nights restoring, and maintaining an NT 4 domain and server environment to almost shoot myself. Windows Server 2003 is a solid server operating system, I’ve been impressed since day one. I feel people will make the move when they are ready. Keep in mind the economy also, in this time of business companies are spending less and less on IT as a whole. Companies just don’t care anymore, and that’s the problem! Because the fact of the matter is, companies should care what they are running under the hood! Running something old as NT 4, you WILL run into MAJOR problems and just having a backup isn’t going to keep you safe! If not move to Windows Server 2003, then upgrade to Windows 2000 Server. Personally, Windows Server 2003 came out a little too early, because Windows 2000 Server is the best server OS I’ve ever administrated. 2003-11-25 4:12 am reason to upgrade, a USB DiskOnKey. I don’t think NT 4.0 with service pack 5 or 6 supports USB. I know windows 2k (with no included service packs also doesn’t support USB.) NT 4.0 will run on a Pentium 75. NT SVP6a had very basic USB support, Windows supports USB 1.0 100% 2003-11-25 4:21 am Education degrees help get jobs. I know a couple of knowledgeable tech people who can not get into the IT field because of no degrees. If you are a high school drop out with no experience and no degrees, it is even tougher to get a job in IT. The windows platform probably never will be mature considering too much changes between releases. Dominating the market doesn’t help the platform either. Microsoft has to provide some kind of incentive to make customers buy more. New features and more intergration. Once you are on top, the only direction left is down. So it is best to try to stay on top. 2003-11-25 4:24 am There is no doubt that Win2k3 is more stable and secure, OOB, than NT4. So are you saying that even if their are features in Win2k3 that you will benefit from over NT4, you shouldn’t upgrade unless it is proven to have a lower TCO, be more secure, and be more stable? Come on, you are obviously biased against Microsoft. 2003-11-25 4:52 am <<I would have figured it was the price.>> Actually the pricing of Windows Server 2003 is not that bad. 2003-11-25 5:03 am <<Microsoft windows is not a mature product. it is doubtful that it will ever be a mature product. its is simply an old product with a lot of stuff in it. maturity implies stability, security, ease of use etc. windows doesnt obtain any of those. (familiarity and ease of use are not the same thing)>> Actually, i find Windows XP and Server 2003 to be very stable, secure and very easy to use. What i think is a shame is that instead of evaluating the products for themselves, people, tend to go out and bash and put down Microsoft without ever testing the product. All they go with are problems that Windows 95 had, they tend to listen to other people who also know nothing of what they speak and come up with some problems in their head to try and discredit Microsoft. Windows XP was a definate step forward for MS as was Server 2003. By the way, Im not a Windows zealot. Most of my work life revolves around Linux and Solaris. But I do see myself deploying more Windows solutions as well as using Open Source solutions with Microsoft Windows systems. 2003-11-25 5:13 am << I don’t think NT 4.0 with service pack 5 or 6 supports USB. I know windows 2k (with no included service packs also doesn’t support USB.) >> NT 4.0 doesnt include USB support except through third party addons http://www.bsquare.com/products/usbwin40/default.asp That is just one example, others are available. Windows 2000 supports USB 1.1 as well as USB 2.0 with additional drivers. Windows 2000 has always supported USB. Windows XP supports USB 1.1 and 2.0 as well as FireWire 2003-11-25 6:42 am So I should just get NT then? That’s fine with me, I see copies from $15 or so. Win 2003 is the first Win that’s impressed me in quite a while. It has stackguard implementation, which helps in theory. It’s also subjectively quick running it as a workstation vs xp. I guess the only downside is the cost. I realize businesses will drop $4 to $16 k a copy without a problem. But for me, the only one that’s semi affordable is the crippled web edition. Even the old 2k server still commands pretty steep prices. So … my web server will be running nix. 2003-11-25 6:42 am Is MS still offering that free 6 month evaluation of Windows 2003? 2003-11-25 6:59 am http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/trial/default… I think u get activations on 4 machines. I’ve already activated about 3 times now. The SBS eval might be worth getting too. The extra two months really beats those 120 day 2k evals. 2003-11-25 7:03 am Actually, i find Windows XP and Server 2003 to be very stable, secure and very easy to use. I think they are relatively stable (I wouldn’t use them for any kind of server, but for workstation use they are just fine), but to tell the truth, I haven’t ever seen an OS more unsecure than Windows XP. Usability is quite good, although the default setting in XP are something too horrible to even think about. Also I find it funny that Windows still doesn’t include a functional command line. From what I’ve heard, Longhorn is about to fix that, but it is almost 30 years late. What i think is a shame is that instead of evaluating the products for themselves, people, tend to go out and bash and put down Microsoft without ever testing the product. All they go with are problems that Windows 95 had, they tend to listen to other people who also know nothing of what they speak and come up with some problems in their head to try and discredit Microsoft. Me too. Windows 2k/XP/2k3 still isn’t the pinnacle of stability and it still has a lot of problems, but so do all the others OS:s. What bothers me is that even when talking about the new Windows versions, instead of addressing the real problems in the system, people mention the horrible unstability and other issues that have actually been practically gone since 2k (well, NT has never been too bad in the department, but we’re talking about “general purpose OS”). 2003-11-25 10:14 am One: Microsoft doesn’t understand what a mainframe is optimized to do, so its claim that Win2k3 is capable of pushing aside mainframes is kinda cute. We’re talking about 5 9s availability and 64k of channel IO. Windows just does not cut it. Two: Microsoft’s current worst competition is with itself and its preinstalled user base who aren’t interested in going through the same old pain of learning everything anew again. They could actually make use of this preinstalled base by opening up that preinstalled source code – using the BSD/MIT license of course – and treating their preinstallation competition as co-developers. But they won’t. More fool them. And unfortunately Microsoft hasn’t yet worked out anti-trust plans to cut off Microsoft’s air supply, to keep from facing competition. But just you wait!!! Three: Is Microsoft really the Mecca-come-J’lem-come-Rome-come-Ganges of programming excellence and innovation? The Windows NT branch has long had an effective piece of virtualization at its very core, the Hardware Abstraction Layer or HAL.DLL – and it’s been working solidly for the last ten years or more. They could’ve migrated their task-switching, their device-drivers, and their networking code down into it, and had an IBM VM/370-style virtual machine without too much extra work. Or they could’ve migrated it upwards into userland and had something like the bochs, vmware, virtualPC, or so – except they’re too lazy to work and not lazy enough to succeed – and it’s easier to buy stuff when and only when you find there’s a market and competitors there, and you decide you want to own that market. 2003-11-25 11:14 am there are quite a number of things to think about when you switch from NT server to 2003 server: 1. the hardware upgrade cost – 2003 will not run on whatever NT will run on 2. the third-party software cost – you will have to upgrade almost all third-party software to make it work on 2003 3. the inhouse software cost – you will have to re-write most of your web pages and COM objects to make it work on 2003 essesntially, if you are just using the server for file and print, the pain of upgrading is manageable, but then again you may as well move to Linux or Novell with the same effort. otherwise, as an application or database server, you are in for a re-write with a lot of tecghnology hurdles in front of you. again, you may as well move to Linux or Novell with the same effort. why would you stick with NT? if you are using it as a file or print server, there is no need to upgrade. if you are using it as an application or database server, you are probably all too aware of the memory leaks in the operating system that causes your system to crash in a matter of days. these leaks can be found on the microsoft support pages pertaining to iis and mdac, for those who which to challange the statement. 2003-11-25 3:00 pm << I think they are relatively stable (I wouldn’t use them for any kind of server, but for workstation use they are just fine), but to tell the truth, I haven’t ever seen an OS more unsecure than Windows XP. Usability is quite good, although the default setting in XP are something too horrible to even think about. Also I find it funny that Windows still doesn’t include a functional command line. From what I’ve heard, Longhorn is about to fix that, but it is almost 30 years late. >> I have deployed Server 2003 as a FTP/Web Server during the SoBig, Blaster era and I had no problems. I got more e-mails with the virus as an attachment than I do care for but I didnt suffer any. Linux is shipped more secure but for Windows you have to know how to lock it down. I can see why MS does that because you would not believe how many people forget their root password during an install, believe me it has happened and has happened frequently. I think one can be made as secure as the other. For most people the Command Line is dead, GUI is the way to go now. Only hardcore Linux/UNIX geeks still have need for a command Line the only time you really need a Windows Command Line is if you are deploying MySQL or Apache like I do. Yes Apache runs well on Server 2003. 2003-11-25 4:00 pm [i]For most people the Command Line is dead[i] I think the curious matter is exactly that Win2k3 added CLI back for system administration. Since it is not the average guy job, and for remote access CLI did have some merit, CLI is not going away for the technical literate administrative staff. 2003-11-25 7:48 pm “For most people the Command Line is dead” And yet today I still see admins needing to drop out of the GUI to a dos prompt to: DELETE A FILE! because of an error when trying to delete from a GUI interface. 2003-11-25 7:55 pm “We want the schools to get back to educating kids rather than being technology troubleshooters,” said Chuck Austin, senior product manager for Kentucky Education Technology System.” Does this statement not put a chill down ones spine?