My first 5 seconds with Windows Server 2012

Discussion in 'General Software' started by RainMotorsports, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. RainMotorsports

    RainMotorsports Partition Master

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    ...Where did i put my Windows NT 4 Server Disk at... MUST DOWNGRADE

    Seriously. So they removed the start menu, put in metro and proceeded to make everything desktop based. So uh I now have to change my work flow in order to launch desktop applications from an interface meant for something entirely different.
     
  2. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    I couldn't believe it when I first learned that the server product would ALSO use the same Start screen as the consumer variant... it just leaves me in awe. It's as if Microsoft simply doesn't WANT the IT departments around the globe to adopt its latest OS.
     
  3. Optix

    Optix Basket Chassis Staff Member

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    Sadly I'm studying for the first MCSA exam for 2012 because the certification for 2008 is going by the wayside come June. I'm already shuddering at the thought of having to deal with a Windows 8-like interface.
     
  4. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Tech Monkey

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    bahahah this is how you know "modern UI" will be a complete failure.
     
  5. marfig

    marfig No ROM battery

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    Windows Server 2008 R2 will have extended support until 2020. Even if Microsoft doesn't back down from this complete nonsense on the next version, that's plenty of time for your company to start a migration process to Linux servers... or Linux server software running on a windows server (since we must assume that before 2020 Microsoft will start introducing newer versions of server software that will magically not be compatible with 2008 R2).

    Some solutions:

    Jerry-Rigged Windows Servers

    If your company is a small to mid size business, you can implement an excellent server model, based on Windows 7 Ultimate (or even Professional) with Linux Samba for your domain controller and Linux everything else for everything else (file management, email, etc). This in fact is an excellent option for a slow and comfortable migration to a full Linux-based servers model in the future serving Windows machines.

    It's my favorite server model in fact. I prefer it over Windows Server on small and mid-size companies because it saves tons on Windows Server licenses and offers the exact same service -- if not better. On the other hand it has the great advantage of making your TI personnel more eclectic and capable of handling both Windows and Linux-based server software.

    Other Alternatives to Windows

    a) Solaris can administer a full windows-based company

    b) Linux of course. But you may have a bit more problem and introduce new costs in TI management if the company retains their windows clients.

    c) Plan 9. 'nough said. If you are going linux, better go Plan 9. But here, of course, things get a bit more complicated and despite some compatibilities, this should only be seen as an option if the company is willing to move their entire client base to Linux. Plan 9 is particularly attractive if you are a big company spread out across the country, continent or the globe.

    If you are a big company

    You are basically screwed. Many companies in the past have migrated away from or into Windows. It's no drama. But it is costly and usually involves many more considerations (having to do with the company actual business strategies) than having to change the TI personal workflows.

    That said, having been a 25 year old Windows user, windows administrator, windows everything, I personally am advising everyone it is time to jump off this sinking boat. As painful as it may be to some, our companies can no longer rely on Microsoft for administration tools. With Windows Server 2012, Microsoft introduced their inane and profoundly stupid every-5-years-lets-completely-change-everything desktop model into the server field. No business can or should agree to have their personnel trained at the whim of a 3rd party company that should be there to serve and facilitate them instead. This is why companies are always resistant to adopt Windows Vista and now Windows 8. And this is even more true of their TI departments. As you no doubt well know.

    It's time to start considering alternatives. Microsoft is on collision course. And you don't want to stick around if you are on a TI department.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  6. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    I tend to believe that servers should NOT have user interfaces to begin with, but Microsoft here has gone against that wish full-force by adding in a cutesy layer overtop of everything. It's just foolish. Makes me wonder what the next version of Server is going to look like. Surely most IT people are not fine with this?
     
  7. RainMotorsports

    RainMotorsports Partition Master

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    Im not an IT person per say but I think its idiotic to type 500 characters into a command line in place of 5 mouse clicks (Talking things like mysql server (not database) management or much worse IIS type stuff where no one including the guy who wrote the damn thing has it memorized.)

    There is plenty to do easily from the command line and those who are used to it do better than I do. I find a GUI server OS easier to manage from a cell phone, especially without a physical keyboard typing is just a pain to me on touch screen. If i was still rocking a physical keyboard id actually be willing and of course in slow data conditions would probably prefer.

    Fact is you could implement a GUI simple enough to get the job done and only use 5 mb of ram. But no lets throw windows 8 on that lol. Microsoft apparently wanted to split the OS into a shell and gui variant but did not do it? I guess it makes sense competition wise but for me everything I run on windows that's not available on linux is things with a user interface. We start taking the GUI out I mind as well go Linux. Its down to legacy services and server side applications which i just dont run. Powershell is actually making me a bit angry anytime i type something wrong instead of coming right back it hangs for awhile...
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  8. marfig

    marfig No ROM battery

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    The problem is that we cannot abstract the command line power into a GUI. The interface would become mind-boggling complex.

    CLI has a real advantage, in which very complex processes can be typed down in one or a few sequence of commands. No existing GUI can do this so easily. You would be left with a too complex interface. Naturally, for simple processes, a GUI will beat down the CLI. But we have to put that in context of the actual type of administration work we are doing. Not just say a GUI is better than CLI, or that CLI is stupid (or that CLI is better than a GUI, for that matter).

    It's not because of a caprice that Windows introduced the PowerShell, you know. This was before a real problem to a vast group of TI folks whose work involved more complex or lengthy administration tasks. Even on Windows, where a GUI always dominated, the PowerShell can access areas of Windows Administration that still lack a graphical interface or which graphical interface is frankly limiting.

    On the other hand, the capability of a CLI to script and automate tasks is by far its biggest advantage and one which cannot be met by any GUI in kind or scope.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  9. Redmax

    Redmax Obliviot

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    Not a fan of Windows 8 or Server 2012 and only because of the lack luster start screen. maybe M$ is expecting all servers to be touch based this year or figured IT admins needed a common user experience between helping end users and administering servers. Either way it isn't looking good and there aren't enough people complaining about it.
     
  10. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a major exaggeration. When I moved our site to this current server, all I was given was the barebones Debian install (which, at this point, uses about 80MB of RAM). From there, it likely took no more than 250 characters to have the site fully operational. Those ~250 characters encapsulate:

    Updating the OS
    Creating a user
    Creating a secure SSH tunnel
    Installing extra required tools
    Syncing the website from the old server to the new one
    Creating SQL users
    Creating and importing the SQL databases
    Editing the configuration for Apache and other tools
    Fin

    The only front-end on the server is for our SQL management (which is way, way easier than using the CLI for most things) - but that's Web-based, much like WordPress is. As a general rule, I like servers that are as light-weight as possible... doesn't have tools and software I won't be using. It means there is less chance of a security hole, as well. We don't even install an FTP server... because we don't need it, and it's one less potential issue down the road.

    That has nothing to do with the OS itself. I am 100% fine with services like that running on the server. It's the desktop portion that's ridiculous to me. It's not just overhead, it's the fact that there is a complete desktop environment for a server that should never have to be accessed physically. It's a SERVER! What I am trying to say is, even without a desktop environment, you could still connect to it through graphical tools (like we do for our SQL).

    I truly believe that if you master a CLI, you will be more efficient in taking care of server configuration and trouble-shooting than with a GUI. I don't have experience with Windows Server, but I sure as heck have a lot of experience with tweaking and using Windows in general.

    This of course is all thrown out the window if typing in general doesn't come naturally to you.
     
  11. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    I could totally understand remotely tapping into a server with a tablet or something, but realistically, that'd be useful only if the changes needing to be made are simple. I really hate having to type in numbers and things like that on a touch device... it's way easier with a numpad or keyboard in general.

    It's almost insane, isn't it? It's unfortunate... I think a lot of people are just saying "Well, I'll skip this version then", not realizing that it's not going to go away if no one complains about it. That assumes Microsoft doesn't ping companies on a regular basis for feedback though.
     
  12. Optix

    Optix Basket Chassis Staff Member

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    Sucks balls for remote admins such as myself. If my company wants to set me up with a touch capable lappy, then I'm cool with that. :)
     
  13. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Tech Monkey

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    What devices have you used to type on? Also why don't you like it?

    As for the server stuff, I don't use it and its absolutely idiotic to put a interface built for touch on servers. Personally I think people are not complaining too much since it can be made to look and act like windows 7. That or they just straight up are not using 8 so have nothing to complain about. I am kinda afraid I am going to have to grab 8 and use it if enough people do. Depends on how many people come to me with 8 though.
     
  14. RainMotorsports

    RainMotorsports Partition Master

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    Not sure how it could be a major exaggeration. Some IIS command line stuff requires that even though I am doing the default equivalent of the GUI operation I must still specify no less than 5 switches on top of the file name and path, identifier. Ive had a single operation that normally spans maybe 2 dialogs take between 3 and 5 seperate entries into the command line

    In the GUI the operation is a drag and drop of the file, type a name and click a button. The switches provide a path to a much more configurable solution and is much easier to update with new options. However someone somewhere felt the need to hold on on any sort of defaults.

    Id provide an example but it might take me awhile to find. I checked one basic command thats say 117 characters but I would also consider that to be a full operation all additional operations a separate issue.

    I love SQL. I can't say I would want to see a large result come back on a command line but then again thats what web interfaces are for right? But i do prefer manipulating data via SQL rather than some GUI.

    One does not simply master CLI. One must master every version of every executable or service they will be dealing with. Maybe its the autistic spectrum problems I face but having to keep up to date on the latest changes to a programs already 100 page documentation is a bit of a pain in the ass.

    Memorizing a programming languages entire syntax is easier to me than remember part of a single programs command line syntax. One changes every few years the other changes every few days sometimes. Then again I guess thats what desk references are for. For something simple such as Teamspeak 3 I have to pull out the Server Query manual every time I need to do something low level. Honestly if the server is not in use I prefer just to edit the database directly.

    As far as typing goes I am not sure. I failed English twice and fail to grasp the concepts of sentence structure and many other things. Typing wise I type with 2 fingers WITHOUT looking. I type around 80 wpm this way and I did later take keyboarding and properly I type maybe 53 wpm. Pecking doesn't require hunting though usually when I start a sentence I glance down to see where my fingers are as I don't bother to come to rest on the home keys. My method is with its downside even for me and that is when switching keyboards it take a few minutes to get adjusted. On my main keyboard I can type blind folded I usually know when I have hit the wrong key. Which I think is why I hate touch so much the lack of tactile feedback completely kills my ability to type.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  15. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    I had to type well over 250 characters into a command line interface just to navigate the directories, then tell LinuxMint to make a file it had just unpacked executable, then give it my credentials just to make it begin an install. Even with the yes all flag it took awhile, which is hilarious because I had the file already open in a folder from after I'd just decompressed it. In windows I can just right-click to extract, double-click to install, and bam I have GPU drivers installing. Linux makes installing system drivers take 10 minutes assuming one readily remembers the directory tree and CLI commands.

    A good server OS will use the strengths of both a GUI and a CLI to complement each other, with the exception being those OS's that need to be minimal installs. And any build of Windows Server 2012 can be installed without the GUI stupidness, or revert to a command line interface post-install. All it takes is some command line knowledge... :p

    Well yeah... that's because MOST server admins are not using WIndows Server 2012 yet. And of the small percentage that are, I'd bet most of those are using only the CLI install of it without the GUI. :D Otherwise I definitely agree, the blowback would've been huge by now.
     
  16. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    I admit that I was off-the-mark when I thought I configured the entire server in 250 characters. It's more like 800; more if you count the edits I had to make to certain files. I logged into the server and viewed the command history to see what I used to setup the server.

    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade
    useradd techgage
    apt-get install apache2 mysql-server php5 rsync phpmyadmin logwatch jpegtran libjpeg-progs imagemagick htop memcached
    df -BMB
    cd /home
    nano -w site_import.sh (wrote a script to import the server, including automatic SQL import)
    chown techgage:techgage site_import.sh
    rsync -av -e ssh [email protected]:/etc/apache2 /etc/apache2
    mysql -u root -p (created database user, and databases).
    sh site_import.sh
    echo "I wonder if Brett will notice this."
    cd /etc/apache2/
    (Double-checked some configuration stuffs here)
    /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
    nano -w /etc/crontab
    nmap -sS 127.0.0.1
    watch "echo stats | nc 127.0.0.1 11211"
    date +%T -s "17:48:00"
    cd /home/SQL ; sh SQL_backup.sh
    chown techgage:techgage -R /home/techgage/public_html/wp-content/


    At the end of the day, command-line is super quick if you know how to use it. I prefer it over a GUI any day of the week when dealing with low-level stuffs like this. I don't like GUIs, because they can slow you down (mostly if you are a fast typer), especially when tapping in remotely. I can still understand why people would prefer the GUI... it's easier. I wouldn't call it quicker.
     
  17. RainMotorsports

    RainMotorsports Partition Master

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    LOL I call the whole lot there an easy day. Your actually setting up and importing an entire server. Funny this operation is much larger than a single tiny task I speak of, yet very easy. I am only talking about configuring a very small piece of a large piece of software.

    Once again and I will rephrase, The command line is not the operating system, its an interface which has no set definition. Sure we have some basic utilities and commands that stay the same. However in the examples I wish to provide NONE of those would be used. We are talking about individual applications and services to which can not be mastered without constant study. Even then there is no end. With it not being my profession to do such things I do not have a constant stream of education.

    You list a routine action for you. I speak of tasks which are rarely needed to be done however the day the challenge comes I am given two options. I don't get phone calls asking me to modify a server to support something I know how to support. If I did it would probably already be in place or it at least wouldn't be worth mentioning much less complaining about having to do. You can't magically install an application of which you know what it does and are familiar with its competition and then use it on the command line. With a GUI I can walk up to many applications I have never used before and quickly make use of them. This separates the casual user and professional.

    In the hypothetical environment where the GUI is always available. For the designer the command line provides a resource effective way of updating and expanding the application/services capabilities. This cost is passed on to the user and or company in the form of training. Its good, but any person who masters his operating system and 1,000 applications within it is still not going to be able to move onto something new and blindly walk into its command line counterpart with any amount of efficiency. They both have their place and advantages.

    The argument centers around the concept that the Server OS and the services running on it are for the IT professional. They are and they should be. But regular people rent out servers all the time, usually with the aid of some control panel. More and more servers are finding their way into the home or into the hands of the casual user. I run physical (not the games themselves) servers for a gaming community and another for myself. We are talking about something that has more than one market this day in age. Some PHP/Perl web control panel is not the way these users are dealing with them anymore and many things they deal with do offer a GUI interface as well as the CLI. I don't think you will find it that odd these users are using the GUI and do not have as much time to learn all of the operations on the command line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013

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