Damn you Windows Server 2012!

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 hasĀ removed all documentation for Server 2008! Here, give it a try.

  1. Google “Windows Server 2008″. Other than Wikipedia the first link is “Windows Server 2012″.
  2. 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.


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Wincache vs APC Data Performance

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.

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PHP IIS7 Web Platform Installer 3.0 Unsupported OS Error!

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.