Windows Server 2008 Core gets a new role

Windows Server 2008 Core gets a new role

Summary: 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.

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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?

Topics: Servers, Microsoft, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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13 comments
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  • This will be great for larger more specialized companies

    not so great for the small guy.. we tend to pile as much crap on one server as possible.

    Good to know we have options though.

    I wish i knew how i missed this event.. i am in orlando!
    Been_Done_Before
    • I'm in Tallahassee, FL.

      I'd always love to visit events but I don't have a very high income, since I'd be in college this fall.
      Grayson Peddie
      • if i had known i would of gone.. :(

        sucks to be in college with no money.. thats usually when you find a friend in the city.. stay with them for the event..

        i think its free entry.. just parking.. buf if they can drop you off.. free :)
        Been_Done_Before
    • But will PHP

      and mysql updates be available via windows update?
      Suicida|
      • i was plesantly suprized they put in php.. BUT

        it makes sense if they want to steal space on webhost provider shelves. Its easier to manage one type of server.. but price wise.. i have to wonder.. most linux hosting is much cheaper.

        As for updates.. good question. I would assume that MS would assimilate update from the PHP site into their updates, webhosts would demand it. Being that most code is sent out uncompiled.. they could just compile it for windows.. this will get easier as software becomes platform independent.
        Been_Done_Before
  • Windows 2008 Server to run Virtual

    As I understand it, Windows 2008 Server will not run at the hardware level but rather virtually on top of a Microsoft/Novell 64 bit hypervisor. You will likely have more than one copy of Windows 2008 Server each running the roll best suited for it and the hypervisor load balanceing . For example, one virtual copy will serve a gate keeper's role and will prevent hackers from using VNC. Another may include MS SQL. Neither of these requires a GUI and perhaps neither needs a browser. The hypervisor will also allow virtualizing SUSE Linux and one common administrator console will be available to maintain all virtual operating systems. Windows, and Linux.
    mighetto
  • YES!

    Out of all the "Core" services, this is the one that I really hoped would be included and to me at least the most useful. I'm lucky enough to work somewhere that doesn't have 50 different things running on the same server. I personally think the core services are long overdue. Keeping the amount of junk running down to a minimum should help increase performance (every last little bit helps), and it also reduces the amount of possible attack points to a minimal set.
    Yensi717
  • Well, at least I can't host ASP.net web pages in Server Core...

    Hint: .net Framework.
    Grayson Peddie
  • Message has been deleted.

    ballmerrules@...
    • ID10T Error!!!!

      Dream on ID10T, you will have more of your reboots and Windows Updates to look forward to with WS08.
      aaron.hodgson@...
  • Question about Server Core + IIS 7.0

    If I were to host ASP.net web pages, could IIS 7.0 talk to a remote server (with a normal installation of Windows Server 2008 with .net Framework 3.5 installed) for getting ASP.net compiled and transfer the assembly back to main server and then sending out the ASP.net assembly to the client's browser for viewing? This is even if the main server doesn't have the .net Framework because of the server core installation.

    Another question, couldn't the Server Core have the compact version of CLR (Common Language Runtime) in order to help speed up the compilation? By doing so can help cut the processing time in half. Or maybe the .net Micro Framework if it's the only possible for Server Core?
    Grayson Peddie
    • As for .net Micro Framework, I'm talking about something...

      ...without one of the following namespaces:

      System.Drawing
      System.Windows.Forms;
      System.Web;

      I could use System.IO.Ports for serial port communication with [url=http://www.smarthome.com/2412s.html]Insteon Power Line Modem (PLM)[/url] for communication with the [url=www.insteon.net]Insteon network[/url], and have the main server act as a home automation server. Of course I'd use Windows Small Business Server 2008 for web/file/print/media server/home automation server.
      Grayson Peddie
  • It;s about Time!

    This is yet another product coming from Microsoft that would have never even been considered if not for the presence of competition in the form of Linux.
    mwiley_z