To R2 or not to R2?
That is indeed the question.
This was something that I was concerned about but with the release of the new Exchange 2007 MP it is confirmed – this is an R2 only MP.
This is great if you are on R2 but as R2 is a Software Assurance release there will be organisations that bought OpsMgr without SA and so will not be able to use this MP. This brings up the question of support. After all the Microsoft standard for support is 5 + 5 which means that MOM 2005 is still supported but how many new 2005 MPs have you seen?
If the OS or application is only using some events and perfmon counters it can not be too hard to create MPs for MOM 2005, OpsMgr 2007 SP1 and OpsMgr 2007 R2. Notice that I don’t expect anyone to create an MP specifically for OpsMgr 2007 RTM. That is because SP1 is free and fixes so much with the RTM version that you would be foolish not to implement it. But creating 3 MPs would be hard work for complex products that use health models and lots of synthetic transactions. Like the Exchange MP for example. Still I think it is something that MP creators should aspire to. It would be interesting if there were any figures on deployments of MOM 2005 v 2007 and how how many organisations bought 2007 with SA. If Microsoft can show that 90% of organisations have moved to 2007 and most of them have SA then there is a stronger case for R2 only MPs. But there is still a need to support people on older versions. This presents an interesting challenge for Microsoft. I still come across organisations using older OSes and applications. As much as Microsoft would like everyone to move to the latest version the fact is that they don’t but still need to be supported as long as they are in the 5 + 5 timeframe.
It would be nice to see a white paper covering creating MPs for the 3 versions to help MP authors. I think that with the modular nature of OpsMgr it should be possible to create the base MPs for SP1 and have addition MP files that you can import if you have R2 that utilises the extra features and functions in R2. That would mean a different approach to creating a Management Pack but it would help in the long run. Mind you testing would be more complicated. And Microsoft’s track record on testing MPs before releasing them has not been that spectacular.
By the way I have been informed that there will be a native Exchange 2007 MP for SP1 that is due out in Q3. Good news on that front.