Posted by: Colin Smith
I read an interesting post that I just thought I would have to talk about as well. So with the release of Window Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012, we can now install SQL Server on a Core version of the OS. In the article Jeremiah kind of pokes at the process a bit. Like not being able to just fireup regedit in order to make a change to a reg change, and he also pokes a bit of fun about how long it will take to get all the scripting done that you might need to manage the server and the Instance.
From my perspective, I see things a bit different. Jeremiah makes some great points and I agree with him that making the change will not be easy. I am a Windows GUI guy through and though and I have minimal exposure to No GUI IX systems. And honestly I do not really love working on IX boxes. The other thing that I think some people may not understand, is that you will still be able to manage SQL Server with the same tools that you always have. You will just have to connect remotely. Really you should be doing that anyway correct. How many of us are running SSMS from the SQL Server itself? Oh I see you raising your hand, well stop it, run Core and you will have to stop it. Not only will this make Windows run more efficiently, less overhead for GUI and interrupts, but it will also save us from ourselves. I am just as guilty as anyone when it comes to running SSMS on my server. You may think it is no big deal, but think about it. If you are like me, then you try and give SQL all the memory that you can. This leaves the OS with not a whole lot. I always try to leave enough, but if I RDP to the server and pull up SSMS and another member of my team does the same, well that is not helping our cause at all. Core eliminates the possibility of something like that happening.
Sure, core will change the way you work with Windows and you will have to use the command line. Is that really a bad thing though? I have been working with PowerShell since the beginning and I love it. I choose to work in the command line sometimes and would almost rather look at some aspects of SQL Server using PowerShell and SMO then SSMS. I can script things once and use it over and over and on any instance or server. Management is really much easier. You will have a learning curve for sure, but if I can do it I think anyone can. I am a GUI guy but I LOVE PowerShell. I am not saying go upgrade all your instances to 2012 core before you know what you are doing, but start with your own box and grow it out as yu learn and feel comfortable. I would not move Production until you are good to go and have a very good handle on things. SQL Server 2012 introduced a couple new PowerShell cmdlets but Windows Server 2012 gives us a ton. Install it and play and learn and move when you are ready if it is a good fit for you and your team.
I have been saying this for years and now I am saying it again, if you administer anything Microsoft, or that runs on a Microsoft OS, then YOU need to learn PowerShell. At least the basics. With just the basics you can really do a lot. So go play with PowerShell and try to understand all the ways that CORE may make your servers run more effectively and faster. Remember that you will still be able to manage SQL Server remotely using the SSMS tools. Be careful, move slow, and have fun!