"Just for starters, Nano Server is 64-bit only, meaning 32-bit binaries won't run"
The what now? Do you mean 16-bit binaries?
Engineers from Microsoft's Windows Server team took the stage at the Build developer conference in San Francisco this week to share more details on Nano Server, the upcoming micro-sized version of the OS aimed at cloud deployments. "Nano Server is by far the most important, most significant change we've made in Server since …
Since they're focusing this on cloud it's likely they're envisioning use cases where a few dozen systems are spun up to support an app and there the disk savings start to become more detectable.
Small OS images also help when you're copying them over a relatively slow network link, which is sometimes the case for developers pushing updates to the cloud as part of a test/fix/build cycle.
I was actually thinking something like Decluttered Operating System. There's something about MS DOS as an acronym. I can't quite put my finger on it.....
And then you could also have the client OS for phones and tablets. I don't know. Something like Phone Compatible Decluttered Operating System.
"convince the world to return to VMS."
No mention of Cutler in the article. Is he still at MS (he was at MS Research, then seen to be working on Xbox).
He'd be a good man to talk to about the design and implementation of a minimalist robust OS (VMS, VAXELN, RSX11 and some less famous ones).
A good deal of commercial applications require a GUI to install. Yes Server Core has been around for how long... but we all know the rule, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. MS will have a hard job ahead getting every application converted to this model (if at all).
The everything remote mantra will probably work for MS shops. Those who run SQLServer, Exchange, Biztalk and the like but there are a whole raft of products out there that just won't install without a GUI running on the box.
I know that this is heresy in this 'lets bung everything into the cloud' but there are lots of SME's that just won't do that. Their Server 2008 SBS is all that they need. I don't see a compelling plan for them to chuck their whole biz into the AMS or Azure clouds.
We offer cloud services for our customers. The takeup is very small. They prefer the IT systems that run their plant to be on-site. There is very little elastic demand so having that in even a local cloud is rather overkill.
But it is early days yet. We shall have to see how much this OS gets knobbled by MS Management before it hits the streets. Only then will we know if MS are onto a winner here or not.
> A good deal of commercial applications require a GUI to install.
Just build SSH and X11 support into the nano-server, and you could just export the installer GUI to a remote machine... (don't bother with Wayland or Mir, because we know those are hostile to anything being run remotely)
I don't know why I remember shit like this
(in reference to MS hotmail FreeBSD->Windows migration)
"We find also that the Windows image size can be a real inconvenience on a big farm: "The team was unable to reduce the size of the image below 900MB; Windows contains many complex relationships between pieces, and the team was not able to determine with safety how much could be left out of the image. Although disk space on each server was not an issue, the time taken to image thousands of servers across the internal network was significant. By comparison, the equivalent FreeBSD image size is a few tens of MB.""
Microsoft calls 400 MB “small,” not including drivers. The cloud people call that huge and slow, and are looking to minimize it. Docker is promoting minimalist operating systems like Ubuntu Core, that take like 40 MB of storage. Xen is promoting unikernels that can take less than 1 MB of memory.
Not to mention that, if you really wanted to, you could make a server out of OpenWRT, that routinely fits Linux and a bunch of other stuff into 8MB of flash.
Microsoft has a real problem with relevance. Only fools would make themselves dependent on Microsoft products.
The link on the reg article is dead, you might find this useful instead:
Not sure it is 100% accurate.
Don't you just love the "Strengths of Windows" section ...
1. is an utter lie, even back then, if you consider Linux a Unix system
2. Might have been true then, today, it's completely different
3. BS, how can I read the temperature, for example, on Windows ? Even back then, the guy who wrote that did not know about dmesg.
4. UNIX (FreeBSD and Linux) have better hardware support than windows
5. Is there a version of Windows in Esperanto ? Linux now has so many more translations than windows ... and I am sure FreeBSD just picks them up.
First off... I am no Windows fan, but think this is an interesting move on their part, and I hope they have good success developing a stripped Windows. The biggest problem Windows has had is the layer after layer of congealed together, interdependent, bloated cruft; more recently, .NET and so on kind of "sits on top" so a lot of the cruft is not even necessary. This sounds like it strips it right out.
"A good deal of commercial applications require a GUI to install."
Yep, the article says right now the "install method" is to just copy files into the install image. They'll have to work on this. Most Windows installers really just ask a question or two (which can be automated for automated installs) and show a progress bar, so I can't see any reason why these can't be made to work without GUI (to be honest, I assumed they already could work without GUI -- if some MSIs get pushed onto your WIndows box by the administrator, it really pops up Windows randomly while it does it's thing?...)
" Yes Server Core has been around for how long... but we all know the rule, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. MS will have a hard job ahead getting every application converted to this model (if at all)."
Except, this core still had way WAY more cruft than Nano, much of which is really not needed for a server. I think Nano is taking the general concept of Server Core and going way beyond it.
"The everything remote mantra will probably work for MS shops. Those who run SQLServer, Exchange, Biztalk and the like but there are a whole raft of products out there that just won't install without a GUI running on the box."
Well, there's plenty of setups (both Windows and otherwise) where someone deploys (usually a VM these days), it runs some services. They script updates, software installs, software replacements, configuration changes, and so on, either "roll your own" or using something like Puppet -- a GUI is actually a hindrance in this case.
But, I think if the goals of Nano come to fruition, it could still be useful for your scenario where you need a GUI (although Server Core does allow removing some items) -- you could have the GUI, but (unless you want it) no print support, no scanner support, no fax support, no dialup networking, no wifi support, no DirectX support, and so on; exploits in these subsystems cannot be exploited if they don't even exist on your install.
Apparently you missed this:
"All management is done remotely, via a combination of Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and PowerShell – or more accurately, Core PowerShell, a new formulation of Redmond's command line that runs on the Core CLR, rather than the full .Net runtime."
The 'concept ' of a Windows 'nano-Server' for advanced Cloud Computing is solid, as already proven by slimmed down, single purpose CoreOS, RedHat Atomic Host and Ubuntu Snappy.
But there are at least 2 critical technical considerations that must be addressed - completely and truthfully by Microsoft, which determines whether Nano-Server is a dud or an alternative - although far inferior - choice against Linux and BSD UNIX-like Cloud Computing Server configurations.
One is the Windows ResFS file system that is woefully inadequate and weak in performance and scalability compared to ZFS and btrfs file systems in NIX (UNIX and/or Linux), and indispensible for high performance Cloud Computing according to several "real world" case studies and evaluations performed by entities like Oracle, IBM, NEC, HP, Boeing, Ericsson, AT&T and many others for large scale Cloud Computing environments.
The second concern relates to the exploding use and requirement for "Containerization" functionality, now deemed critical in all Cloud Computing technology, with popular and highly demanded Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) based Docker containerization in particular, developed with and for NIX environments that Microsoft is "bolting on" or "retro-fitting" to their Azure Cloud Computing solution with mixed results at best, since the licensing and copyright for Docker does not permit the type of "proprietary" integration with Windows that Microsoft would prefer.
While it is possible to run Linux and UNIX Docker containers "within" Azure Cloud services, this is calculated as a convoluted approach, much as it is building a brick house on a sand foundation. A powerful and robust Cloud Computing solution built on NIX with 'native" Docker, Rocket or BSD Jails Containers is technically superior and considerably more sensible that disjointed Microsoft offerings.
"It's really the foundation for all of the components, going forward," Snover said. "We want a model of 'just enough OS'. If you're running an application and you need 5GB worth of components, great; you should have 5GB of components. But you shouldn't have 10GB. And if you only want 900MB, you should only have 900MB."
So, a modular OS, then -- kind of like people have been asking MS for for about 25 years? The kind Microsoft said was impossible to do in their defense of the whole IE bundling thing?
>Does anyone really want to manage the registry completely from command line?
While possible even in cmd (albeit tiresome) it is even less of a problem in powershell.
You can mount registry hives and treat them like a file system (within PSh only though, not on windows explorer)
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