Microsoft yesterday announced the availability of Windows Containers and the new SKU for Windows Server vNext named Nano Server. As Microsoft mentions, Nano Server is a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers. But Nano Server is not only designed for Modern Application, but it also is ready and designed to run on your datacenter fabric such as Hyper-V Server and Scale-Out File Server.
Nano Server is a redesign version of Windows Server Core which is very lightweight, very small footprint and remote managed. The first version of Nano Server is designed for the following key scenarios:
- Born-in-the-cloud applications – support for multiple programming languages and runtimes. (e.g. C#, Java, Node.js, Python, etc.) running in containers, virtual machines, or on physical servers.
- Microsoft Cloud Platform infrastructure – support for compute clusters running Hyper-V and storage clusters running Scale-out File Server.
As mentioned Nano Server has a very small footprint and the first version show some great improvements versus the Windows Server:
- 93 percent lower VHD size
- 92 percent fewer critical bulletins
- 80 percent fewer reboots
To achieved this results Microsoft removed some parts of Windows Server like:
- GUI stack
- 32 bit support (WOW64)
- MSI support
- Some default Server Core components
By removing the GUI stack makes this server to a true headless server, without any login screen or RDP support. By removing things like this, a lot of people will need a totally new way to manage this servers. The answer is simple and is the best practice for managing servers for a long time called Remote Management. Nano Server will offer some advanced remote Management features such as:
- PowerShell Desired State Configuration
- RSAT Tools
- System Center and other Management tools
- Web-based management tools (to replace local inbox management tools)
In my opinion the effort Microsoft does with Nano Server really makes sense and will help Service Providers as well as Enterprise companies to deploy clouds even faster, more secure, more efficient and with less management overhead. I am really looking forward to Microsoft Ignite to get some more information on Nano Server. If you want to see a little bit more about Nano Server checkout the following video.