back to article Windows Server's footprint shrunk to reduce Azure bills

Microsoft's quietly revealed that it's shrunk Windows Server's footprint, at least when you run it in Azure. The newly-reduced versions of Windows Server are destined for use in Azure's Managed Disks, a storage option that allows the creation of disks without first creating a storage account and without the need to manually …

  1. Pu02

    After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

    ... storing all those C drives with the most useless, vulnerable or plain redundant legacy programs that end up part of their OS footprints, even if the installer chose the lightest options, they decide NOW is the time to put Win Server on a diet. Oh wow, it's taken them a long time to hear their customers screams.

    Why was all that not optional on day one (or at least 3.11, NT3.5, 95, 98, 2000, XP... ).

    But no, we'll just waste everyone's time on waiting for those old x86 machines to clunk through decompression and installation of all this software they won't need. After all these years! All this time wasted! And even in 2017 it's hard to keep all their unnecessary services and bloatware disabled, let alone remove it without risky, invasive procedures that are likely to cause a problem later.

    MS are late to the party by >20 years, but welcome nonetheless.

    Will they now wait another 10 years to roll out these learnings in a full-featured installer, or an OS you can add services & software to when you actually want them? Perhaps even one that can read existing, non MS filesystems?

    Perhaps. But they'll bias it so that the only real choice for a normal human will be a cloudy one that makes MS plenty of coin to pay for their own Skynet on Azure.

    Which come to think of it, maybe why they're trying to save space already!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

      Windows server does allow you to add roles and features on demand. A default install has a minimal set of features and you add what you need depending on the server role. Because disk is cheap nowadays (unless you go cloudy) by default it will put all the payload files for installing most features onto the disk. This is purely for convenience so that you don't need the install media or an internet connection if you add additional features in the future.

      If you want a slimmed down disk, or are sure you won't need any new features, then just run this powershell command after configuring the server and all unused payload files will be gone:

      Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$_.Installed –eq $False} | Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Remove

      You can also easily use DISM to roll your own custom deployment image without the payload files so they are never installed in the first place. You will then just need to supply an install source when adding features.

      To save more disk space you can slim down a Windows install after applying any updates with ths DISM command:

      dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup /resetbase

      This will however mean that you can't remove any installed updates so use with caution.

      If you want to go really minimal, then deploy Windows Nano server. This fits into less than half a GB of disk space.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

        Using DISM to remove payload files and update rollbacks is all very well, but it still doesn't address the issue that any Roles and Features install themselves to the C: drive as well by default. Consider IIS, it puts both the web root, and all the log files, on the C: drive. Yes, you can change it, but why would it do that in the first place?

        And speaking of log files, although you might get away with a Standard install of Server 2012 or 2016 in 32GB, after about 6 months use you would be lucky if it still fits within that restriction, given all the logging, crash dumps, etc that happens as a normal part of the operation of the server, unless you set up a ruthless cull of all logs at regular intervals.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

          I would assume that the reason IIS defaults to C: is that all servers will have one, so it is a reasonable default. The first thing I do on an IIS box is disable the default website and ignore the inetpub folder. I than add additional volumes as required, configure permissions to prevent folder escalation and start adding sites.

          Many other roles don't install much in the first place, and others such as AD DS will ask you where to put the database and logs.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

      Hopefully in the future they will offer Thin Provisioning and Deduplication to address these type of issues. It's already built into Hyper-V capabilities.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

        Deduplication is nothing more than a hack to work around these problems.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

    WTF are the talking about?

    I know of plenty of Production systems running quite happily with 8Gb, 12Gb and 18Gb of RAM.

    In fact none of the servers in my last job had more than 24Gb apart from those running SQLServer which had 32Gb.

    I used to run 6 Server 2012 VM's on a laptop with 32Gb Ram dor development work.

    Now in a 100% Linux shop and none of the servers in our managed DC have more than 32Gb. None of our customers is even getting close to using all that Ram.

    MS people need to get out into the real world a bit more instead of hiding in their Redmond bunker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

      32GB disk space, not RAM.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

      The word "Disk" is mentioned 8 times in the article.

      Guess you missed those.

    3. Alister Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

      WTF are the talking about?

      WTF are you on about?

      The article is about DISK

    4. a_a

      Re: Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

      Superb trolling, 9/10.....

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Server 2012 Barely runs in 32Gb

      You wally

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Windows can fit onto 32GB

    My Linux desktop fits onto 6.0 GB ..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows can fit onto 32GB

      Good for you. My Windows nano server can fit into 500mb.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Windows can fit onto 32GB

        Good for you. My MS-DOS 6 can fit into 10MB...

        :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows can fit onto 32GB

        You can fit an entire Windows install into 500 millibits!?

        You're not the only one that doesn't seem to know the difference between a bit and a byte though.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Windows can fit onto 32GB

        @Anonymous: "Good for you. My Windows nano server can fit into 500mb."

        That's an entire application stack that fits onto 6.0 GB. Unlike nano server on which you can't run the GUI or applications and requires the rest of its bits to reside on Azure.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    now they have done server can they move to desktop OS

    Now they have shrunk the server OS can they please move to windows 10 and remove ALL the bloat and allow install as required.

    I DO NOT need any Xbox and other rubbish on my business machine. Core + drivers + GUI. then everything else as optional. NO games, No accessories, NO additional "features" just a vanilla low attack surface OS.

    Oh sorry I'm dreaming again...........................

  5. IanMoore33

    30gb storage of garbage

    Last time I installed Windows R2 turd it took 20+GB and still came with no decent editor or compiler !

    You can install a full blown CentOS Linux for 16GB --- FOR FREE . And it has no WananaCry issues .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 30gb storage of garbage

      "FOR FREE" * **

      * If your time has no value

      ** And you don't run anything important that needs enterprise grade vendor support on it

      "And it has no WananaCry issues"

      Presumably they haven't released that tool yet. Linux certainly has those type of issues - for instance the Slapper worm.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is likely just the beginning.... Windows Server A for cloud and Windows Server B for on prem. All enhancements will be put into version A, paid for by support from version B. The choice is yours.

    Although, I'm not sure why people would still be using Windows Server for much at all today... so people can probably solve this issue by just deciding not to have it.

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