One of the five challenges in our awesome competition to win a trip to TechEd 2013 North America in New Orleans (thanks to the Windows Server 2012 team) is to tell us how many server operating systems you have installed during your career (and how you worked it out). If that seems like a difficult number to estimate, here are some suggestions to get you started.
Formula picture from Shutterstock
Clearly, the most basic formula looks something like this:
(number of years as an IT pro) * (number of server OSes installed each year)
However, that assumes you have an encyclopaedic memory for everything you have installed. You might choose to go for:
(number of years as an IT pro) * (number of servers managed) * (number of platform upgrades in that time) * (average number of VMs on each machine)
If you're not mathematically inclined, you might be able to patch together evidence from log files. Or you might be prepared to make a shaming admission ("my boss never lets me upgrade, so we're still running NT, which isn't such a good option in 2013, quite honestly"). Note: We're not prepared to accept infinity as an answer. Seems too easy.
We're looking forward to seeing people elaborate on these ideas when they enter. Remember, creativity counts -- so answer that question in code, as a video, or as a flowchart, or anything else that takes your fancy. What are you waiting for? Get cracking and enter now!