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Community Manager running on the Microsoft 2008 stack

Elcom has developed a new version of it's flagship Community Manager.NET product, specifically targeting the Microsoft 2008 technology stack.

This new version has demonstrated performance gains of over 1600% (when compared to the previous version).

Understanding the Microsoft 2008 stack

Microsoft's 2008 technology stack includes the following key products:

Microsoft is launching its new 2008 stack during February 2008 via the {Heroes Happen Here} events.

The launch includes the following product releases:

  • Visual Studio 2008 - released in November 2007.
  • Windows Server 2008 - released in February 2008.
  • SQL Server 2008 - official release August 2008.
Community Manager 2008 and the Microsoft 2008 stack

Investigating the 2008 stack

Elcom has been developing and testing on the 2008 stack for the past six months.

In August 2007 Elcom commenced working with beta versions of all three products.

  • Windows Server 2008 Beta 3
  • SQL Server 2008 CTP4
  • Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2
These were updated as new Betas, RCs and CTPs came out.

In early January 2008, the Elcom production web site was officially switched over to be running on the Microsoft 2008 stack.

Summary of findings

The results have been impressive.

Using the following Microsoft 2008 Stack configuration, Elcom has experienced a 500% increase in performance on Community Manager sites (eg this web site):

  • Windows Server 2008 RC1
  • SQL Server 2008 CTP5
  • Visual Studio 2008 targeting the .NET 3.5 Framework

But it gets better. Using the released version of Windows Server 2008, new testing conducted in February has shown performance improvements of over 1600%.

These new result are based on a much more comprehensive testing scenario, with higher load put on the servers.

Full details of the testing method and results are available on Craig Bailey's blog.

How does this affect Elcom customers?

The first thing to highlight, is that Elcom customers are not being forced into any upgrade.

Elcom is now supporting two versions of Community Manager:

  • CommunityManager.NET (currently version 5.4) will continue to support Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2000/2005 and .NET Framework 2.0
  • Community Manager 2008 (based on the same source code base) has been optimised and recompiled for the 2008 Stack.
  • Existing clients will have the choice of upgrading to the new stack if appropriate for their business, or continuing uninterrupted on their current platform.

For clients able to move to the new stack, there are significant performance improvements.

(Note however, that installation of SQL Server 2008 CTP 5 is not recommended for mission critical systems. SQL Server 2008 is still in development and therefore not supported by Microsoft at this time.)

Installation requirements

Moving to the 2008 stack requires the following platforms/components to be installed:

  • Microsoft Windows 2008 Server
  • SQL Server 2008 CTP5
  • .NET Framework 3.5
  • How we tested

Testing was handled by Elcom's technical department, and involved a number of separate server boxes, freshly installed and configured for each test. Unless specified, all other things were kept equal in terms of testing method.

Full details of the Elcom Labs Microsoft 2008 Stack testing process are available from Craig Bailey's blog.

Further information

For further information on how Elcom is using the Microsoft 2008 stack to improve the performance for clients, please contact any of the Elcom management team on 02 9209 4468:

  • John Anstey (CEO)
  • Ron Mannix (Sales Director)
  • Anthony Milner (Projects Director)
  • Craig Bailey (Technical Director)
About Elcom

Elcom is a web development company, focussing on the Content Management System (CMS) needs of medium to large companies. Our flagship CMS product - Community Manager - is powering some of the largest web sites, intranets and extranets in Australia. Examples include Austrade, Lend Lease, Orica and Hyundai.

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