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Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

(OP)
Hello all, my company has a Symposium server release 4 running on an HP box that has Windows 2003 loaded. If you've followed both platforms, Windows 2003 is discontinued and Symposium 4.0 has been end-of-life, etc., for years. So they are both old, both unsupported, etc.

However out security team wants the server patched because it failed a compliance requirement. Microsoft has the patches and i can load them but this requires a reboot. Our vendor supporting the equipment is against this and won't help. I've talked to a couple people that also say "don't touch it, can of worms".

So i'm posing the question here. If you were in my shoes, would you patch and reboot a Symposium server release 4.0 running on Windows 2003 server? I don't think it'll have any issues but I want to hear it from someone that has experience w/Symposium, not just a sales rep an an Ops manager that is scared.

I rebooted an XP PC last week and XP is even older than Windows 2003.

RE: Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

Nortel always recommended that no MS parches were to be installed unless approved. Obviously thats somewhat out of date. All this means is that IF you decide to go ahead, then ensure that you have:

1: Backups of everything.

2: Platform and migration disks (used in rebuilds)

3: IF you have a raid array, split it before any work is started. That is about your best "get out of jail" if disaster happens.

4: disable any anti-virus

5: Shut the application down BEFORE any work is done.

6: On reboots, given that you do not stop the application loading, you let the server run, stabalise and then if more is needed, shut the application down before any extra work.

7: See point 6 (this gets recursive)

IT security etc tend to be somewhat blinkered. Personally, at this point my preference would be do not touch it. I fought the IT support at my site for 3 years in regards anti-virus issues. I won in the end, but the company went through a lot of pain until I did win. As I see it, you are risking a disaster so that someone can get a tick on a piece of paper.


RE: Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

(OP)
The backups I can perform. Disks are gonna be hard to come by but I can look. Yes the application w/be shut down first, then a reboot. I agree that there is a risk by patching an old Windows 2003 server but I don't see why our vendor is so paranoid about it. I reboot old machines all the time. Some are XP, some are newer. I'm a little annoyed at how scared they are of this server, to be honest.

RE: Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

Rebooting the 2003 server is not the problem, the problem is installing the MS patches and hotfixes. Since SCCS is EOL, you're not going to know if patches and hotfixes the IT team wants to apply will be on the approved and supported list. Installing these patches and hotfixes could cause the SCCS to crash and recovering these old EOL system is a PIA, so be prepare for a very long night. Installing the MS patches/HF takes only minutes, but recovery takes several hours, if not days. This is why your vendor is acting the way they do and I don't blame them...I've been down this road.

RE: Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

(OP)
I agree to an extent. The patches could affect the server but I still think it's worth pursuing. Unless someone that has worked on Symposium tells me not to add the Microsfot patches, I don't see why we shouldn't do it. Yes, there's a risk but I used to manage firmware updates on the Avaya side as well. We would schedule the updates and have Avaya load the firmware. It didn't always agree w/the PBX and the next night we would reverse the changes.
Now I know that an Avaya patch on Avaya boards is different from a Microsoft patch on a Windows 2003 server but I would lean towards patching the box.

RE: Symposium 4.0 on Windows Server 2003 - can we patch and reboot?

I have seen some hotfixes break the server. If all of your ducks are not in a row to go back (good backup, known passwords, etc. it can take a long time to bring back online. Any patches needed are approved the problem is the way everyone treats Microsoft hotfixes is to apply them whether they apply to the use on that machine or not. Backup is best if taken while services are stopped. Also use the backup tools in the application to backup database, ADAM, etc.

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