Abandoned technologies

Why do some technologies become widely adopted and others are seemingly abandoned – often without any real testing. What do I mean by abandoned technologies? Things like Server Core for instance. And I suspect that nano server and even containers on windows will follow and become abandoned technologies.

Server Core first appeared in Windows Server 2008! In nearly 10 years of existence how many organisations are utilising Server core to its full potential. Very few in my experience. I suspect many, if not most organisations, don’t use it at all.

Nano server was introduced with Server 2016. Its totally headless and very small footprint. You can pack 100s of them onto a 64GB host. Nano server supports a limited number of roles but if you need a small footprint server to host a web site, host VMs or containers or act as a file server for instance its ideal.

The last thing I suspect may join my list of abandoned technologies is Windows Containers. Again, introduced with Server 2016 containers offer a lightweight route to running your applications. With the ability to easily move containers between machines deployments from development to testing and production become much simpler.

So, why do I think these are abandoned technologies or will become abandoned technologies.

The reason is that the majority of windows administrators don’t want to adopt these technologies. They either actively block them or passively ignore them.

Why does this happen? Look at the three technologies again – none of them have a GUI interface! Until Windows administrators fully embrace remote, automated administration techniques they will remain abandoned technologies.

The day of administrators who can’t, or won’t, automate is ending – slowly but surely the pressures to move to a more automated environment are growing. Maybe it’’ happen soon enough that server core, nano server and windows containers will stop being abandoned technologies.    

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3 Responses to Abandoned technologies

  1. jbtechwood says:

    Richard, great post and I totally agree. I think that another issue is that in some cases management of these platforms can be difficult as well. Nano specifically poses some unique challenges and ultimately require the third party software manufacturers to make a significant adjustment to their windows software dev pipeline, and I haven’t heard of many of them doing so. Additionally in a lot of organizations, and in my own personal experience, there’s no easy way to push the amount of organizational changes that are required to successfully deploy and utilize these versions as intended. It’s great to.talk about stopping folks from logging on to servers. But try it on an ERP or some other critical application platform and see what kind of pushback you get. The security benefits should speak for themselves, but ultimately all the things that I spoke to above have a financial impact at some level, and that’s what truly drives change in most organizations.

  2. I would say that a mere year later it is very safe to say you certainly missed the mark on this one considering not one, not two, but all three of the technologies you speak of (and especially containers/docker) have absolutely taken off like a rocket and been so widely adopted by enterprises in the last year.

    With that said, don’t feel bad; I’m approaching my 30yrs in the business and I too somewhat wondered a year ago if these large enterprises would ever bite and I have frankly been surprised at the level at which they have considering the lack of GUI! 🙂

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