Is this a shopping Question, It is not being locked or down-voted, I can say it is a shopping question but I won't as the user may have narrowed down his / her selection to two products and may be seeking some real world feedback:


Whereas : My Question was recently categorized as a shopping question and that I was doing capacity planning ? Why on a website would I do capacity planning, I was seeking technical experts tips, suggestions - sometimes we miss things and later remember. I read SF Blog too where they write about their SQL migrations etc.

My Question : https://serverfault.com/questions/444929/symantec-protection-suite-enterprise-edition

I was not asking a dell vs ibm or symantec vs Microsoft question.

Two of SF Operators MdMarra and voretaq7 commented - voretaq7 even gave me a link (http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping/) saying that my question's point C is falling into this category and I disagree it does not.

I then clarified in the same post via comments and they even deleted my comments and locked the post.

I flagged MdMarra's comment as off-topic and I felt it should be removed, I flagged it but instead my Question got down-voted ! :-)

I am disappointed - I always thought of Server fault as a learning and sharing place. I know people can make mistake in posting or asking something in the wrong place but I still don't think I made a mistake in phrasing my question.

with all honesty - do you think a person will ask someone on server fault to design their solution, I am only asking as I have been given a chance from my seniors at work to come up with a documented design and I am reading symantec docs, forums and I already have made notes, all i was seeking was assurance and I got this treatment.

Disappointed with SF - The site I liked over other forums and especially EE.

In the interest of disclosure, the full comment thread from the original question is reproduced below (comments shaded in red have been deleted): enter image description here

  • 3
    For the record, MDMarra is not a Server Fault moderator. He is however a high-reputation user with a good eye for topicality, particularly "shopping" questions. Also, if you would like to discuss why certain comments were deleted I would like your permission to include the deleted comments in this meta question.
    – voretaq7
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:11
  • Yes You may - I don't Dislike or hate MdMarra - I read his posts and blog too - I just don't ask a question - I do my homework - i have learned that from my seniors at work. My Question was not a shopping question :-) - I still feel confident on that. Also anyone reading this Please do not think that I have any dis-respect for MdMarra - end of the day Serverfault - is just a technical forum. Also, It will be interesting to read your thoughts on the question i have referenced right at the top, as to Why it is not considered a shopping question by Yourself, as you provided me that link ?
    – Mutahir
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:15
  • @voretaq - I rephrased my question - i put so much effort into it, reposted it as new and you closed that one ? I thought the old one was closed ? can you please copy and paste the new rephrased question into the old one so that it reflects exactly as to what I am seeking - thanks
    – Mutahir
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:21
  • @rhiatum The questions appear to be substantially identical except the preamble - If you would like to edit your original question please go ahead (I've cleared the lock as it served its purpose), but please do not include meta discussion of what you're looking for, why you think the original was locked, etc. in the question. (It should be obvious what you're looking for - if it isn't edit the question so it is. Meta discussion obviously belongs here on Meta...)
    – voretaq7
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:29
  • 1
    @voretaq7 ; Can you please close the original question and re-open the new re-phrased question - as the old one is already down-voted (though it shouldn't) and have a lot of comments spoiling the page. Also, You told me to open a discussion on meta about the question so I did, (I don't understand your sarcastic comment "THANK YOU - most people don't) - Please remove that too as it feels insulting. I can delete the Meta in new-rephrased question once it is re-opened or you can edit it too. Thanks !
    – Mutahir
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:44
  • 3
    I've deleted that comment, but my thanks are genuine and no offense was intended. Most of the time when I ask people to open a meta discussion they either ignore me or post a flounce to the effect of Server Fault is mean and they're never coming back ever ever to infinity!!!!!1111ONEELEVENTY -- you're genuinely interested in asking good questions, which makes you exactly the kind of person we want on the site :-)
    – voretaq7
    Nov 3, 2012 at 0:33
  • 1
    I've also re-opened your second question (cleaning up the header) -- Take a look at some of the answers here and consider editing both questions (I'd suggest points A & B on the original since Dave M already answered part of it, and one of the other points on the second question). Alternatively if you'd prefer to start over just raise a flag on both posts asking us to delete them and I or one of the other mods can make them go away.
    – voretaq7
    Nov 3, 2012 at 0:39
  • I hope you didn't take my comment the wrong way, I wasn't trying to be rude. Also, I'm not a moderator, so I can't see who flags comments - the fact that you were downvoted after flagging my comment is just a coincidence. As others have explained, A and B make up a good question, the rest is answered by "it depends" or would need a lot of details about your specific environment that you don't provide. A and B are useful, but unfortunately, in a 6 part question, you can't just upvote the 2 parts that are good and downvote the 4 that aren't on topic. :)
    – MDMarra
    Nov 4, 2012 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


Be ye warned -- this is a long answer!


I feel your question is essentially a good one (which is why the lock I applied is temporary, and I haven't suggested closing it). A few of the points you raised are not good fits for Server Fault, but you can easily edit your question to make it an excellent and useful question with lasting value.

The problems I see

  1. Your question should probably really be broken up into more than one question (as a general rule, if you need bullet points to list out your question you have more than one question)

  2. Points A & B seem like two parts to one question (they're broadly related in that they're essentially asking "How do I make this system multi-site-aware?").

  3. Point F (How would you recommend to store backups for these desktops? We do have a SAN and a NAS in our environment and we do have one spare DAS (Dell MD3000).) is really a separate question entirely.
    As I mentioned in the comments on the question backup and restoration is a complex issue. We need to know the backup software in question, the size of the backups (the full backup and the incremental changes, and how many of each you need to hang on to), how often you'll need to do restores, etc.

  4. Point E is vague: how do you or would you recommend to protect these 4 servers (2 x SQL and 2 x MGMT Servers)?
    We can assume you're not talking about physical protection (site security), but are you talking about Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Firewalls, Backups, Something Else? -- There is enough ambiguity here that I think if you flesh it out with more detail you will have an entirely separate question that you can ask. (It's possible that you'll need the answers to this question before you can deal with the storage question in point F.)

  5. Point C: What Hardware would you recommend as a Server spec for the SQL server 16GB RAM, Dual XEON?
    This is either a capacity planning question (Can the server I'm talking about handle the load?) or a request for us to recommend a specific server/type of server. Both are problematic in that we can't be intimately familiar enough with your workload to make capacity suggestions, and though we may occasionally recommend specific products/services incidentally in answering a question it is Stack Exchange network policy that questions seeking specific product/service recommendations are off-topic.

  6. Point D (same issues as Point C)

Addressing specific points

Two of SF Operators MdMarra and voretaq7 commented - voretaq7 even gave me a link (http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping/) saying that my question's point C is falling into this category and I disagree it does not.

Actually three of us grumbled about points C & D (MDMarra, sysadmin1138, and myself) -- You may not be asking us "Netgear or Linksys?", but it still seems like you're looking for either capacity planning ("Buy a box with 6TB of 15K SAS drives and a terabyte of RAM") or product suggestions ("Buy an IBM x3950") to answer those two points.

Capacity planning is generally considered unanswerable as there is no good universal benchmark (1000 users sitting idle are a lot less resource intensive than 1000 users hammering the DB server with complex queries - only you know your environment/users well enough to make these calls).
Specific vendor recommendations/comparisons/lists are off-topic network wide per the blog post you mentioned. The last time we recommended Acme brand bird seed a coyote sued us for emotional trauma.

I then clarified in the same post via comments and they even deleted my comments and locked the post.

I'm the Big Bad Comment-Deleting Post-Locking Mod. (As is often the case when comments start disappearing).
The comments in question got zapped because they were more appropriate as a Meta discussion here (why a particular question or components of it are on/off topic, why certain comments are allowed to stay while others are deleted).

It's also general (though loosely enforced) policy network-wide that comments about "why was my post downvoted?" are inappropriate as they tend to lead to protracted discussions (arguments) in comments about voting. By extension "I flagged X's comment" leads to the same kind of mess, and will either be scrubbed from the comment or deleted outright.

The lock was applied as a cattle prod to get you to open this meta question. Since it worked the lock is now cleared.

Clarification of a question/answer a result of comments or meta discussions should really take the form of edits to your post rather than comments -- the question should lead naturally to the sort of answers you want. (Incidentally that is one of the reasons I closed your re-post: If a question needs to defend itself or explain what it's seeking as an answer there's probably a better way to ask the question that leads naturally to an answer.)

I flagged MdMarra's comment as off-topic and I felt it should be removed, I flagged it but instead my Question got down-voted ! :-)

I declined that flag, as I felt MDMarra was pretty much spot-on, and do not consider the phrasing of that comment to be inappropriate, rude, or offensive (though it is perhaps a bit curt).

Comments (and flagging) have absolutely nothing to do with downvoting. In fact voting is a completely blind system from our end (even mods can't see who voted on questions).

with all honesty - do you think a person will ask someone on server fault to design their solution

Yes. Absolutely. It happens nearly every day.
People come to Server Fault with a vague concept and expect for us to provide them a full environment specification and pathway to implementation. This is a natural byproduct of Server Fault becoming more popular: users who don't know any better will expect this site to be effectively "free consulting".

I also don't think that's what you're doing -- like I said your question is fundamentally good. It can be improved to be excellent with relatively little work.

Specifically Re: the old question you mentioned, this question is still around because it's old. With attention called to it from this Meta post it will probably be closed soon if it's not gone already.

There are lots of old questions which are off-topic/not constructive based on today's window of topicality, and the scope of Server Fault has evolved substantially since it first launched (particularly over the course of the last year or so, as we are encouraging users to take a more active role in curating the site as a "walled garden" where strong questions that will be useful to a lot of people long-term (like points A, B, F, and possibly E from your question) can thrive, being asked and comprehensively answered).

This involves a certain amount of weed-pulling (knocking down older questions like that one when we find them) and just as much constructive pruning (refining new questions to make them excellent, not just good -- the point of this discussion)

I hope all of that makes sense - I'm happy to go over any points where you have questions either here or in chat.

  • 3
    On main you would have gotten +50 by now from sheer respect for breaking the tl;dr; records.
    – Scott Pack
    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:23
  • 2
    Hi Voretaq7 : Thank you for your detailed reply - Very Helpful and Highly appreciated. Infact I have used stackprint and saved this whole page as a pdf for my future reference and I will always come back to this before phrasing / asking my questions. If any of my words have came across as dis-respectful I sincerely apologise to you and to MdMarra and to the Brains behind serverfault / stackexchange. Now, I would request "Delete" on both of my questions in a few minutes from now, I will then break my question into smaller parts, rephrase as required and post them. so i might post 3 posts. TY.
    – Mutahir
    Nov 3, 2012 at 12:32
  • 3
    I was going to upvote this because I found it thoughtful, considerate, precise, and generally a model of dispute handling. What actually happened was I upvoted it because of the Wile E. Coyote reference, which made me laugh so hard and at such a bad time that I've ruined yet another keyboard.
    – MadHatter
    Nov 7, 2012 at 7:37

Symantec Endpoint Protection vs Microsoft Endpoint Protection Whereas : My Question was recently categorized as a shopping question

I have cast a close vote on that question too, you are right, it is shopping also. Occasionally off-topic questions will get through, and not get noticed. This does not mean we should allow questions we notice as being off-topic to stay around.

I always thought of Server fault as a learning and sharing place.

Most Stack Exchange tend to have a far more specific goal. We want practical answerable questions, where a single person can post an answer, that isn't an opinion, but instead based on facts. The sites operation on a Question and Answer engine, and many of us have a strong desire to not let it devolve into the horrible experience that you see on forums, and sites like Yahoo Answers, etc. So it is a place where you can learn ans share so long as what you want to learn or share fits very nicely within the Q&A format.

Your question is far too broad you asked and most not very useful. You asked like 6 or 7 different questions in there.

Several parts were What Hardware would you recommend. There is simply no reasonable way for us to answer this question for you. Nobody ever provides enough information about their workloads or environment for us to answer this question in a useful way. Even if they did, the vendor will usually be able to answer this question, and give you a much better answer then what you will get from some random individual.

You asked how do I make backups. But you haven't told us anything about your existing environment. I would assume you already have some backup system in place. It would be best for you to figure out if you can extend your existing tools. If not, call and ask the vendor. They probably have a good idea about how to make good backups.

If you have anything to add / correct - that will be really helpful... Stack Exchange is NOT a forum. We expect specific questions that will have specific answers. Asking for general advice often results in answers that just do not fit well in a Q&A site.

You asked:

a) If we had these users distributed amongst two sites with AD DC / GC in each site, How would I restrict SEPM and Desktop Mgmt. solution to only check for users in their respective site ? b) At present all users are under one building but we are going to move some dept. to a new location (with dedicated connectivity), How would we control which SEPM / MGMT Server is responsible for which site ?

If you asked this as a question all by itself with the required supporting details, then I would probably upvote it. This at least is a good question that would fit in the Q&A format.

Asking how to setup SEP with across multiple sites could result in useful answers. It is clear, it is specific.

I also suggest you take a look at these pages. In my opinion your current questions are vary badly structured and in makes it difficult to read, and therefore difficult to answer. Asking a good clear specific question is absolutely critical to getting the most useful answers.

  • 3
    Take all of my upvotes!
    – Wesley
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:55
  • Thanks zoredache ... I have selected delete on the question .. I will ask again about the same products ...however I feel that voteraq7 did not mentioned the same points as u have. Please delete both of my questions and I will ask about sepm , SQL server, desktop recovery 2011 separately. Thanks
    – Mutahir
    Nov 3, 2012 at 0:08
  • Very well said.
    – jscott
    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .