Microsoft wants more IT pros to get on board with its Azure platform and knows the fastest way to do that is through automation. The company took a subtle approach to engender a cloud mindset through various Windows Server 2016 changes -- but it might not be as flexible in the near future.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Microsoft encourages IT admins to develop policies and Desired State Configurations that manage servers as a collective. But it hasn't forgotten the legions of admins who spend their days -- and nights -- in the depths of the Microsoft Management Console. These IT workers are hands-on with each individual server. They perform manual configuration changes constantly and largely ignore anything with the suffix -aaS.
With a few Windows Server 2016 changes to the server management model, Microsoft nudged administrators to look up from their individual servers and consider the infrastructure as a whole, not unlike a cloud provider.
In IT, there is a concerted effort to stop the micromanagement of individual servers. This trend is popularized by the pets vs. cattle analogy that contrasts how we care for our cats and dogs to the way commercial farmers manage a herd.
In IT, there is a concerted effort to stop the micromanagement of individual servers.
The new approach is to build identical servers and handle them as a collection. This approach is business-critical for web-scale companies that manage thousands of servers. They would face skyrocketing operations costs if they stuck with the old 1:100 admin-to-server ratio. If one server malfunctions, remove and replace it with another. Problem solved.
But for certain legacy shops, this approach to manage servers gets no traction. A midsize company might have a dozen servers, each with unique applications and possibly distinct OSes. When a server fails, a business crisis follows. The recovery process typically involves various backup media, coffee and swearing. Swap out the server? That's not an option.
Why bother building out a cattle infrastructure if server and application deployments are few and far between? And what if the staff skill sets align more closely with the features in Windows Server 2008 R2 than Windows Server 2016?
A threshold is implied here -- but not defined. The real question is: How big does an IT infrastructure need to be before a move from pets to cattle is a reasonable course of action? Do you go by the number of servers, applications or administrators -- or data centers? Is it a combination of these factors?
Between these two extremes, Microsoft positioned its Windows Server 2016 changes. The company must tread carefully to keep two sets of customers happy: the DevOps devotees with their cattle and the traditional server admins with their pets. Both groups represent much to Microsoft's future, despite what you might hear from the CALMS crowd.
Windows Server 2016 is a bridge to facilitate the transition from the traditional way to manage Windows servers to an automated model. Consider what you see when you first log in to a Windows Server 2016 system: the Server Manager dashboard. Here, the administrator decides to either use Server Manager and move one step closer to managing cattle -- or stick with the reliable Computer Management tool and keep shopping at the pet store.
Server Manager quickly and easily creates groups of servers based on a role or an application. With this tool, admins manage servers more efficiently and do not need to change connections. It's a shame this tool's functionality isn't more obvious; many server admins don't realize Server Manager makes it almost effortless to control multiple remote servers.
Windows Server 2016 is a single platform with multiple management points intended to seduce administrators away from the Computer Management console in favor of the sleeker Server Manager.
It's impossible to talk about Windows Server 2016 changes without a look at PowerShell. Some describe it as a gateway drug that leads to a hardcore automation addiction and, eventually, the cloud.
Where Microsoft once gently encouraged admins to use PowerShell, it now strong-arms admins toward management via the command-line interface (CLI). Admins who don't pay close attention and click through the Windows Server 2016 installation options will find themselves staring at a blinking cursor of the PowerShell console instead of a desktop.
Microsoft's message is clear: PowerShell is the preferred method to manage Windows Server 2016. The GUI is a consolation prize for admins who continue to scoff at scripting.
An overview of the more cloud-friendlyfeatures in Windows Server 2016
Here we are, with two sets of enthusiasts who aspire to apply their brand of management to the Windows world. There's no reaching across the aisle here. Ideologies are entrenched, and very few admins show any willingness to switch sides. The PowerShell crowd wants an OS designed around Windows Remote Management that doesn't need interactive control. The old school admin crowd wants Windows Server 2003 R2 but with a newer look.
Microsoft is smart to cater to both crowds with its Windows Server 2016 changes. DevOps and related methodologies are not evolutions of traditional server management -- they are an attempt to manage cloud-native applications at scale in a smart and efficient manner. Both techniques can coexist, and an OS vendor would be foolish to force an all-in-one approach.
Given the major shift in Microsoft's strategy since Satya Nadella's arrival and the breakneck pace at which Azure chases enterprise cloud customers, I expect future Windows Server releases to further blur the line between on premises and cloud and to make that pets vs. cattle decision for its users. We'll see PowerShell become the default method to manage servers, and administrators who currently jump through hoops to load the server GUI will finally cave to the CLI.
- What is the Cloud - Definition | Microsoft Azure - October 19th, 2019
- What is cloud services? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 3rd, 2019
- What is cloud server? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 3rd, 2019
- UpCloud: World's fastest cloud servers - October 3rd, 2019
- What is a Public Cloud? - Definition from WhatIs.com - October 1st, 2019
- Cloud Server - what is and how does it work? | Probrand - September 22nd, 2019
- Best cloud storage service - Consumer Reports - September 22nd, 2019
- Linux Cloud Servers- instantly flexible - May 18th, 2019
- Pricing - Cloud Services | Microsoft Azure - May 13th, 2019
- Hybrid Cloud Security: Simplify Complex ... - Trend Micro - April 28th, 2019
- Best cloud computing services of 2019 | TechRadar - April 8th, 2019
- Hackers Backdoor Cloud Servers to Attack Future Customers - March 29th, 2019
- Cloud vs. In-House Servers: What is the Best Choice ... - January 4th, 2019
- Cloud Services | Design In The Cloud | Autodesk - December 15th, 2018
- Brinkster Cloud Servers - VMware, SolidFire SSD-Based ... - June 2nd, 2018
- Virtual Network Virtual Private Cloud | Microsoft Azure - March 29th, 2018
- Keeping Your Files Safe in Google's Cloud - New York Times - September 7th, 2017
- 5 Reasons SD-WAN, 4G LTE Are Cloud Essentials - No Jitter - September 7th, 2017
- Canon USA Advances PRISMAsync Color Print Server in Version 5.2, Offering Cloud-Based PRISMAlytics Dashboard ... - PR Newswire (press release) - September 7th, 2017
- HPE Reports Q3 Gains Along With Cloud Deal - EnterpriseTech - September 6th, 2017
- Huawei Releases the New-Generation Intelligent Cloud Hardware Platform Atlas - Markets Insider - September 6th, 2017
- Unlocking the promise of a connected world through edge cloud ... - ITProPortal - September 5th, 2017
- Want to do IoT right? You'll need more storage, networking, servers, and cloud - TechRepublic - September 5th, 2017
- So you're already in the cloud but need to come back down to Earth - The Register - September 5th, 2017
- Nasa: Our demands for repeat presidential election - Daily Nation - September 5th, 2017
- Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi open to moving servers to India - Economic Times - September 5th, 2017
- VMware officially lands on AWS cloud with new management and security features - SiliconANGLE News (blog) - September 2nd, 2017
- VMware-on-AWS is live, and Virtzilla is now a proper SaaS player - The Register - September 2nd, 2017
- Socionext Partners with Advantech to Offer High-Density, Low-Cost ... - Design and Reuse (press release) - September 2nd, 2017
- Municipal adoption of the cloud - American City & County (blog) - August 31st, 2017
- Veeam follows Virtzilla's cloud up the Amazon - The Register - August 31st, 2017
- Where does a business's data live? - Information Age - August 31st, 2017
- IBM cooks up a hardware architecture for tastier cloud-based services - TechTarget - August 31st, 2017
- Tachyum bets on flash storage to re-architect the cloud data center - ZDNet - August 29th, 2017
- Juniper adding microsegmentation to Contrail cloud - TechTarget - August 29th, 2017
- The future of serverless cloud looks a lot like physical servers - TechRepublic - August 29th, 2017
- Demand for server specialists increases, but talent pool is small - Network World - August 29th, 2017
- The pros and cons of cloud vs in house servers - Edmonton - August 28th, 2017
- You Can Now Spin Up VMware Servers in Amazon Data Centers - Data Center Knowledge - August 28th, 2017
- Cloud security market to reach $12B by 2024, driven by rise of cyber attacks - TechRepublic - August 28th, 2017
- Jeff Pulver, Internet Pioneer of VoIP and Entrepreneur Joins ... - Markets Insider - August 28th, 2017
- Google Aims to Boost Cloud Security with Titan Chipset - BizTech Magazine - August 28th, 2017
- Oppo and Vivo plan to move cloud storage to India, following India's new directives on data security - Firstpost - August 28th, 2017
- Digital Deluge on the Cloud - Valley News - August 27th, 2017
- How Can You Improve Document Management By Integrating Cloud-Based File Sharing And What You Need To Know ... - Business 2 Community - August 27th, 2017
- Hitachi rack servers get VMware Cloud treatment The Register - The Register - August 26th, 2017
- CenturyLink enhances VMware-based DCC platform, touts software-defined data center approach - FierceTelecom - August 26th, 2017
- Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server ... - The Register - August 23rd, 2017
- Druva Raises Another $80 Million - Channel Partners - August 23rd, 2017
- CrashPlan alternatives: How to move to another home backup solution - Macworld - August 23rd, 2017
- VMware shares to surge more than 20% because the Amazon cloud threat is overblown: Analyst - Yahoo Finance - August 23rd, 2017
- AMD Lines Up New China Datacenter Partners - EnterpriseTech - August 23rd, 2017
- How do you bring artificial intelligence from the cloud to the edge? - TNW - August 21st, 2017
- The rice of cloud, avocado of virtualization and salmon of doubt: Let's eat storage sushi - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- 70% of firms face skill shortages for server-based roles - Cloud Pro - August 21st, 2017
- Qualcomm moved its Snapdragon designers to its ARM server chip. We peek at the results - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- Info on 1.8 million Chicago voters exposed on Amazon server - USA TODAY - August 21st, 2017
- Microsoft and Google Give Startups Options to Amazon's Cloud - Fortune - August 18th, 2017
- Cloud is the ignored dimension of security: Cisco - ZDNet - August 18th, 2017
- How AIG moved commercial claims to the cloud - Information Management - August 18th, 2017
- Oracle expands database offering to its cloud services - Network World - August 16th, 2017
- Voices Cloud security from all angles - Accounting Today - August 16th, 2017
- HostHatch launches new Cloud Servers - 5x faster than the giants, including AWS & DigitalOcean - PR Web (press release) - August 15th, 2017
- Oracle Exadata Cloud lands on bare-metal servers - Computer Business Review - August 15th, 2017
- School phones go on 'the cloud' - The Ridgefield Press - August 15th, 2017
- Datrium Announces Split Provisioning For Simple Private Cloud Consolidation At Rackscale - Markets Insider - August 15th, 2017
- New McAfee virtual network security platform offered as part of free test drive on Amazon Web Services - CTR - August 14th, 2017
- How to move into a cloud career from traditional IT - InfoWorld - August 14th, 2017
- Oracle Makes the Most Powerful Database Platform Available on the Industry's Most Advanced Cloud Infrastructure - PR Newswire (press release) - August 14th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many ... - Markets Insider - August 13th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many Entrepreneurs - PR Newswire (press release) - August 12th, 2017
- Cryptocurrencies have pulled one of Nvidia's most sluggish businesses out of the gutter - Quartz - August 11th, 2017
- GoDaddy tops Q2 targets, revenue up 22 percent - ZDNet - August 9th, 2017
- Hardware Can Still Make or Break the Cloud - IT Business Edge (blog) - August 9th, 2017
- Serverless Architectures from an MSP's Point of View - MSPmentor - August 4th, 2017
- Unisecure Data Centers Offers 15% Discount On Cloud Server Hosting Services - HostReview.com (press release) - August 2nd, 2017
- How The Cloud Will Disrupt The Ad Tech Stack - AdExchanger - August 2nd, 2017
- Packet launches edge compute service in 15 global locations - RCR Wireless News - August 2nd, 2017
- IBM adds Optane to its cloud, only as storage and without GPUs - The Register - August 2nd, 2017
- Joining Apple, Amazon's China Cloud Service Bows to Censors - New York Times - August 1st, 2017