On the Technet Windows Server blog this week, M$ announced the Nano Server version (code name Tuva) of the new Windows Server 2016 which is even more stripped down than Server Core version of 2012R2.
The smaller footprint means less maintenance and less security exposure, Microsoft estimates 92% few critical bulletins and 80% fewer reboots. The smaller footprint means smaller less resources; Microsoft estimates 93% lower drive sizes and in fact suggested the scenario of a 1TB machine running 1,000 Nano Server virtual machines.
And because it is still Windows Server, they say it will be API-compatible with other versions of Windows Server within the subset of components it includes.
What did Server give up to sport its new slim figure? No more GUI stack, 32 bit support (WOW64), MSI and a number of default Server Core components. No local logon or Remote Desktop support. All management is performed remotely via WMI and PowerShell.
This is a major change for Windows Server and distributed computing network operating systems. They call it cloud optimization, but it is really becoming more like its forefathers VMS and MVS.