Open Letter to Satya Nadella re: Windows Server/System Center Delay

Seattle, WA (AP):  Microsoft today postponed the release of its next generation computer server operating system, Windows Server 2015, as well as a companion app or program called “System Center” in a stunning move that left IT Pros throughout the world sad, angry, and in a state of bewilderment. The Redmond- based computing giant told reporters it had no further comment 

Whoa whoa whoa. This has got to be a mistake. Hey Cortana, why is the AP reporting that Server’s been delayed?

Cortana: That’s classified. 

Say what Cortana??

Cortana: Master Chief, that is classified information. 

Classified? Windows Server? System Center? Cortana, you’re buggy as hell. Take down this email addressed to Mr. Satya Nadella.

Cortana: Yes Master Chief. 

Dear Satya Nadella,

I read this about Server & System Center, and I’m in shock.

Microsoft today postponed the release of its next generation computer server operating system, Windows Server 2015, as well as a companion app or program called “System Center”

Like hell you are going to delay……come on Mr. Nadella, I thought you were an enterprise guy, like me! What gives?

I’ve been computing on Server Technical Preview Build 9481 -a four month old operating system for crying out loud- patiently waiting for something fresh and new, for some of the promised manna from the Azure clouds to drop onto me.

Waiting around like an unloved Android handset waited in vain for its Kit Kat update, hopeful on release day, yet the update progress bar never comes.

It never comes Mr Nadella, and I am just a sad, jilted little robot, green & jealous of all the attention the Insiders receive on Windows 10.I just don’t understand….Of all the things the things you could have punted on, all the useless consumer things like that health band,  you decided to punt on Windows Server & System Center?

The insiders complain about Windows 10, even as they download the new bits & enjoy the new features, they complain. How your team suffers these fools is beyond me.

Yet your Server fans can’t even install Windows Management Framework 5.0 and play with all the neat cutting edge things available to WMF 5 on Server 2012 R2, Do we bitch and moan? Not as much!

That cuts me deep, Mr. Nadella, real deep.

Mary Jo says you’ve halted the release of System Center & Server this year because you want to get more feedback from customers, that woe-is-me IT Professionals are urging you to slow down, begging, “Please…mercy sir!! We upgraded two years ago! We don’t want to do it again so soon! Please let us have Windows 2003 for a few more years!!”

If I may suggest Satya, if I can call you by your first name. These are not the IT Professionals you are looking for. You should talk to IT Pros like me, or Aidan Finn, or Didier van Hoye, we’re the guys who got the memo that servers are not pets, but cattle, and that like all cattle, VMs have a certain natural lifecycle, a lifecycle I, might add, that you can make into a Cattle Template right in System Center VMM.*

MSFTSystemCenterlogo1Or is it something else? Does the Google/VMware cloud thing have you worried? I wouldn’t fret too much; it’s totally obvious those two lack something important that can only be had by jumping in bed with the other. For VMware, it’s cloud credibility, for I have seen the vCloud Air, and yea though I was impressed, it still lacks a certain j‘ne Se Qua compared to Azure.  As for Google? They want into the brownfield enterprise, which, if it’s virtual, is about 2/3rds VMware and 25% Microsoft.

What they both want is what you have in spades Satya: a story. A story that sounds like science fiction but is actually running in production around the world right now today. A story with a hero whose name is Windows Server, a multi-talented, jack-of-all-trades/master-of-some genuine American hero that can beat just about any enterprise villain in the hands of a skilled IT Pro like me.  Like so:

Windows Server. Not afraid to rationalize and tier your storage, just like a SAN. 

Windows Server & VMM: It’s the Type 1 Hypervisor & automation engine that ropes, rides, and gathers up all your stray VMs so that they can be put to work for you. 

Windows Server. With Exchange as his sidekick, makes for a best-in-class messaging platform, on-prem, hybrid, or up in Office 365. 

Windows Server, SCOM, and SCCM: You don’t need to hire a Sheriff to police things when Windows Server comes to town, for he’s packing all sorts of security heat: PKI, RMS, RBAC, identity, sChannel, AD, Defender, antimalware, Forefront. And his sidekick SCCM will keep tabs on all the PCs, mobile devices. 

Windows Server: It’s Azure-scale, runs Nebula too, but is humble & approachable enough to slum it in a garage lab

Windows Server: GUI?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ gui for Windows Server has Powershell. 

Windows Server is all these things to me, and now you’ve delayed it Mr. Nadella. I’m crushed.

Please tell me it’s for a good reason, like you’re going to make all those cool things I learned at TechEd Barcelona come true (I need a VXLAN story, Mr. Nadella, and  a Docker story would be nice too, and keep working the Storage Spaces replication storyline, ok?).

Please tell the devs to go back to their TFS Consoles, their swank Visual Cloud Studios and tell them not to forget about us Server fans, ok?


Jeff Wilson


* My Physical servers &  VMs are cattle and I birth ’em, brand ’em, work ’em, drive ’em hard, slaughter ’em and experiment on their leftover parts in my lab. Yeeehaaa!!

Author: Jeff Wilson

20 yr Enterprise IT Pro | Master of Public Admin | BA in History | GSEC #42816 | Blogging on technology & trust topics at our workplaces, at our homes, and the spaces in between.

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