A leaked slide deck has revealed Microsoft's plans to add the ability to install Windows Server on a headless machine - one without a display, keyboard or mouse - under the branding Nano Server.
Microsoft's Windows Server is a popular alternative to POSIX-compliant server environments, especially for corporate networks supporting Windows client systems, but it has one glaring area where it lags behind the competition: it requires that any machine on which it is installed supports a graphical user interface, meaning it better have a graphics card, keyboard and mouse. Similarly, administration is typically carried out via the GUI - which can be awkward over slow network connections.
The answer, slides leaked by Russian site WZor.net
and picked up by Neowin
today suggest, is Windows Nano Server. Described as 'a new headless deployment option for Windows Server
,' Windows Nano Server is part of the next-generation server build designed around the same heart as Windows 10. As well as running on headless machines, Windows Nano Server is designed to be lightweight: the slides detail a zero-footprint model where the roles - the tasks actually carried out by the server - live outside the Nano Server itself, which has no binaries or metadata within the image and instead relies on standalone packages which install like applications.
The slides suggest that Windows Nano Server will be positioned as the heart of a virtualised or clustered environment, as well as being used to run and manage containers. Naturally, it's also being proposed as the one-true-cloud-OS, promising lower resource consumption and quicker deployment than Microsoft's current solutions. Better still, while it will come with support for next-generation distributed applications, the slides indicate that it will be entirely compatible with existing Windows Server applications.
Windows Nano Server will, the slide deck claims, form part of the release-after-next of Windows Server, but with no firm timeline attached. Microsoft has, as is usual for the company, not commented on what it describes as 'rumours and speculation
' surrounding unannounced products.