Not really related to Windows on the desktop, but interesting to point out anyway. There was a great article last month about server virtualization, which I think also exemplifies why being a "Microsoft shop" is a bad idea. To summarize the article:
Nissan North America Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization last year, reducing their physical server count from 159 to 28, eight of which run Hyper-V. A year later, the team still uses Hyper-V's "Quick Migration" feature to move virtual machines off a Hyper-V host, a process which takes the system down for about 30 seconds while it gets rebooted on another host.
30 seconds doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Well, it is a huge deal if that server is part of a system that moves cars through the plant. You don't just turn those servers back on without testing. Reboot the server for 30 seconds to migrate it to a new Hyper-V host, and you actually have 10-15 minutes where the plant effectively is shut down.
Nissan is actively testing the next version of Hyper-V, which supports seamless "Live Migration" but hadn't deployed it by the time the article was written a month ago.
If you happen to work in IT, you may recognize "live migration" as VMWare's "VMotion", or [Citrix] XenServer's XenMotion. You guessed it - both can already migrate a virtual machine from one VM physical server to another server while the virtual machine is running. This is a problem that's already been solved, folks, and long before Microsoft's Hyper-V came onto the market.
But if other products already support this feature, why use Microsoft's Hyper-V, which clearly wasn't up to the task?
According to Phil D'Antonio, Nissan's manager of conveyors and controls engineering: "We're a Microsoft shop, and they were the first ones that we looked at ... We have a good relationship with Microsoft that we leverage and utilize."
And that is why "We're a Microsoft shop" is bad.
When you are a "Microsoft shop", there's a certain tendency to run with other Microsoft products. I've seen it before: go with Microsoft "Product B" because it should work with Microsoft "Product A" that we already have. Integration should be easy, right? And I'm sure that Nissan N.A. found it easy to integrate Microsoft's Hyper-V into their Microsoft Windows Server environment. Until they needed to do basic tasks like migrate workload from one VM physical server to another, and not completely halt their business.