back to article No plans for Friday night? There's a pile o' Windows Server ISOs feeling lonely

Now that Windows 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft's client OS, is safely out the door, Redmond has turned its attention to its server family: Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and the new Windows Intune all reached general availability on Friday. The October 18 release date should come as no surprise to Windows …

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Silver badge

Touch interface on a server OS?

I'll never understand what Microsoft was/is thinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Touch interface on a server OS?

Next step is to put Microsoft Bob on it! 'Hi! I'm Rover! It looks like you want to host a website. Click on me to find out how!'

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Silver badge

Re: Touch interface on a server OS?

"I'll never understand what Microsoft was/is thinking."

Really? They've been saying the same thing since Windows 3.1:

"One unifying interface across the entire Windows Experience, Windows on the desktop, The tablet, the phone, and TV. One unifying experience across every system."

First said by Bill Gates back in the 1980s, last said by Steve Ballmer just a week before he announced he was stepping down, and by every spokesman for Microsoft at every event ever in between.

Never mind that it's impractical, infeasible, and increasingly, irrelevant, it is the one true vision of Microsoft. And unless things change after Ballmer's truly gone, Microsoft will die trying to implement it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Touch interface on a server OS?

What are you talking about? The Server comes with NO UI by default. There is no need to install one.

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Silver badge

Re: Touch interface on a server OS?

Got to love the downvotes by the Linx tards. Oddly it always seems to be pegged at 4 within a few minutes of posting a pro windows / correct answer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Touch interface on a server OS?

Yes! Metro for everything! It's the only correct way! Three cheers for Larson-Green. That will teach those danged Looonix commies!

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Anonymous Coward

Metro on a server!

Metro on a server! Hahahaha how pathetic. And yes I am well aware it doesn't need to be installed with a graphical user interface. But still, Metro on a server hahaha!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

If you really need a GUI on a server then Metro is great. All your key applications and options are on one screen with no need to dig through a start menu to find them....

And if you want a GUI but don't like Metro, you can just boot to the desktop instead.

2012 is a great OS - leagues ahead of the competition in terms of security (fewer patches and days at risk than any comparable option except BSD UNIX) with more enterprise functionality (for instance disk deduplication) and better scalability (for instance 1 million IOPS in a single VM).....

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Silver badge

Re: Metro on a server!

> If you really need a GUI on a server then Metro is great

If you're insane and don't need to get anything done, it is spot on. However if you want to do the simplest task then it's the Peaches Valentine [*] of OSes. I had to reboot our 2012 server. The boss had forgotten how. I'd never done it before and wasted 20 mins mousing around but couldn't find anything relevant. In the end I opened up a dos cli and (with help from google) did "shutdown /r".

What strides hath M$ made, eh.

That's just one of many examples BTW. I rather like the Peaches valentine comparison, I'll use it again I'm sure.

[*] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Goon_characters#Peaches_Valentine>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

Assuming your post is not sarcasm, it is the stupidest thing I have read today.

IOPS*

*Idiot Orgasms Per Second

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

If you don't know how to reboot a production server you've deployed, that's your problem, not Microsofts, frankly.

If you said something similar about not knowing how to restart a Linux server through CLI because you lived in Gnome all the time, I'd similarly ream you.

FWIW I have no issue with Metro in Server2012 as you can just have the main bits and bats you need on the first section - ADUC, GP editor, Powershell etc.

What I do have an issue with is enforced reboots upon login with windows updates - what a fucking stupid idea. Also, that it keeps RDP sessions active between connections, leaving you with 10-15 logon sessions running, eating performance.

I mean, WTF?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

You can make a reasonable use case for Metro on a phone or tablet. On the desktop it is a lot harder to justify, hence the continual argument over it. On a server it is without a doubt completely bloody hatstand.

Honestly I think if Microsoft decided that the X-box controller and interface was a suitable way of accessing a server, there would be people defending it. I can just now see systems admins setting up new user accounts using something not dissimilar from the X-box live character creator...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

@AC 21:14 - I have not seen the behaviour you are experiencing and I've been using 2012 for a good year now. Is it possible that someone else has done some config work and you've not realised? It's certainly not out of the box configuration.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

@BlueGreen - Two points - Why do you have a server in production which you don't understand how to operate? Learn before deployment. Also you say you wasted 20 minutes looking for a basic command which has been in Windows since NT4, IIRC. To put it another way, the same command has been used to reboot Windows for NEARLY TWENTY YEARS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server! @AC0915

I'll admit, quite possibly. I suspect someone has configured it poorly without realising, because they didn't actually experiment with it first, and assumed it was 2008 R2 + Metro (whereas it is in fact, quiet a bit different in many respects). A bit of research suggests it is not, as you state, standard behaviour - and it doesn't do it on any of the servers I have built and deployed. Because I followed best practises, rather than following my nose.

Suffice to say I have a suspicion of who it is, and I'm probably going to give them a swift boot up the backside....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server! @AC0915

I've been considering investing in a ducking stool for such occasions. I've heard they can be terribly effective.

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Silver badge

Re: Metro on a server!

Bluegreen>

In the end I opened up a dos cli and (with help from google) did "shutdown /r".

Fuck me, how old are you 12?

You admin a server and you don't even know the most basic of commands.

Now people, you see why Windows server admins get such a bad rep.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server! @AC0915 again

Ducking stool? Car battery, HT coil, insulated gloves.

You gotta make sure that lesson sticks. Scars are a good memory aid...

Also, sparks - Rule of Cool.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro on a server!

"enforced reboots upon login with windows updates"

This scares me a bit. Can I get some elaboration please?

I am about to go on vacation, and while I am away, a monster dual quad core 4650 server cluster on 2012R2 is being configured for use.

Are you suggesting that I may end up rebooting my cluster nodes without explicitly requesting it?

That would be quite bad, actually.

Sorry if I misunderstood, it is late ...

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Bronze badge

Detox

I'm happily removing the last Windows servers from my data centres.

Mmmm - have fun kids with your really strange interface.

Have you any idea how I'm going to miss patch Tuesday?

Cheers

Jon

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Re: Detox

Have you any idea how I'm going to miss patch Tuesday?

I am confused. Are you not going to patch your non-windows servers, just patch them on a different day or just waste a silly amount of time testing and updating as soon as a patch is released for each distro, application and module?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Detox

"Have you any idea how I'm going to miss patch Tuesday?"

I would say a lot. As with say an enterprise Linux distribution instead you will have at least ten times the security patches to evaluate. That are realised on no set schedule and with far less regression testing.....

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2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

There is absolutely nothing, except a few gimmicky add-ons that Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows InTune can do that cannot be done with greater scalability, performance reliability and security than a professionally configured and tuned FreeBSD 9.2 Server setup or RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.4x - and at "a fraction of the cost", aggravation, down-time and patching process one will experience in the new Windows systems. , even for small implementations like those with which I work.

Want proof? Three unimpeachable examples.

The IBM Watson Super Computer that won the Jeopardy Game Show Challenge against the best previous winners, and is now used in designing traffic control systems for some of the largest cities in the world - as only one example - runs Linux. Windows Server was never able to handle the super computing operations required and therefore was never a consideration.

Neflix recently chose FreeBSD Server OS and it's Networking Services to power thousands of Server Appliances at AT&T, Verizon and other national carriers for efficient streaming of millions of movies each week to it's subscribers. Windows Server - the best from Microsoft - failed 'real world' testing and actual in-place operation.

Even more recently, Verisign, one of the largest and most prominent Domain and Certificate Registration corporations worldwide, substantially increased it's FreeBSD operations to add to their substantial and dominant "Linux infrastructure".

Ditto for Yahoo, Twitter and most of the largest technology , financial services firms and Stock Exchanges in the world - meaning outside NY to California.

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Silver badge

Nobody installs a Windows server because of things you can do on other OSes

There are 2 reasons why people still install Windows servers:

1. They don't know anything else. This may seem shocking to many, but there are people who grew up on Windows and never bothered looking around. Even if they looked around, they missed crucial points like how software distribution on modern operating systems work. Those people may even ask questions like "How do I install Acrobat Reader on Linux?".

2. They have to run some legacy software package which is closed source and probably will never be able to run on POSIX. In many cases that software package will have cost a lot of money and be worse than the open source alternative you can find in 10 minutes. In other cases there is no alternative and you are stuck.

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FAIL

Re: 2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

"There is absolutely nothing, except a few gimmicky add-ons that Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows InTune can do that cannot be done with greater scalability, performance reliability and security than a professionally configured and tuned FreeBSD 9.2 Server setup or RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.4x - and at "a fraction of the cost", aggravation, down-time and patching process one will experience in the new Windows systems. , even for small implementations like those with which I work."

Well, it's pretty clear you have no idea about large systems, as otherwise you wouldn't spill such nonsense. The thing is that while Linux and FreeBSD are great, operating systems are not a purpose in itself. And if you try to mimic the backoffice of a large organization on Linux then quite quickly it gets very painful (just ask the various Linux vanity projects like Munich). And it's even worse with FreeBSD and its lacklustre hardware support.

BTW, it may be news for you out there in the sticks but the myth that Windows is generally less secure than Linux has been debunked by security experts for a long time. And I could tell you quite a few stories about lost nights because of shitty Linux patches and the aggravation that FreeBSD caused with standard server hardware, so it's not all roses there, too.

"he IBM Watson Super Computer that won the Jeopardy Game Show Challenge against the best previous winners, and is now used in designing traffic control systems for some of the largest cities in the world - as only one example - runs Linux. Windows Server was never able to handle the super computing operations required and therefore was never a consideration."

Utter BS. The reason Linux is the major OS in the HPC arena is simply because its sources are open and it can be easily modified for specialist tasks - this is the same reason why Linux is in most routers, TVs and other gear. Windows isn't really a contender as MS isn't even interested in HPC any more, because even when such projects give geeks a boner the reality is that it's not profitable for MS to cater for this market (which MS found out the hard way with Windows HPC). In addition, what's required for HPC is utterly irrelevant for what businesses around the globe need to run their business. A market which btw is still predominantly Windows.

Oh, and as for your other examples of companies invest in Linux infrastructure, for every one that does that there are probably four or five companies extending their investment in Windows, but since this is common for businesses it doesn't make the headlines. Even more so, if you have a closer look you will find that the backoffice of many of those 'investors in Linux' run on Windows and Exchange, and that Linux is often employed in a niche where its flexibility makes it the best choice.

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Alert

There are 2 reasons why people still install Windows servers:

You forgot the most important one:

3. People need something to get the job done and understand that an OS is just the tool to get there and not a purpose in itself. So they choose the application that does the job and then the OS that best supports that application. They may also require proper IHV/ISV support which further limits the OS choice.

Telling people that they can do everything on Linux no matter what only shows utter ignorance for the most basic principle in IT - that the problem (the task) dictates the platform, not the other way around. Sometimes this means Linux is the better choice, sometimes not.

"Those people may even ask questions like "How do I install Acrobat Reader on Linux?"."

Right, and after they were told to "RTFM" they will conclude that while Linux may be great (which it definitely is), a large part of the community is very unpleasant and unhelpful, and they will quickly return to the "just works" solution where people are less likely to project their uber-ego into an operating system.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

Watson may use Linux as the underlying OS, but the smart bit really isn't the OS. Suggesting that it couldn't be done with AIX, z/OS or any other OS - including Windows HPC clusters - is like saying that the hardware (POWER7 boxes) is critical and that you couldn't do it on Intel.

IBM would have chosen Linux and the underlying OS because it's the default OS for many projects in IBM, not because it would be impossible on other OSes. That said, Linux would certainly be cheaper, particularly when you've chosen POWER hardware and your only other option is AIX.

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Silver badge

Re: There are 2 reasons why people still install Windows servers:

"a large part of the community is very unpleasant and unhelpful"

How lucky we all are that Microsoft is neither.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

There are numerous things that Windows server is faster and scales better at. Virtualisation for a start. A Linux solution is STILL unable to manage 1,000,000 IOPS in a SINGLE VM and Windows did that over a year ago. Windows Server also holds the record for the fastest standard OS based SMB server.

Windows Server also has a much better security record than Linux in high risk internet facing deployments - you are 3-4 times more likely to be successfully hacked running Linux than Windows. Linux distributions have far more security vulnerabilities that on average take longer to be fixed.

The vast majority of enterprises base the majority of their compute infrastructure on Windows Server - it now has a 75% market share and continues to grow at the expense of legacy UNIX systems...

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/cloud/index.html?WT.mc_id=Social_TW_OutgoingAnnouncements_Tue%20Oct%2008%2020:36:00%20GMT%202013_26242314_windowsserver

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nobody installs a Windows server because of things you can do on other OSes

3. They cost less to run (TCO)

4. They integrate much better in most corporate environments.

5. They have numerous advanced features not available on say Linux...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There are 2 reasons why people still install Windows servers:

"How lucky we all are that Microsoft is neither."

Microsoft paid support is excellent. Best I have encountered in terms of OS.

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Bronze badge

Re: There are 2 reasons why people still install Windows servers:

My experience is uniformly horrid until you get at least 4 levels deep, at which time one might interact with a sentient, literate being.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

Fuck - more Idiot Orgasms Per Second!!!

Who the fuck is this shill spouting such palpable nonsense.

Eadon was intelligent compared to this moron.

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Bronze badge

Re: 2012 R2 - over-powered by FreeBSD and Linux

"There is absolutely nothing, except a few gimmicky add-ons that Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows InTune can do that cannot be done with greater scalability, performance reliability and security than a professionally configured and tuned FreeBSD 9.2 Server setup or RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.4x"

Really, Do tell me how you do Dynamic Access Control (expression based security ACLs and claims based authorisation) with Linux or FreeBSD? Or even use Kerberos constrained delegation instead of Sudo?

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Gold badge

Making it harder than it has to be.

But... a) You can still do those patches at whatever schedule you'd prefer. b) Linux distros are not an unholy mess internally, so although one should test, security patches do not blow up a whole system as happens from time to time on Windows. c) Linux distros use a proper package manager instead of just slapping on layers of patches. An update causes a problem? Windows does have System Restore -- but Linux uses a proper package manager rather than layers and layers of patches, so if an update breaks something you can just reinstall the pre-update version of that package (and pin the package version so it doesn't re-update, or take the bad update off your update server if you have your own.)

This isn't a rag on Windows... (well a little). I'm just saying, if you expect to treat your Linux distro just like Windows, you can but it'll make things more difficult than they need to be compared to finding out how Linux is actually admin'ed and doing it that way.

Anyway... I'd play with a demo of one of these, if VT-X wasn't required to run it in VirtualBox. As it is VirtualBox almost immediately pops up a warning that it can't virtualize it (Windows 8 and I assume on up) and bails.

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Is this piece an advert?

It doesn't seem to contain any editorial content, just stuff that could be gleaned from Microsoft's web site

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