Windows Server 2008, when it ships later this year, will include an installation option called "Server Core" that allows admins to set up a minimal environment to run a handful of roles.
At TechEd 2007 here in Orlando, Microsoft announced that it will be adding yet another admin-selectable role option to Server Core: Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7), Microsoft's Web server.
"Customers will benefit from an extremely modular, low-footprint Web hosting platform on top of the already small Server Core," Microsoft said in a press release explaining the addition. "Server Core is ideal for hosting the PHP scripting language and now runs 10 to 20 times faster than before as a result of improvements in IIS."
News of the addition met with applause by some attendees of the morning kick-off keynote here at Microsoft's IT pro show in Orlando.
Windows Server 2008 (the product which was known, until quite recently as Longhorn Server) has been designed since its inception to consist of a core foundation with roles layered atop it. Instead of uninstalling functionality, customers will add on specific roles and features that they want/need to run.
Only 25 percent of the bits in Windows Server 2008 are installed as part of "Server Core" -- everything else is an add-on, Microsoft execs told me recently.
Originally, Microsoft planned to offer only a handful of core roles. But now the count must be close to ten. Any testers worried that too many roles may spoil the slim-core broth?