Based on the responses to this question here, and after reviewing the FAQ again, I would like to suggest a section be added similar to Super User which explicitly states what questions are not allowed on SF.

The list should include, but not limited to:

It's not about...

  • Desktop Workstation used as Servers, including Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Desktop Workstations,
  • Direct end user support when using an application on the network,
  • Home networks or networks with less then 5? computers.

Have those question migrated to Super User.

I have to admit, I though the Super User FAQ was strict, but after reading comments from MSF and it's members, I would rather see these questions on Super User then having them lost forever and never answered.

  • 1
    Good idea, though the answers below have pointed out wording issues we'd have to resolve for each. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 13:37

3 Answers 3


Eh, Sounds like over-reaction to one close and subsequent debate. By which I mean i don't think we have such a problem with these types of questions that it needs to go into the FAQ.

IF there was an update I would change it to:

  • Desktop or laptop hardware used as servers
  • Home Networks

Of course Home Networks generally fall under the "General Computing Problems..." statement we already have.

Hmm i don't like the "Direct End User support ..." That's a little broad for an exclusion. Direct end user support could be someone troubleshooting an issue with a single user that is effecting an entire installation ... If you look at your own faq it is VERY specific as to what is dis-allowed and I don't think that "Direct End user support ..." part is specific enough.

  • Slightly overreacted I admit, but not totally of par. I do however feel it needs to be addressed since there was some strong opinions on various posts here on MSF. I respect the community here, but do feel there needs to be some guidance for users. The list is by no means correct, as with Super User just a start. I also feel the exclusion of something like the Apple Mac Mini is overreaction, but that is not sole reason for this suggestion. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 16:22
  • I'm not a fan of the "Direct End-User Support" part either. I'm an Exchange Engineer, what should be a strictly back-end job, but I have to deal with the end-users all of the time...
    – gWaldo
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 13:36

I'm new here, so pardon me if my contribution here is out of line or if I'm actually adding to the problem with this...

As far as this goes:

  • Desktop Workstation used as Servers, including Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Desktop Workstations,

Apple has pulled the plug on the Xserve line, and the only way for you to implement a new OS X server (save refurbs etc.) is to deploy Mac Pro's and Minis. I know these have the appearance of "Desktop" computers, but when their Server OS is installed, they still run directory services, and everything else you would need to put in your com room.

I agree with everything else, as it appears to stray from the scope of the site. (or at least as I understand it).

  • That's a good point. Mac admin isn't quite as ubiquitous as some other OS bases, but I don't want to inadvertently exclude them. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 13:35
  • Agreed. That statement basically excludes MacOS Server. Additionally, Apache is still a webserver even if it's running on a machine that somebody sits at. Apache doesn't compile or execute any differently if it's on someone's workstation versus on a rack-mounted server.
    – gWaldo
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 13:40
  • I agree that outright banning certain hardware goes too far. The issues comes when people have problems getting Enterprise Requirements out of Consumer Hardware. The other day someone had issues with a Via RAID chipset and some new disk drives. It's likely a compatibility issue. This is a chunk of the price in Enterprise Hardware (known compatibility and a warranty that stands behind that). In that case it was a Dell Server, but 3rd party HDs (consumer grade SATAs).
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 16:09

I would also add:

Questions regarding phones

to your list of 'not about'

  • I don't believe I've ever run into one. Weird.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 22:01
  • Are you talking about phones handsets, or PBX questions? Dealing with Voip equipment is very much within the responsibilities of many system administrators and is very closely related to networking.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Nov 25, 2010 at 19:08
  • What about running the iPhone/iPad Enterprise management? That's a very SysAd function...
    – gWaldo
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 13:38
  • Cell Phone questions are tricky. If they're related to corporate policy or connecting to an enterprise system in some way, I think they belong. Anything else however does not belong. PBX (et al) belong as Zoredache points out.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 15:28
  • I only added this because at one point, there were a couple of questions regarding iPhones and encryption that were either closed as off topic or migrated to SU. I didn't believe they should be closed or migrated as I support phones as a systems administrator.
    – GregD
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:30

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