When I took on the role of Technical Product Manager for Internet Information Services, one of the first questions I had to ask was “How do we [Microsoft] deploy and manage IIS?”  I wanted to provide IT Pros with best practice guidance for Web deployments of Windows Server 2003, and who better to give this real world guidance than our own IT departments, right?  Well, the advice I got time and again was to go to the pro’s at Microsoft.com Operations – no one does IIS like they do.   So then I’m asking myself, what’s the big deal with MScom Ops?  Actually, a lot.  Let me explain…

Microsoft.com is more than the world's 3rd busiest website - it is also the ultimate testbed for many of Microsoft's products including of course, Windows Server 2003 and Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0.  The charter of Microsoft.com's Operations Management is to always push to test and deploy Microsoft's latest and greatest technology as soon as they can get their hands on it.   To support and improve Microsoft.com's record 99.98% site availability, these guys want to run the most advanced server Microsoft has developed to date and being the guinea pigs for that software is a small price to pay.  After learning, this I immediately got the in touch with the IT Showcase  team because I had to get MScm Ops’s experience deploying IIS 6.0 fully documented.

IT Showcase ended up producing on three content pieces on how Microsoft.com does IT - a whitepaper, a case study and a note on IT.  They are all extremely informative and I recommend you take a look at each of them, especially if optimizing IIS still sits on your To-Do list.  Here’s the scope on the content -

·          The whitepaper, Microsoft.com Moves to x64 Version of Windows, will provide you with every gritty detail for deploying x64 SKUs of Windows Server 2003 R2 into a high request production environment.

·          The case study, Monitoring and Troubleshooting Microsoft.com, explains the various troubleshooting issues Microsoft.com was encountering and the diagnostic methods they adopted to more reliablably identify and repair Web applications with performance problems.

·          The note on IT, Microsoft.com Standard Server Configurations, covers their optimal configurations of IIS 6.0 and Windows Server 2003 for the kind of high performance Web scenarios they must perpetually support.

These materials should be very good news to you.  Because when it becomes your turn to deploy a business critical Web site to IIS 6 on x64 Windows Server 2003, you know you can use the best practices Microsoft.com has already painstakingly learned to implement your solution as reliably as possible.   :-)

- Eric