Servers enable apps and services to be rich and robust without requiring our devices to be always on and connected. Windows Server has been Microsoft's server solution which enterprises and users can utilize to drive their applications, services, storage, and virtual environments. Most server usage occurs via PowerShell and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to run a small set of operations. By analyzing Azure and existing server usage, Microsoft has developed Nano Server to meet the specific needs of developers in the best possible way.
Nano Server is a sub-set of Windows Server, but will reduced requirements, footprint, and hassle. This new server will be faster and require less maintenance from developers, but some features had to be cut to make this possible. According to Microsoft:
To achieve these benefits, we removed the GUI stack, 32 bit support (WOW64), MSI and a number of default Server Core components. There is no local logon or Remote Desktop support
Big users of server will probably be happy to see a new product available from Microsoft which is super lightweight, because this means they can run more processes and get more done on the same hardware. Specific improvements are:
- 93 percent lower VHD size
- 92 percent fewer critical bulletins
- 80 percent fewer reboots
Nano Server isn't expected to replace all usage cases of Windows Server, but is meant to deliver an option which most developers will use. Server users can adjust their workflow to use Nano Server and unlock more potential out of their server hardware. This move is necessary to compete with similar small and lightweight Linux server solutions.