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back to article Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

Windows Server "8" beta is out, and everyone reading this should sit up and take notice. This isn't a boring iteration on a previous server operating system wherein a few tweaks have been achieved and nothing really changes. Server 8 - along with the suite of associated 2012-ish server applications - is nothing short of a …

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Happy

Awesome

Its about time M$ did something productive not only for their company, but all of us. Even as a 'nix user, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

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FAIL

Re: Awesome

Let's hope it knows what day it is too, although the odd half day outage here and there caused by schoolboy programming errors doesn't seem to bother the British Government when choosing its cloud supplier.

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Because they have credible rivals

For desktop clients on enterprise, apple doesn't really count and they made clear that they will never step on their foot except some markets.

Linux desktop? Sadly, still 1% and saying as a person who never liked Linux, they don't deserve that tiny percentage. Especially after seeing what the legendary conservative Debian stable has become in terms of usability.

Game changes on server business, there is IBM,Red hat, Suse, *bsd and oracle. These rivals are the reason which they have to produce good software or redhat comes and wins the contract. Linux on server is something IBM has to support on a $30m mainframe. It is that serious.

Anyway, just think what would happen if they had a credible rival on business client space. If I was a Microsoft fan, I would hate the low percentage of Linux desktop, not laugh at it.

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Mushroom

Awesome?

Hardly.

Mr. Pott is going potty over Windows crawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of functionality we've seen in *nix since day one, like some prehistoric amphibian slithering out of the primordial soup straight into a quantum physicist's laboratory. It'll make a nice pet, I'm sure, but I can't see it being especially useful. Franky I'd rather have a poodle.

Pott's sycophantic, superlatives-laden fawning is making me retch. NFS and a proper CLI is hardly something worth popping champagne over. SMB is of zero interest to me, and Hyper-V is a rather sad joke (no, but seriously):

'The issue blew up last Friday in a forum comment by Thierry Carrez, an OpenStack release manager, who suggested that Hyper-V support code should be removed from the next release of the framework. On the OpenStack Launchpad developer forum , Carrez described the Hyper-V support as being “broken and unmaintained” ... In reply, Ken Pepple, director of cloud development at Internap Network Services, wrote: ”Hyper-V support is missing support for even the most basic functions – volumes, Glance, several network managers, etc. We investigated it for our service, but found it only borderline functional.”'

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/openstack-developers-ditch-buggy-microsoft-hyper-v-support-57951

What I'd like to know is: has Microsoft finally managed to figure out how to completely eradicate the GUI from their "server" operating systems yet (and no, an MSDOS terminal window on a minimal, blackbox-style desktop is NOT equivocal to "no GUI")?

Call me again in another 40 years (although hopefully Microsoft will have gone the way of the dodo by then, so you won't need to).

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Re: Awesome?

Mr. Pott is going potty over Windows crawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of functionality we've seen in *nix since day one,

And *nix is rawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of user friendlyness we've seen in Window since day one,

Call me in another 40.

Oh don't forget, if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix on a Propriety IBM box, using propriety thin clients, for a mere £10,000 / seat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Awesome?

"if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix ...."

Absolute nonsense !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Awesome?

"Oh don't forget, if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix on a Propriety IBM box, using propriety thin clients, for a mere £10,000 / seat."

Clearly you were not working in computing in the days you try to abuse: I was. if you really wanted non-proprietray, BSD ran very well, thank you, on Vax and others (BSD on Vax was very popular in universities and research institutions). Even the others were generally BSD plus, with some AT&T and later SysV. Pyramid had a good RISC system with "universes", one universe representing a UNIX stream, e.g. ATT or BSD, so you could choose. I even had a tiny (within 64K) UNIX on an old DEC Pro. .IBM (AIX) was relatively late into the game and, was never really a mass player. HP-UX was a bit off-beam; but it soon changed to be conformant. BSD was always there and still is. There were scores of suppliers offering UNIX and then we got XPG and Posix, so that if one programmed to those standards (I still do on principle), your scripts and code would run on any UNIX or even, with a bit of luck, VMS, Primos and others in Posix mode.

Not sure if Linux has really got a true Posix/XPG conformant mode yet, nor if on all variants. I only know that serious programmes can need tweaking for different flavours. As for Windows - highly compliant, as long as one works just with Windows. OSX is fairly good; then again, it is a BSD descendant. All scripts and code that I wrote for Ultrix, Solaris, AIX and others seem to build and run on OSX.

Oh, forget this stuff about servers vs. desktops for UNIX. The difference is mainly the hardware configuration and the addition of more software that one could, in fact, add to a desktop or laptop and make them into servers, if the software is not already there.

..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Awesome

Wondering how many of those downvotes are for the dollar sign.

Maybe it's a workaround to a 'nix keyboard driver problem.

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Re: Awesome?

"....Microsoft will have gone the way of the dodo by then...." Amusingly, people have been predicting the death of The Beast "in the next x years" every year for at least twenty years now. Each time, M$ simply pulls out the stops, either in applications or developer support, or "openness" / embrace-and-stifle, or simply marketting muscle, and carries on raking in the cash. I'm a big RHEL fan but it doesn't make me blind to the capabilities of either Windows Server or of the M$ juggernaut. Those that undersetimate The Beast are likely to be waiting a long time for it to die.

In my business, for example, we could probably remove 99% of M$ software (and probably 95% of the UNIX and mainframe too) and replace it with Linux and OSS offerings, but the integration task is such a challenge that M$ (and the UNIX OS and app vendors) are pretty safe for now. We are beyond the low-hanging fruit, a lot of that's been switched to RHEL/SuSE, but pushing Linux deeper into our enterprise is a tough sell.

I see M$'s biggest issue as trying to overturn the dominance of VMware in the virtualisation arena. Hyper-V isn't that bad but VMware has the hearts and minds of far too many customers now.

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Mushroom

Re: Awesome?

If by "rawling"(sic) you mean surpassed Windows by an order of magnitude years ago, certainly.

Apparently you haven't been paying attention. Windows is the OS that made browsing Web pages and opening E-mail attachment dangerous. How "user-friendly" is an OS plagued by millions of viruses, excruciating bloat and BSODs (or the new and improved KSODs), exactly?

If it wasn't for Windows, people might actually have a choice of decent operating systems when they buy a PC, instead of having Microsoft's dysfunctional crapware shoved down their throats without option.

It's highly unlikely their options would've been limited to just Unix. Believe it or not, there was a time before the Wintel duopoly when there was actually a lot of choice in the market.

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PowerShell

Although there sounds like there is a lot of interesting developments here, for those that most use Windows server resources at least, (effectively Unix-ifying the overlying OS interfaces by the sound of it, and extending the influence of Tcl/Tk in PowerShell) - I was intrigued by the statement

"Interesting, as PowerShell scriptability is another important marker of Microsoft's growing commitment to openness and standards."

What standards would the use of .NET objects (PowerShell objects) being showing commitment to ?.. openness is a given for a command interface, as a closed interface is no interface at all (except by reverse engineering and blind luck). Genuine question, i'm just completely unaware of any relevant standards.

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Re: PowerShell

As I see it - and as it has been explained to me by others as well - the standards are all related to heterogeneous operation. Essentially: the ability to manipulate the operating system (and *all* relevant server applications) to address everything from power management, thread assignment, disk/network/driver/user/etc. management and more. The game being player here is big. Huge. This isn’t about the nice-to-have but functionally irrelevant ability of $open_source_team to access $feature.

It is about the ability to create a cloud of hundreds of thousands of instances of the operating system and have them managed by centralised command and control software. Microsoft would really like that software to be theirs (system center X,) but that is now in no way necessary.

Microsoft of a decade ago would have had a series of impenetrable APIs and proprietary protocols to do everything. Now, they have made a firm commitment to have literally everything run through PowerShell. PowerShell is well documented, and – by this point – mature. The “standard” in question may be one of Microsoft’s own creation, but the reason behind the standard – and how Microsoft has gone about its implementation – remains true to the spirit of standards-based computing. I.E. “do something in a well documented way that anyone can tie into and use.”

Remember that PowerShell goes far beyond just Server. System Center everything 2012 is PowerShell controlled. Exchange is PowerShell controlled. SharePoint, Forefront, SQL…all of them.

This isn’t just “a cute way to access some features.” It is a conscious decision made from within Microsoft to make the entirety of their product offerings something that can be programmatically addressed by anyone running any application from any operating system. I can’t think of a better definition of standard. That seems more of a “standard” than some others which claim the name. (802.11n “standards process” being a great example, though the 802.1Qbn “VN-Tag” is another travesty of an example.)

It’s a complete reversal for Microsoft compared to a decade ago. About time.

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Re: PowerShell

I Think you are missing his point.

PowerShell is YASL (Yet ANOTHER Scripting Language). We already have more scripting languages then I can count,all of which are known and understood by programmers and (more importantly) sysadmins everywhere. WHY make a new one?

Ideally, if they really DID have a commitment to openness, they would have designed interfaces to existing languages, preferably with the API being as similar as possible to exestiting APIs on other system. I see NO advantage of PowerShell over scripting facilites on other OSes.

(Note: I HAVE used powershell for interfacing with both Windows and VMWare, so I'm not (completely) talking out of my ass here)

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Re: PowerShell

The way I had it explained to me: PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help.

Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense.

But moving beyond that? Microsoft have already worked hand in hand with several organisations to extend PHP support (including work on some PHP libraries), Node.JS and others.

If you want your favourite scripting language to support the manipulation of Microsoft’s OS and applications, maybe you should ask them to support it? Maybe a project is already underway to ensure they do…

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@Tim

""Interesting, as PowerShell scriptability is another important marker of Microsoft's growing commitment to openness and standards."

What standards would the use of .NET objects (PowerShell objects) being showing commitment to ?"

Its not merely .NET, its also the underlying WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) structure. If an application or service supports WMI then it can be automatically managed by using PowerShell. This is just my guess: but since WMI's structure is fully open for developers people should be able to utilize it in their own software. Obviously its supported in .NET but can also be utilized through C++.

I think that's where the 'open' statement comes from. As to commitment.. Since they continued to support WinRM / WMI in Server 8 they basically continued to support an already existing administrative layer. At least that's my guess on this.

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Re: PowerShell

But why pay for a proprietary solution when you can get it all for free. MS is no playeron the internet cloud providers and I don't see it changing. Is there one compelling reason?

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Re: @Tim

It's more than that. Microsoft have made it policy internally that all future Microsoft Server products fully support PowerShell. So much so that they are not allowed to develop a gui until the PowerShell scriptlets exist. Any and all future Microsoft Server products will be 100% PowerShell, with the GUI nothing more than a push-button method of running a scriptlet.

System Center 2012 is an excellent example of this.

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Re: PowerShell

My time is worth money. The time of my staff are worth money. If you save me so much time by making you product easy to use that you offset the cost of "proprietary," then there is a damned good reason to buy that product. (And is it really proprietary when the APIs are well documented, available, and future developments are being done in the open?)

"Free as in beer" software is only "automatically better" than "proprietary" if you place zero value on the time of the people who must use and administer it. Any and every piece of software has to be looked at from a multitude of angles to find a realistic TCO.

In many cases, proprietary is cheaper than not. In many other cases the reverse is true. An open standard/language/interface/source code/whatever that can only be understood after having 50 years of theory injected directly into your eyeball then jacking into the matrix whilst whistling the Dr. Who theme in exactly the right pitch is completely useless. Whereas an application that costs me $750, takes 5 minutes to set up, and just works for the next ten years pays for itself in no time.

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Paris Hilton

Re: PowerShell

I think everyone is missing the point of why a new shell was invented. Basically, it was an attempt to define a richer way to pipe together operators than input and output streams of text. The idea was that if you exchange objects then a human can always view them (through appropriate deserialization) and code can operate on it in a more predictable way. Hence kluges like grunging through human readable output with sed and awk could be avoided.

That at least is the idea, and motivates why other shells weren't deemed sufficient. How well this all really works is more open to debate.

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Re: PowerShell

"The way I had it explained to me: PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help."

Yes, you like MS and Windows. It is the only solution for you, WE GET IT. I'm in a hederogeneus enviroment. I have Linux, Solaris, BSD, MacOS, Windows (server and desktop), and ESXi; best tool for the job, wouldn't have it any other way.

"Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense."

I never assumed malice. I assumed ANOTHER case of NIH-syndrome, but now that you mention it, MS's busness case is for getting users onto their platform and keeping them there. Promoting skills which are useful outside of their platform is not something which, long term, is useful for them.

I've used it, It's an okay scripting language, BUT I can see no compelling advantage to useing it over any number of other languages, except MS has taken care of the API-bindings for me (that IS a compelling reason to use it (in the windows enviroment), but not enough to justify it's existance). It also means I CANNOT reuse ANY code from other platforms, nor as effecently use my existing staff.

Later on...

"My time is worth money. The time of my staff are worth money. If you save me so much time by making you product easy to use that you offset the cost of "proprietary," then there is a damned good reason to buy that product."

Funny, that's EXACTLY the reason why writing an entirely new scripting language to expose these features makes no sense. MS isn't looking after me with this, they are trying to get me to aquire a MS-excluseive skill. I'll admit, It did work, although I am still nowhere near as fast in PS then in any number of other scripting languages.

"An open standard/language/interface/source code/whatever that can only be understood after having 50 years of theory injected directly into your eyeball then jacking into the matrix whilst whistling the Dr. Who theme in exactly the right pitch is completely useless."

I've yet to encounter more then a handful of scripting languages which fall under this, and I wouldn't advocate them for wide-spread usage. Noone here is, as far as I can tell. Ergo, this is a non-sequitor.

"Whereas an application that costs me $750, takes 5 minutes to set up, and just works for the next ten years pays for itself in no time."

PLEASE call me when MS provides this in the virtualization space. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. I have been hearing MS claim to be the best platform for vitrtualization since they where trying to bribe us with 1USD chips at VMWorld '08. The weren't then. They may be getting more useable, but I'm not yet convenced. As it stands, the last time I needed a fix because MS screwed something up, the responce I got from support (at my cost, both monitarily and a couple weeks of my time, mind you) was: Yep that's a bug. The fix will require massive disruption to you're entire user-base with and hundreds of man-hours of downtime for your userbase to fix.

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Re: PowerShell

“Yes, you like MS and Windows. It is the only solution for you, WE GET IT. I'm in a hederogeneus enviroment. I have Linux, Solaris, BSD, MacOS, Windows (server and desktop), and ESXi; best tool for the job, wouldn't have it any other way.”

Actually, I loathe MS something fierce. They’ve never done me any favours, and their licensing shenanigans that are very anti small and medium enterprise. You know, pretty much my entire client base. Doesn’t prevent me from recognising when they make a good product. As to heterogenous environment, well…yeah. For the past 10 years.

“I never assumed malice. I assumed ANOTHER case of NIH-syndrome, but now that you mention it, MS's busness case is for getting users onto their platform and keeping them there. Promoting skills which are useful outside of their platform is not something which, long term, is useful for them.

I've used it, It's an okay scripting language, BUT I can see no compelling advantage to useing it over any number of other languages, except MS has taken care of the API-bindings for me (that IS a compelling reason to use it (in the windows enviroment), but not enough to justify it's existance). It also means I CANNOT reuse ANY code from other platforms, nor as effecently use my existing staff.”

All good points. But I would have to say that you are wrong about the NIH syndrome. It wasn’t invented just for the sake of inventing something in house. They had their own reasons that made sense given the extant customer base. And frankly they didn’t give much of a damn about catering to all the *nix admins who weren’t paying them money anyways. Why would they?

“Funny, that's EXACTLY the reason why writing an entirely new scripting language to expose these features makes no sense. MS isn't looking after me with this, they are trying to get me to aquire a MS-excluseive skill. I'll admit, It did work, although I am still nowhere near as fast in PS then in any number of other scripting languages.”

Microsoft had the choice: cater to their own customers for whom PowerShell was a natural evolution, or cater to the people who don’t pay them money for software because…why?

“PLEASE call me when MS provides this in the virtualization space. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. I have been hearing MS claim to be the best platform for vitrtualization since they where trying to bribe us with 1USD chips at VMWorld '08. The weren't then. They may be getting more useable, but I'm not yet convenced. As it stands, the last time I needed a fix because MS screwed something up, the responce I got from support (at my cost, both monitarily and a couple weeks of my time, mind you) was: Yep that's a bug. The fix will require massive disruption to you're entire user-base with and hundreds of man-hours of downtime for your userbase to fix.”

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. I will be the very first person to stand up and say that Hyper-V is pretty pants. And SCVMM releases to date have sucked pretty bad. But when you really start using SCVMM 2012, (and Hyper-V in Server 8 has some shiny blue crystals worth a boo as well!) it starts to fall into the realm of “well holy shit, it just works!”

With one caveat: their entire notion of how to do this pretty much relies on your having a mid-sized deployment. Now, if you have a big enough setup that you can do neat things like “have the hosts evacuate all the VMs to another host, then update in sequence,” the Microsoft “private cloud” hullabaloo works like a hot damn.

For smaller deployments, we get into the licenceing issues that form the basis of my seething hatred for pretty much everything to do with Microsoft. They have fantastic stuff in the Server 8/various things that are 2012 lineup. Really, truly awesome offering.

And outside the lab I probably will never get to use them as they were intended. I just don’t have customers that large. Still, I was glad to have had a week to run this stuff in the lab. I have another three weeks worth of articles that will rely on playing around with this test lab, and I look forward to it.

But after that, it’s back to the world of KVM and VMWare 4. 4, because VMWare ESXi 5 licenceing guts its use as a production hypervisor, and the V-tax priced it out of the SMB market. (If it weren’t for KVM, I’d be a wreck about now.)

MS have done a good thing with Server 8 and the 2012 suite of server products. Can we please try to take them on their own merits instead of spraying our collective prejudices around like they meant something? Microsoft are deserving of a great deal of finger wagging for a great many things.

PowerShell isn’t one of them. It’s one of the things they did right.

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Linux

Shortcuts are an illusion.

If you design a system expecting it to be managed by trained monkeys, you will end up with a system that looks like it was managed by trained monkeys. There's really no getting around that. The superficial top layer of the interface is the least interesting aspect of the whole system. Being able to actually understand the system is what separates the competent NT admins from the ones that have to be rescued by Unix SAs.

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Re: @Tim

"If an application or service supports WMI then it can be automatically managed by using PowerShell. This is just my guess: but since WMI's structure is fully open for developers people should be able to utilize it in their own software. Obviously its supported in .NET but can also be utilized through C++."

Ah OK - cheers - that's what I was missing.

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Mushroom

@Trevor_Pott Re: PowerShell

"Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness."

Now I know you have been at the "Kool Aid".

MS has been anti-open since the get go. They are threatening to sue open OSs. The had the UK government remove the requirement for open standards. They oppose open standards in Europe. It took the EU commissioner to force MS to cooperate with the Samba team. MS railroaded the ISO body into ratifying patent-encumbered standards. MS is forcing OEMs to make hardware to Windows-only. MS changed the EULA to the Windows tax is even harder (if not impossible) to claw back.

What part of "a strong business case for openness" does all that (and more) apply to?

Please stop with the MS propaganda.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PowerShell

> The way I had it explained to me:

By whom? Do tell.

> PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

Oh that's all right then - improve the lives of all those dumbed-down, commoditized 'developers' by forcing yet another non-transferable tool into their 'skill' set.

> Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help.

Which, based on the bitter experiences of the last 15 or 20 years, would be our cue to run away screaming as fast as we can in the opposite direction.

> Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense.

Try and remember why .net came into existence in the first place. *cough*Sun*cough*m'lud*cough*

> But moving beyond that? Microsoft have already worked hand in hand with several organisations to extend PHP support (including work on some PHP libraries), Node.JS and others.

See the above paragraph - they extended Java too.

> If you want your favourite scripting language to support the manipulation of Microsoft’s OS and applications, maybe you should ask them to support it? Maybe a project is already underway to ensure they do…

If you want to keep foxes off your lawn, asking the army to fly over and spray it with Agent Orange probably isn't the first idea that would spring to mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PowerShell

> My time is worth money.

More fool your employers in this case Trevor.

Sorry, if you're going to have to spend your whole evening sitting in the comments section, defending and re-editorializing the article you wrote, it might be time to admit it just *didn't stand up in the first place*.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PowerShell

"improve the lives of all those dumbed-down, commoditized 'developers' by forcing yet another non-transferable tool into their 'skill' set."

MS have actually led the way by introducing object-oriented scripting that is in many ways better than the text-bound scripting in Unix Land. They probably hope that others will follow their lead, so those skills WILL end up transferable, with more capable developers/admins.

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Re: PowerShell

Sorry, Trevor, I don't get it. I spend a lot of time writing C. Microsoft never got around to supporting the 1990 standard, but they still claim to have a compliant C compiler. When I write multi-platform code, I have to put in lots of hacks to support MS. This is symptomatic of MS's entire approach to standards: develop your own variant, subvert the existing standard, lock in the user to the MS world-view. We all know this, and we've seen it everywhere: Java, C, JavaScript, the net, IE, you name it. Give the customer a nice cosy feeling with a GUI and some Mogadon, and they'll forget about the outside world. So, MS is now claiming to be more open on its server products, and giving us a CLI, but who actually cares? (a) I don't believe them, (b) existing MS users don't care anyway, and (c) I've already got all that, it works, it works great, and it's supplied by someone who isn't out to screw me by developing myriads of pointless new stuff that has no value and only exists to lock me in. *That* is what distinguishes 'open' from 'proprietary'.

And I don't buy your "$750/5 minutes/works for the next 10 years" argument. But life's too short to go into that.

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Re: PowerShell

Wow my SweepingGeneralisations Detector just exploded.

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Unhappy

Re: PowerShell - managing servers with a shell.

I've (briefly) contemplated managing a Hyper-V Core installation using the command prompt. Having looked that examples of the shoddy, inconsistent mysteriousness of the CLI to the OS, I quickly abandoned ship and persuaded our one Windows 2008 Server instance to manage it remotely. A task so complex, that somebody was obliged to write a script to semi-automate it (hvremote.wsf).

Even if the CLI could be set to adhere to a sensible design convention, the unholy mess that is the registry, and the multifarious internal dependencies that you can't follow without a process tracer, means that fixing and managing the machine configuration is needlessly hard.

The CLI is simply a thin wrapper over the interfaces that the GUI uses. Yuk.

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Re: @Trevor_Pott PowerShell

Oh, you'll get no disagreement from me here. MS is anti-open from a philosophical standpoint, no question. But they have discovered that there is money to be made in openness, and that has reflected in their approaches to their recent server products.

Make no mistake, Microsoft is not “the good guy” in any sense. But quite frankly, which enterprise software companies are?

You are correct, Microsoft have done very bad things, and have behaved like a pack of vicious assholes. Great. Every single person in these forums knows that. BUt it is entirely irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

The issue is the openness of Server 8, and the 2012 series of server software. Regardless of the moral reasons behind choosing an “open” path, it was chosen. This results in some very easy-to-use and powerful software.

Does that make Microsoft the good guys? Hell no. They have at least another decade of behaving not like multi-billion-dollar dongs to go before they earn anything like “trust.” (Which they are busy eroding by not listening to their customer base re: ribbon && metro, AFAIC.)

But that doesn’t change the value of the products on the table, nor the easy of using the things. Nor the fact that having such a product out is going to be a huge change in IT. Here is the first Microsoft Server OS that really and truly can be completely managed by, interoperated with and otherwise integrated into a fully heterogeneous environment. Not because people reverse engineered everything, but because the ability to do so was designed into the product.

Don’t mistake anticipation of a specific product for condoning decades of douchebaggery.

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Re: By whom? Do tell.

Separately by two Microsoft MVPs who focused on PowerShell, and in two separate interviews, one with the one of the folks in charge of the storage division and another with one of the upper-mid-level dudes in the server division. That's enough independant corroboration for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PowerShell

" if you're going to have to spend your whole evening sitting in the comments section, defending and re-editorializing the article you wrote, it might be time to admit it just *didn't stand up in the first place*."

Way to affirm the consequent dumbass..

He's providing valid points in support of his own points and the suggestions/opinions of others, as well as accepting valid criticisms from others. If you think people should make contentious statements and then stick their fingers in their ears when the criticism rolls in, go join a church.

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@AC Re: PowerShell

You write an article that says "Metro is stupid and prevents me from adequately multitasking under these scenarios" and you are "publish[img] articles here whose sole point is to demonstrate that you failed to learn how to organise windows (and work) using workspaces." (Neither workspaces not windows being a feature of Metro...)

Whereas when I write an article that says "hey guys, Server 8 is actually looking like it might be pretty good!" then I am a sycophant and a Microsoft shill.

The ones I love are the seething rage about how I must either be a paid shill, or totally wedded to Microsoft (with added blinders on!) It doesn’t make me upset. These sorts of internet piranhas don’t hurt me in the sad place. They make me laugh at the supreme idiocy of their statements!

I have spent the past two days popping my head up for air from the middle of trying to unpack a .deb so I can gank the source, edit it, compile it into a .rpm and then run distribute the thing to my many and varied CentOS servers – only to have the damned thing blow up on some obscure dependency or other that is normally installed in Ubuntu but not RHEL – just so that I can answer comments.

Comments about how deeply in love with Microsoft I am.

Then I go home, where I am ass-deep in some obscenely long bit of python that I am hoping to turn into a cascading firewall supplement to my IDS. I am building this to deal with the RDP bug. (Mostly it works, I am now at the point of trying to slap a nice PHP interface on it.) I have to do this because there is an absolute requirement to have a Server 2000 system’s RDP port on the net. (Not on 3390, thank $deity.) So I need to put something out in front of it that will detect attempts to compromise it. IP restrictions at the firewall only help so much: you can spoof IPs.

But hey, I don’t know about scripting, or the power of a “real shell” or any of that crap. Because I’m a “junior admin” who “can’t live without his GUI” and so forth.

In this context, participating in the thread is probably closer to trolling on my part. I am absolutely fascinated by all the diatribes. By the flat out fallacious statements and by the seething hatred. There are so many various prejudices in play here it’s hard to know which way is up.

If there is one thing that makes me sad about all of this, it is the realisation that the very same people reasoning in this thread with such vehement hatred are probably a representative sample of why we can’t have nice things. One guy asks “why would Microsoft cater to it’s own know-nothing developers instead of to people like me, who use real operating systems?”

Because he’s an asshole. That’s why.

Why would anyone expend time and money catering to a religious fanatic who is avowedly bent on your destruction, and is a douche about the whole thing besides? Especially when the opportunity is “make something for the people who treat us nice and give us money?”

I’ve written about it before. The attitude of the open source community is one of the major reasons why individuals and companies don’t want to engage with them. Even when there is a commercial advantage to be had in promoting interoperability (and there has been since ~2005), in my opinion, this exact attitude is why it has taken so long for Microsoft to create an operating system that is “open,” and why it took meta-governmental entities to push them into it.

There comes a point where herding cats and taking shit all the time isn’t worth the relatively minor increase in revenue.

So yes, this makes Server 8 a big deal. In spite of all the shit that they have taken, Microsoft have produced a stable, feature rich and (if you ignore the completely unusable interface) good operating system that is as open as one could possibly expect whilst still being closed source. That isn’t going to set a religious zealot’s world alight.

But I like it. It will make my life easier, and provide a good ROI to my customers. In spite of – not because of – the many and varied packs of piranhas that lurk in the forums on the internets.

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Re: PowerShell

I have been around this stuff for 40 years and have used *NIX, proprietary minis, Novell, and Microsoft servers (back to the days of PC LAN/LAN Manager ).

No Microsoft server product has EVER cost $750, and taken 5 minutes to set up, and "just works for the next ten years". Why would I believe them now? The *NIX stuff from the 1980s still works fine ...

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Don't count your chickens just yet...

"Technologies that last year were only accessible to most well-funded of enterprise IT departments"

Just wait until the marketing people see all those 'premium' features and decide to slice them up into different versions so that the best features require a premium license...

Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong.

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"Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong."

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me bloody hundreds of times, shame on me!

MS have a long history of doing all sorts of bait and switch nasties.

WinFS and predecessors were touted to be part of every release from 1990 to 2006, yet never made it into final products.

MS kicked off NT3.x with a commitment to POSIX to lure in the *nix server people. Once they came over, POSIX support was discontinued.

So does anyone really believe all this talk of "open"?

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Meh

Re: "Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong."

Replacing the POSIX subsystem with "Services for Unix Applications", can't exacly be called a backward step. "basic" POSIX complinance was spec'd to enable {MVS, VMS, VME} and other mainframe OS's to support a "basic" level of portability.. and did not spec a shell or a C compiler.. POSIX is not UNIX. Yup Windows POSIX subsystem was window dressing for US govi contracts..

So what of the replacement? MS bought Interix which is a full BSD operating system shell (think Cygwin) repackaged it and gave it away (as SFU then SUA).. and enabled Visual Studio to target a full BSD API including X-Windows libaries.. but Interix/SFU/SUA is no where near as popular as Cygwin, and does not include an XTerm

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WTF?

seems a bit arse about face to me

"If you want to run a fleet of Windows 8 servers from Linux"

Windows, the natural choice for server OS, coupled with Linux, the natural choice for desktop OS.

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Mushroom

Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

I use Microsoft Bing for my search engine, and Google to download ebooks. I buy Music from Amazon and have an open source phone. If I want a form before function desktop operating system, I buy Microsoft. And I turn to Linux and Apple to give me a desktop operating system that allows me to get actual work done.

I turn to OpenFire/Asterix to give me a complete and easy-to-use unified communications setup, and Microsoft is making the best server software around. The most popular Linux available - Android - is under massive patent attack, being sued for copyright infringement and suffers from several legitimate accusations of lack of "openness."

Microsoft is making inroads towards the delivery of an open server suite (despite it being proprietary source code, it is remarkably open), is engaging with the open source community, writing open source code, and is even becoming price competitive in key areas such as virtualisation.

VMware, meanwhile, is putting together more and more productivity and collaboration software tools. HP is the #2 major networking provider, Cisco sells servers, Nortel is no more, IBM doesn’t make PCs, and Dell has a complete enterprise stack that is actually competitive and relevant.

Research in Motion has squandered the blackberry empire, though that corpse is still twitching. Apple owns the tablet market and is under investigation on numerous fronts for various antitrust violations.

Novell got bought out by Attachmate (who?), Twitter appears to have replaced the 6:00 news for a significant chunk of the population, and Facebook is somehow valued at $stupid_number_of_Billions.

And SCO still isn’t dead yet.

The world, it is upside down. Anyone who chooses to constantly judge anything in IT based upon 10yo+ prejudices is a fool.

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Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

Linux is not a natural choice for desktops, in fact it has failed enormously in that area. The compeition is all on the server side. If you talk to people at big ecommerce sites, it's a choice between stable software and big fees from Microsoft, or much less stable Linux which has lower direct fees but lots of associated costs of hiring programmers and dealing with frequent emergencies.

At one major ecommece site in Seattle, they call their Linux programmers "ferel engineers", because of the total lack of any kind of systems engineering ethos in the OSS hacker community. They depend on a handful of senior engineers to herd cats and maintain some order in the process of keeping a complex website up and running 24/7.

One of these engineers described Linux as a single-app OS -- you set up your website and then tune Linux until it doesn't crash anymore, and then you don't even breath on the system for fear of destabilizing it again.

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Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

Trevor_Pott wrote:

"And I turn to Linux and Apple to give me a desktop operating system that allows me to get actual work done."

No offense but unless you are into some Mac-only (cr)application I am really not sure what kind of work you could do faster on a such an ass-backward GUI like OS X - I think Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI to get any work done.

And linux as a desktop... seriously? I *do* run linux (RHEL/CentOS) for several servers, physical and virtual but I have yet to see one linux distro that I would suggest as a primary OS for anyone but my enemies. If you are a geek, yes, if your job involves lot of linux mgmt, yes but for a general purpose desktop for people who know next to nothing about anything "OS", to get things done easily and quickly? Sorry, UI is still not there yet: http://www.ubuntu.com/tour/en/

Windows 8 is... well, I really don't want to burst into heavy cursing so let 's just say it was pretty dishonest to bring it up as an example for Windows. :P

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Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

Sure, but very soon here you won't be able to buy it. The world marches on. Apple and Linux are not the go-to operating systems for "getting things done" because they have magically become better. They are thus because Windows got a hell of a lot worse.

You can hold up Windows 7 as "la la, example of whosawhatsit" all you want, but in a very short time, it's gone. You won't be buying your home PC with it, and the downgrade rights will only apply to VLK/SA customers, and so on and so forth. As with XP, so too Win 7.

$deity have mercy on us all.

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Linux

Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

The only advantage Windows ever had was the perception that it is the monopoly. That means that software is created for it that's not created for anything else. In any other aspect, it has always been inferior to all of it's rivals. Doesn't matter if it's 1988 or 2012.

Use Windows if you need to. Just don't kid yourself that it's worth anything on it's own.

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Linux

Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

Yes because everybody knows that windows server require no expertise of any kind when it comes to develop and deploy windows applications.

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Happy

"La Clemenza di Tito", @Levente Szileszky

>>I think Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI to get any work donе

Didn't you get that even Microsoft is suggesting to get ones hands more on the CLI and makes it clear that it is a better and faster, sometimes the only way to get a (complex) job done.

>>but I have yet to see one linux distro that I would suggest as a primary OS for anyone but my enemies.

Now in this very line I can discern a true Christan, for it had been said onto us "Love your enemies...". You go even further adding: "we get to use an inconvenient, ugly, fraught with viruses, banking trojans system, staying in fear of another leap-year bug, so you, dearest and beloved enemies, could have a better OS."

There is a grain of... joke in every joke

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Anonymous Coward

Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

Ah ! - your usual FUD I see

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