back to article Upping your game with Windows Server 2012

Join us on December 7 at 11:00 GMT, when we’ll be broadcasting live from our London studio with Reg readers Chris Losch, from Newham Council, and Gary Collins, from Intercept IT. Between them, they’re going to run through a raft of real-world projects and deployment scenarios where they’ve been using and abusing Windows Server …

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FAIL

A very compelling reason not too...

You'd need Win8 to administer it because the admin tools haven't been backported yet.

And I for one do NOT consider the idea of a desktop fully crammed with every available msc file for easier access to be a very appealing admin setup.

And yes; I know that in theory you should also be able to cope with PowerShell. I say in theory because no matter how much I admire both the provided capabilities, as well as its general versatility, there are plenty of times where an MSC file (read: desktop admin application) is a lot quicker to operate than a rather large commandline instruction. Esp. if you need a function which you don't very often use.

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"You'd need Win8 to administer it because the admin tools haven't been backported yet."

You can use the interface on Server 2012 instead, just as you can on previous versions of Server. You may not like the GUI on Server 2012 (you've written many times about that), but it doesn't seem problematic to me.

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@H4rm0ny

Although I agree with you that it can be done; where does that leave Microsoft's core feature wrt 2012; the by default desktop-less installation? Worse; where does that leave remote administration?

The only reason I repeat this particular issue is because I honestly think that 2012 has a lot of potential. If only they would hurry up and backport the admin tools...

Its not only my heavy disdain for the metro void here, but also because I think its much more likely that there are more Win7 desktops to be found in an environment where a new 2012 server is about to be placed. I don't see admin teams updating to Win8 merely because its the only way to admin the server remotely.

So yeah, in my opinion it almost seems as if there is a bit of arrogance at work here. Everything seems to be put to work to try and get Windows 8 out there, no matter what. And THAT is what bugs me the most here. Microsoft used sit WAY above that.

Windows Server 2008, release date 2008 (obviously). It wasn't fully aimed at remote administration as 2012 is, yet was shipped out of the box with WinRM 2.0 (Powershell). And they still backported these features, also onto 2003 and up. In no time!

Also important to note; obviously you could admin 2008 using Win7 out of the box and more easily (PowerShell) but that backporting (see above) also allowed this kind of advanced access straight from XP. Even though at that time Win7 had already established itself as the de-facto new "liked" Windows.

Server 2008 came out, Win7 obviously natively supported the critter but in no time did MS make sure XP could /fully/ cope too. In no time meaning no more than a few weeks (iirc).

Even though they could also have said: "Nah, XP admins should get win7 or get used to remote desktop sessions when using 2008". They didn't.

THAT is what upsets me so when it comes to 2012. I get the feeling this is more about pushing Win8 down our throats than delivering the (IMO) optimal admin experience which MS has always done so far.

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Re: @H4rm0ny

"Although I agree with you that it can easily be done;"

I feel the bolded word is an important ommission from your original statement which otherwise suggests it's some sort of fiddly work around to use Server 2012 without Windows 8.

"where does that leave Microsoft's core feature wrt 2012; the by default desktop-less installation? Worse; where does that leave remote administration?"

I'm really starting to wonder if you've actually used this or looked at it. Firstly, GUI-less operation is not MS's "core feature", it's one of many very nice enhancements and new features on Server 2012. If you don't use it (and this is the personal 'you' there, most people will be able to use it fine because they don't have your dislike), then there are still plenty of other features that make it well worth having. And you can turn the GUI on or off as you like. During run-time. I don't think you understand the advantage of the GUI-less setting - it reduces overhead and footprint when you're running ranks of virtualized instances. I honestly find your objection to using the management tools on Windows 8 arbitrary and ill-supported anyway. It's a $40 upgrade and Win8 does everything that Win7 does. Your inability to manage a different Start Screen is well-documented on these forums, yet it still comes up against my direct experience that I personally am able to manage with it fine so I don't see why you have trouble with it.

I also don't see why you find it so unreasonable that the new admin tools should be released for Windows 8 first.

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Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

The Metro/ModernUI is a childish unusable nonsense on Windows8 already. Having it on WindowsServer2012

it's way worse and just more retarded.

Wasting time with Metro/ModernUI it's just plain stupid.

Microsoft deserves to go bankrupt on this mess.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

Actually the GUI on Server 2012 is really very good. It may be Metro based, but it's stripped down and simplified, with minimal apps, which is just what you want in a Server GUI. The vast majority of tasks that you may want to run can be achieved from the Server Manager, which is a normal GUI app or control panel. I would go so far as to say that the Metro interface with legacy GUI backup is more suited to Server than it is to Workstation.

You can also do anything you want remotely via the powershell, or locally via the powershell, as GUI-less is the suggested install.

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Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

Really good because it's a little kids toy with less tiles ? So that makes that professional and productive? Geez!

You Microsoft employees every day come up with a new silly lie to sell the Metro/ModernUI crap.

Pathetic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

"Actually the GUI on Server 2012 is really very good."

I don't know how any sane person could say that!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

Actually, I'm not an MS employee, I'm an employee of a major rival.

Let me be clear: You need two things in a server OS' interface, you need a good, fully featured, command line, which allows remote access and everything that can be done in the GUI to be done in a command (or a few commands.) You also need a good GUI or workstation hosted GUI tools. That GUI needs to be simple, clean, intuitive and consistent, Windows 2012 has this.

One of the major advantages that Windows has always had (like NetApp in the storage world) is that administration is easy. When you're on a server team supporting multiple OSes and applications this is a must. You need to be able to look at something and work out what's wrong, without having to try arcane command line options, but those command line options need to be there, in order that you can automate.

To suggest that an interface is too simple tells me that, first - you've not used it and second - you're a command line snob. There is nothing that's un-manly or un-nerdly if you prefer, about using a GUI to get a one-off job done quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

@AC 14:46 - probably the sort of person who has actually used it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

(AC 14:46 at AC 16:52) I have used it......... You have powershell and Server Manager but a Tablet GUI has no place on a server OS.

We'll have to agree that sanity is relative :)

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Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

You just contradicted yourself multiple times there.

Rather silly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

@Joerg - where is the contradiction?

If I need to fix something, quickly as a on-off, I use a GUI, bosh, it's done.

If I need to extract information, or perform the same operation multiple times, I use a command line "do this, with that" sorted.

Unless you prefer to research on the Internet or manual pages to learn how to run commands that you'll need as a one-off while customers are dealing with a system down type of call, because it's somehow the "adult" thing to do? Or use a gui again and again to perform the same operation on, say, every user in your directory?

Both GUIs and CLIs have their place, anyone who says they don't is not a proper sysadmin.

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FAIL

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

Metro/ModernUI is not a GUI, it's a silly childish joke. It can be nice in a kindergarten for preschool kids games but nothing more than that.

All the WinPhone and tablets with Metro/ModernUI tiles are just plain dumb. Adults wasting time with silly useless tiles lacking any advanced funcionality.

Also Microsoft claims that Metro/ModernUI is fast.. of course,it's just plain basic 2D vector graphics that even PCs of 20-30years ago would have been pretty fast a rendering. Everything about Metro is a huge lie.

Windows8 is a just a real shame.

WindowsServer2012 is an ever worse shame with Metro/ModernUI.

Add to that that the Microsoft Storage Spaces is a flawed unreliable attempt at copying Sun's software RAID ZFS functions.

WindowsServer2012 is just a big fail along with the whole Metro/ModernUI plague that turned Windows8 in a messed up unusable crappy product too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

It's childish, but you're accusing them of being dumb and liar liars, pants on fire?

You also have clearly not used storage on Windows in any serious manner, if you think that it's not had software RAID before now and that they're somehow "copying" Sun. You also clearly know nothing about storage if you think that Sun are the people who came up with many of the ideas in ZFS, have a look at Symantec/Veritas VxFS/Foundation suite.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only a fool would want the childish Metro/ModernUI on a server.

AC 14:46 here - "Both GUIs and CLIs have their place". I totally agree. Some things are best done with CLI, some with GUI.

But putting a tablet GUI on a server OS - Can't see 2012 TS taking off! Perhaps that's a good thing, as I like to creep behind Citrix admins and shout "PRINTERS" :)

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Facepalm

Yawn.... Why bother?

All that effort to follow the dodo?

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