Microsoft Windows Server partner program manager David Cross outlined some of the benefits of the Server Core installation over the full GUI in a blog post on the Windows Server Blog.
It’s a shift in position for Microsoft: not only is the company rapidly improving the minimal server interface, it recommends admins deploy that option, instead of the GUI-based installation in which the company has long invested.
By using Server Core, “we not only accomplish considerable space savings, reducing storage costs, but we also minimize the attack surface area, thereby also increasing security and reliability,” Cross said.
In the past, it would have been difficult to make a case to adopt it, because there just weren’t enough features. Cross says there are four additional roles over its predecessor, plus the new and improved PowerShell v3 that boasts over 2,300 cmdlets. More importantly, users can easily switch between the two installations.
Cross also highlighted how patching will be different in Windows Server 8. Users can select only to install critical updates, which Cross noted could mean a stretch of 26 months without a reboot. Considering users on GUI systems might be rebooting every month, this is a big difference.
Will you be rushing to use Server Core and the minimal user interface? Let us know what you think in the comments, or on Twitter @WindowsTT.]]>
In a recent post on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform blog, Windows Server Director of Program Management David Cross (not to be confused with this guy) explained how the latest version of the server OS is all about giving system administrators more control of what components are installed, so that they have “just enough” to do what they need, and not a feature more.
You probably know where this is going: Server Core and PowerShell. As we’ve been stressing for a while now, Microsoft is pushing admins toward the command line, adding over 2,300 cmdlets that enable management of server roles; Cross notes that admins can also install and remove GUI elements directly from the command line.
For those who are a bit apprehensive about losing the GUI altogether (PowerShell does have a great GUI, actually), Microsoft has introduced what it’s calling the Minimal Server Interface, an intermediate state that is somewhere between Server Core and the full Server Graphical Shell. It includes some graphical elements but not the desktop, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, or Metro-style application support. It’s not just a safety net for the command-line-phobic, though; it also helps ensure compatibility for applications, such as Microsoft Management Console, that won’t run on Server Core alone, while still offering the reduced footprint and other benefits of that installation. While Server Core is the “preferred solution,” admins will be able to switch between server installations with a single command and reboot in order to test applications.
It should be interesting to see how admins respond to this additional option. Those who have not yet learned PowerShell may feel more confident in the short term, but it’s clear that the overall focus is still on slimming things down and moving to the command line. How does it affect your plans in preparing for Server 8?]]>