Friday, November 19, 2004

Catfood, Dogfood it all Tastes Good

Sidebar: I appologize for not posting the past couple of days, I ended up taking a class, and also having an offsite. Combine that will a common cold, and there really isn't much free time to sit infront of a computer. As a result, I'm posting twice today (to kind of make up for lost time)

Microsoft has been dogfooding their own products for years. This means that Microsoft uses their own products first, in beta, release candidate and then finally in RTM. What many people don't know is that the Small Business Server team does the same thing, except we call it Catfooding.

Why Catfooding?

Well, it's a long story, let me explain, since I think it's kind of fun.

Microsoft also uses code names for each of our products because we start working on the product long before deciding what to call it. Windows Server 2003 has the codename Whistler (yes, after the mountain). When we sat down to give SBS 2003 a code name, we decided, well, it was built on top of Windows Server 2003, so why not pick a run on the mountain. Bobcat won the majority vote.

Since the choice of Bobcat as the code name, many things fell out of this

  • Bobcat Orange - for those of you who installed the beta 1, you probably remember it

  • FC Bobcat - The indoor soccer team that consisted of co-workers

  • and Catfood - the dogfooding network for Bobcat

So now you know what Catfood is, what do we do with it?

Well, using a single SBS box, we host roughly 70 users. Trust me, we're power users. Moreover, we probably have the biggest Active Directory you've every seen on a single box! So what hardware do we use? nothing too powerful

  • Dual Processor 2.8 GHz

  • 1 GB of Ram

  • RAID 5, SCSI disks

Sure it's a pretty heafty machine, but hey, it's got a pretty heafty load. Still, I've seen machines like this out there for 10 users! Wow! Administration is a little slow, but the users don't have any problems with use.

Catfooding is where it's at


Blair said...

This is not a comment on the post, but rather a question. I'm having a little trouble with my Xp Home Ed. and was wondering if someone could help. I'll gladly post or Email the issues but did not want to "clog the Blog" if nobody was interested or capible of helping me. Reach me at Email address:
Thank You very much,

Sean Daniel said...

What's the issue?

Susan Bradley said...

You know you are a geek when we spotted the renaming of the "Catfood" domain over the holidays last year from looking at the email headers. ;-)

Sean Daniel said...

Well... I guess it goes to show you can't suprise everyone. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean and community. Great people.

Don't know if this is the right area, if not I can repost somewhere else...

CO have LA office(1 sbs 2003, 1 nic, hardware firewall,dsl,10 users, 15000 contacts in exchange they want to share) and NY office(1 win2003 server, 10 users, dsl).

End result
They want the NY office to login and have LA host and share all doc's and exchange contacts from LA office.

I have setup a few SBS succesfully. Never replicated SBS or any other win boxes.

What is the best solution for this scenario? What steps should I do?
(isn't 15000 contacts in the exch alot to transfer over vpn? What else should I do instead of VPN?

Thanks for any help at all..really.

Sean Daniel said...

Hrm, I haven't actually tried this, but I believe in order to replicate from one domain to another, you'll need a trust in place. Unfortunately SBS does not support trust relationships. I'm not sure there is a way for you to share your 15000 contacts.

I appologize for any inconvience.

Anonymous said...

It would be fairly easy to replicate his contacts manually with a ldifde dump from the source server to the destination server. I'm not sure if you could use the MIISFP to do a GAL SYNC in this situation, though I think you may be able to.

--brian desmond