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A round of improvements for everyone. Cheers!

When you see a server that is in pain, struggles to keep moving on and has little hope of ever being up to date, as a responsible admin, you need to step in.

Three weeks ago, I stepped in. We set out to boost up the morale of these boxes and end up with at least a manageable environment. To avoid any problems, we made clones of the servers and booted them up on another virtualization host. It turned out this host had more headroom than the server we were on previously, so throughout our further efforts we experienced a significant speed boost.

With a fresh copies of the Windows Server 2008 x86 DVD ISO in our hands, we upgraded the boxes running the DirTeam.com / ActiveDir.org weblogs away from the aging Windows Server 2003 legacy that was hunting us. These upgrades went without a hitch. After upgrading and running Windows Update for a while, the servers were running fine. Fine? Great, actually! With Windows Server 2008 on these boxes, the gains from the virtualization platform felt doubled.

Off course, upgrading Windows Server with several flavours of SQL Server, MySQL Server and .Net Framework on them, still felt like it might give some problems. We found one, with the IIS 7 request filtering module, but fixed it within minutes using the information from IIS.Net. From there on we switched the outside connection for the website from the old Windows Server 2003 boxes to the new boxes. We kept the old boxes running for the past three weeks, but this week I'll give the nod to delete them.

I hope you, the loyal visitor of our website, enjoy the new speed of the website!
(We'll be planning our next upgrade shortly)

Published Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:15 PM by Sander Berkouwer
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About Sander Berkouwer

The early years
Sander Berkouwer was born and raised in a little village in the Netherlands called 'Vlaardingen'. This is a small city near Rotterdam named after a small river that ran through it in the twelfth century. It houses around 75000 people.

Studies & Hobbies
Sander moved to Schiedam when he started studying at the Delft University of Technology. He tried five years to become a B.Sc. in Industrial Design Engineering but after five years it was clear that wasn't what he was meant to do. In his spare time he started putting computer components together and upgrading his PC twice a year. By then he was totally into Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, NT4 Server, Novell Netware and a little bit of Slackware Linux. This was in no way related to his studies. Choosing between his hobbies and his studies became no-brainer! 

Work & Hobbies
Sander got introduced at Operator Groep Delft (short: OGD) by a friend. Back in those days OGD was a little company that provided IT Services and specialized in helpdesk, systems administration and projects. In the years that Sander worked for OGD he has seen it grow to the company that it is now: A serious player in the Dutch IT service market, with nearly 1200 employees, its own project team and of course Microsoft, Novell, VMware, Dell, HP, Symantec and Citrix partnerships. After eleven years with the company he still feels fortunate to work for a straightforward, honest and down-to-earth company.

Private life
In the same year Sander started working for OGD, he met his wife and three years later they got married. In 2009 his wife gave birth to their daughter, Sophie. 
 
Studies, again
In 2007, realizing the potential of a degree, Sander enlisted for Bachelor Information and Communications Technology (B ICT) studies at NOVI. With his MCSE as recognized prior experience, Sander was able to achieve his degree in 18 months. His thesis was on the cloud computing strategy for OGD. 
 
Speaking engagements
In 2007, Sander entered the Microsoft Netherlands TechNet speaker talent competition. He won it. From this moment on, Sander became a proficient speaker on Microsoft Netherlands events. In 2010, Sander was a speaker on 22 events, presenting on subjects ranging from Active Directory to Social Networking, from Desktop Management to Cloud Computing.
 
Certifications

Sander has been a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) since January 2001. In the past ten years, Sander has achieved multiple Microsoft certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP).
 
The MVP Years
In 2009, Sander was awarded the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award by Microsoft. This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. In 2010 and 2011, Sander was re-awarded for his contributions to the Directory Services technical communities. 
 
Publications
Sander has blogged on the Dirteam.com / ActiveDir.org Weblogs since June 2006. In addition to these contributions, Sander has blogged at the Microsoft Netherlands IT Pro Community blog and the NGN Windows Server blog. In 2009, Sander published a whitepaper together with Joachim Nässlander on remotely managing Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008.

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