Recently I set up a dedicated server with SoftLayer as a hosting provider. They offered the choice between Windows Server 2012 and 2008. When trying to find documentation on the versions of 2008, I noticed an interesting thing – Microsoft has removed all documentation for Server 2008! Here, give it a try.
- Google “Windows Server 2008”. Other than Wikipedia the first link is “Windows Server 2012”.
- Visit this Technet link for Server 2008 documentation. Click “Windows Server 2008 R2 Editions Overview”. Where you do get? “Windows Server 2012: How to Buy”
See what I mean? I even chatted with a representative on their website who basically told me to fuck off and buy Server 2012 already. Refused to provide any information on the versions of 2008, or where I could find reliable information.
I was interested in the performance of PHP’s APC cache vs the new Wincache touted by Microsoft. Essentially Wincache is APC for Windows (no duh!). I am only interested in their performance at storing variables and arrays in memory, and not any of the OPCODE stuff. Part of the reason is because I think they would be equally performant, and another part is that I have no f’ing idea about OPCODEs. Another thing is that I am not testing on server farms, so I was only evaluating single-server solutions (i.e. ignoring memcache) Enough with the hors d’oeuvres, let’s get to the meat of it.
OK, so while trying to install PHP 5.3 on IIS7.5 from this page I kept getting an error message saying that I was not using a supported operating system. The issue is that I was using Windows 7 (and later Windows Server 2008) which are both supported operating systems. I don’t have a screenshot of the error, but if you’re reading this – you probably know what I mean. This can’t be an isolated issue and maybe reveals a deeper issue with Microsoft’s bad OS detection mechanism.
How did I fix it? Pretty simple actually. It turns out that I had Web Platform Installer 2.0 installed. The PHP IIS site uses WPI 3.0, so maybe there is a version incompatibility. To get around it I went to Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, and double clicked “Web Platform Installer” under Management. This did a quick upgrade to 3.0, and then I was able to download PHP 5.3.5 in a snap from the Window that comes up!
Basically – don’t use the website to install it.
Note: Another useful product to install with WPI is “Microsoft SQL Driver v2.0 for PHP v5.3 in IIS” found under “Products”>”Database”. This allows you to easily connect PHP to a SQL Server database using PDO.
God almighty that was a lot of acronyms. I count 6.