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Windows Server 2008 Thread, Server Core Reality Check in Technical; Has anyone compared normal vs. core 2K8 properly? If you have then how come you're not running around saying: "It's ...
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    Server Core Reality Check

    Has anyone compared normal vs. core 2K8 properly? If you have then how come you're not running around saying: "It's too much faffing around for not enough benefit"? Or did you see a significant benefit?

    I haven't done this seriously but right now I'm looking at normal 2K8 + DC + TS (doing nothing much) using 295MB RAM and a core member server (doing nothing much) using ~215MB RAM. Take away the TS and add the AD role to the core and the memory gap will obviously narrow.

    OK that's just one measurement and not necessarily the most relevant for performance, but it doesn't quite fit my expectations for "stripped down". That core has fewer files sitting around doing nothing isn't something I really care about.

    I like core because it raises the barrier for nitwits who treat Server like their home PC (install lots of tat that breaks things etc.), but if you're in a position where you know that won't/can't happen then what is the compelling motive for core?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    When I first saw videos online of Core, it was 'proper' CLI... even the splash screen was ASCII art. Now they have released it and it seems some clever sole has decided to add the graphical layer whilst still making you use the CLI. Now what is the point in that???

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    In this release it's more about lowering the attack surface and the install size almost all GUI components are removed. The next version of Windows server should be completly modular MS engineers have stripped windows down to what they call Minwin and it's about 100 files and 25 Meg. So in future you really will install just the parts that you need, just like a real server OS ;-)

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=842
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 3rd March 2008 at 09:16 PM.

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    Copy-cats

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    it's more about lowering the attack surface and the install size
    But the reduced.. oh how I'm starting to hate this term.. attack surface, is also a feature of the normal version. Ironically most of the CLI utils you can't do without on core are essentially the ones people like me used to strip out of net-exposed NT because so many attacks depended on them (if you wanted a command prompt, net.exe and the like, you had to throw in the CD you'd made with them on). Install size we've covered and I just don't see that mattering much on any system with a HD (real or virtual).

    MS engineers have stripped windows down to what they call Minwin and it's about 100 files and 25 Meg
    A bit like NT 3.1. then i.e. before they added everything but the kitchen sink.

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    Without a decent shell (eg. BASH) the command-line only interface will be useless. Is all of Server 2008 configurable without a GUI?

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    I'm struggling to think of anything I couldn't configure from the command line in 2K3 + support tools, struggling even more if you add reskit and let me write script. 2K8 seems to be more or less the same. I expect in practice most people will use the GUI managements tools remotely for 2K8 server core maintenance e.g. looking at event logs, fiddling with f/w policy, admin of whatver services they've added etc.

    When/if they add powershell to server core, obsessive geeks will of course spend ten-times longer on some of those tasks trying to correctly spell 12 syllable cmdlet names and remember their syntax & arguments.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    When/if they add powershell to server core, obsessive geeks will of course spend ten-times longer on some of those tasks trying to correctly spell 12 syllable cmdlet names and remember their syntax & arguments.
    At least it would all be scriptable

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    When/if they add powershell to server core, obsessive geeks will of course spend ten-times longer on some of those tasks trying to correctly spell 12 syllable cmdlet names and remember their syntax & arguments.
    At least they included tab-completion of the commands!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    At least they included tab-completion of the commands!
    Really? Feck me, thank god. Have they included "incomplete commands" like on cisco kit where aslong as your input isnt ambiguous...?

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    A bit like NT 3.1. then i.e. before they added everything but the kitchen sink
    Well yeh only with many improved features but without the GUI.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Every single setting except about nine tasks are configurable from the command line or using scripts in 2003 server, in 2008 you can manage absolutly everything from the command line especially if you have powershell installed.

    Powershell requires the .net framework so it can't be installed on Core MS are working on a componentized .net Framework so i bet it will appear at some point.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 4th March 2008 at 11:50 AM.

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    Like on cisco kit
    Yes. And like NetShell (netsh) in XP/2K3, nslookup, telnet... etc.

    Every single setting except about nine tasks
    You could see this coming surely: Which nine tasks are those then?

    I haven't seen that compelling reason for SC yet and I'm thinking of things like this: One day your SC box isn't playing nicely, remote GUI mangements apps can't talk to it but the console is alive.. now diagnose the problem & fix it.

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    "Which nine tasks are those then?"

    Really obscure tasks i can't even remember but i haven't come accross them and i've managed to script every other feature that i've needed to. If i come accross the list i'll post it for you ;-)

    In fact thinking about it i read this while playing with the beta so it's possibly not even true anymore if you have the resource kit.
    As for troubleshooting SC i imagine it's an easy task if you know how to use SC from the command line and without a GUI there's less to go wrong so less chance there will be problems anyway.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 5th March 2008 at 09:23 AM.

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