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Server Core, Windows without Windows

Discussion in 'News' started by simongrahamuk, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?


    Server Core, Windows without Windows

    "One of the most innovative features coming in Windows "Longhorn" Server isn't really a feature as much as a whole new version of Windows. It's called Server Core, and it will only take one-sixth of the disk space of a normal Longhorn installation. It's not expected to need anywhere near as many patches and hotfixes as Windows 2000. It's a version of Windows that does not, in fact, use windows. It's breaking Microsoft's long-standing reliance on graphical interfaces and shaking things up in several of Microsoft's product groups.

    Server Core reflects a changing view of servers. "Administrators are accustomed to thinking of servers by their role. That's my file server, that's a domain controller, that's an Exchange server," says Andrew Mason, a Microsoft program manager for Server Core. Some of those roles really don't use much of what is built into Windows.

    Server Core also recognizes -- based on painful experience -- that fewer "moving parts" in an operating system equates to fewer vulnerabilities, stability issues and maintenance points. Reducing the amount of code can help reduce the amount of bugs. That's what Server Core is all about."

    Full article here.


    1. hbroomhall
      i.e. - they see what the strengths are of Linux (without the GUI) and are trying to emulate that! :biggrin

    2. Bluerinse
      That is what crossed my mind too :wink:
    3. tripwire45
      Ditto. :wink:
    4. ffreeloader
      LOL. When MS finally starts to "really" improve their products they move toward the *nix paradigm more and more. Funny how this open source stuff that MS says is such a terrible thing is what MS is copying. Might as well just go with the original.... :biggrin

      I also found the following paragraph from the article to be very interesting.

      .NET Framework code isn't modularized? I find this to be a rather startling admissions from MS. I thought pretty much all modern, object-oriented, development was done using code modules.

      What do you think of this Harry? Does this method of development figure into why MS patches are fairly often in need of patching?
    5. Phoenix
      It dont think thats the exact reasons to be precise
      Microsoft is a consumer driven orginisation, ie it does what people want, its good at that, hence its success

      Pre Linux days the only guys to be really confident with the CLI were old school Unix sysadmins and mainframe guys, thats been apparant over the last 10 years and I personally have met more than my fair share of sysadmins who are 'scared' of the command line, people who are apparant MCSEs who think writing a batch file to do something or a vbscript is 'harder' than doing it the gui way (ever tried to create 1000 user accounts in AD the gui way? mmmhmmm)

      With the mainstream momentum of linux and the experimentation by numerous 'new school' windows admins more and more people are becoming more comfortable with a CLI, Exchange 2007 will be the first MS product in over a decade to provide more configuration via CLI than via GUI, and it's only natural that the OS itself follows

      It's long been touted that a gui free windows box would be a brilliant addition, and finally the world of windows admins is ready for that step. I imagine that for the most part it will still start out in the realm of the hetrogeneous sysadmins, but i dont imagine it will stay that way (hell most of it will be MMC managable anyway)

      Sure linux' increased uptake has helped this change come about, but i doubt it was a case of 'oo linux can run without a gui lets do that too', MS have far more to worry about with a change like this than who did it first.

      Great addition to the line up though, and kudos to everything that set about the change :thumbleft
    6. Baba O'Riley
      Baba O'Riley
      Good point Ryan. If MS were so desparate for Windows to be like *nix, they'd just release their own Linux distro.
    7. dcuk
      being familiar with the days when everything was cli, I feel that this is kind of a regressive step, sure we don't need aero glass, but it's nice to have a gui it makes those little tweaks easier. I'd agree that we need a cli to do certain jobs, (esp batches/scripts) or the odd job when we cant be bothered to go through four menus, but do we really need to go back to basics? Why would I want to pay $800+ for an OS which is no easier to use than a free one? Plus I don't really want to learn 200+ commands and switches, some of which I'll only use once.

      please don't make me certify in *nix
    8. ffreeloader
      Hmmmm.... You can run this on cheaper hardware, use fewer computing resources to accomplish the same tasks, and have far better security because the greater the complexity of the OS the greater the number of possible security holes.

      You find a gui of more value than all those advantages?
    9. Mitzs
      I do. It is the main reason I don't want to learn linux. I don't want to have learn all those commands and write scripts. I guess I'm the lazy geek. I'll buy the software to protect me from the outside. I just want to point and click, thank you very much.
    10. ffreeloader

      I would wonder what an employer's response to such a way of thinking would be. The company could save money on both the initial purchase of hardware and all future security issues, a rather considerable sum of money, where a machine running the OS in question is concerned but their techs tell them, "Don't buy such an OS. I don't want to have to do anything other than point and click".

      I know what I would think of such a response if I was the employer.
    11. Mr.Cheeks
      but im sure if Mitz had to learn it, then she would. As she has the option, she cant be ar&ed
    12. fortch
      LOL...you're the greatest, mitzs :D

      I have to agree with Ryan, since his perception is probably very accurate. I still maintain (and have for years) that M$ has had their stealth distros -- like it or not, once you dig through the management and lawyer bloat, M$ has some of the most talented people in the business. What's wrong with analyzing the needs and producing a Core system? Why the hate? I see this as the company actually listening to the field, and the competitors, and develop a competing product. Is it long overdue? Sure, but at least they are moving that direction.

      As the server end evolves, so does the desktop end. Ever wonder why Linux GUI's are growing leaps and bounds? Because it's what works in this area. Are they close? Yeah, but nowhere near the aesthetic value of Vista, which is just now catching up to Apple. Should I criticize Linux for not evolving quicker? Nope. I think the market drives their development -- which is dodgy at best, because their desktop standards are too new (and questionable). Besides, they're not a single entity, and don't have to worry about the Linux community as a whole, like M$ does about the Windows world.

      Can I point out why I think Apple sucks, as an example? Their absolute lack of respect in terms of backwards compatibility -- something that is *the* greatest two-edged sword M$ faces. Granted, they dug their own hole, and opened up varied issues from their proprietarily (is that even a word?!) eccentric codebase. However, they tried to retain the compatibility necessary to stay in the market, although it's cursed them as well. Don't think it's a liability? You should read the devblogs. Yikes -- talk about handcuffing their programmers. Regardless, if they pulled an Apple, and alienated their marketshare, they really would lose it. What is Linux doing through all of this? Snickering, but not exactly jumping to the forefront. Letting the business determine their involvement, which is reactionary, and somewhat normal from a 'loosely unified' stance. I'm fine, because they are fine. I use Ubuntu everyday, and think it's great -- but if I play a game, or plug in a random USB device, XP works 95% of the time. Linux.... um yeah. Just a little bit of legwork... which is fine for a geek, but bad for a non-geek.

      Anyways, the Core system is great, but the beancounters and management will botch this too. It's an exciting product that will get trampled by M$'s draconian licensing and price structure. It's a shame, really, since -- if done right -- it could put a damper on the advantages that *nix brings to the table. Oh well, it's not the first time this has happened, and certainly not the last. Let the chips fall where they may.
    13. Phoenix
      Great post Fortch, I imagine the licensing will follow the standard pricing or a cut down model like 'web' edition as so far core as been pointed out as having the ability to run certain roles

      the benfits as well as the negatives are there so not sure a price change will be needed or facilitated, but at 300 quid for a normal copy who cares :)

      I think you may find this product ties in nicely with the new Compute Cluster node (or its evoloutionary longhorn brother) as the overhead is significantly less, i've read that Core will require just 1GB of hard disk, this could be RAMDrived with current architecture and improve performance for a windows grid environment
    14. fortch
      Another point -- how do you know that Core won't perform better on lesser hardware? Running limited services will garner Core more leverage, particularly if they offer more discrete choices.

      The future is virtualization anyways, and the real benefits will only be seen with multi-core machines -- *not* the ability to run admirably on a PIII 733 with 256MB. So, companies that want to consolidate machines will have to invest in newer hardware anyways. The big question is whether Longhorn will be included with it (rather the an add-on, albeit free), since the Xen thing has been going on for a while in the Linux camp. I'm getting a bit tired of the argument to dust off the old back and put it to work. Fine for the small setup, but not corporate. They need to update their stuff, since advances in power consumption and cooling are progressing as well. This is often overlooked, as if the acquisition of newer hardware is a strain. Initially, yes, what what about looking at the bigger picture?

      Still, it's exciting to see M$ actually move in a direction most admins have wanted for a long time. The big battle will be next year, when Longhorn ships... or maybe when R2 ships (with virtualization :rolleyes: ). I also find it funny that the majority of big data centers run off of Solaris anyways -- particularly around here. The large government contractors have been married to some form of Unix for a long time, and although Linux is the offspring, it still ain't the same thing :p
    15. fortch
      See, that's the kind of stuff we all live for. I'd love to be in an R&D environment playing with all this stuff :D
    16. Phoenix
      im playing around with some of the functionality at the moment on my vmware farm
      obviously not beign a developer i dont have much to put on it
      might try run a simple perl pi calculator i have and see what improvements a cluster has over a single box :)
    17. fortch
    18. Phoenix
      good idea, ill have to see how the compatibility works and such, ill give you an update when i play around with it some more :)
    19. Mitzs
      lol freedy, I wouldn't really care what they thought, because if I couldn't talk them out of it, they could find another linux guru to install and run it. I learn a long time ago, never say never so I won't. Yet I have no urge to go near that os, and I can't see myself every having one. And I wouldn't learn something, that I don't like just to keep a job. There is no reason for me to be miserable when some linux person would be alot happier and better with the job.

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