Yesterday @ TechEd US we announced that we will add another role to the server core in Windows Server 2008. With the upcoming CTP and RC release of Windows Server 2008 you will be able to add the IIS 7 web platform as a server role onto our Server Core installation. This is great news and I know this has been requested by many of our customers. If you don't know what server core means I encourage you to read one of my previous blogpost around Server Core.
So what will work and what won't work on server core? As you might know we currently don't support .Net onto our Server Core platform. Because of that IIS7 running on a server core will not be able to server ASP.Net. This means basically that you will be able to serve ASP and also PHP will run smoothly on server core.
There is no GUI available this means that the configuration and maintenance of IIS7 has to be done through the IIS cmd line tool Appcmd, WMI or by just using Notepad, which is available on Server Core, to change the xml based config files.
Basically everything in IIS7 that doesn't require a GUI or the .Net framework will run under the Server Core.
Reading a thread over on www.iis.net (http://blogs.iis.net/bills/archive/2007/06/04/iis7-on-server-core.aspx) it seems MS are working hard at getting .NET support into this. Without it I can't see it being much of a hit so fingers crossed..!
I think having IIS even without the ASP.NET possibility onto a Server core is a huge step forward but not the end.
It's true that we are working hard to get there but I don't think we gonna see it really soon because we need to have the CLR onto the server core and as of it is today it's not possible to have the CLR without having the gui, explorer and the other stuff. Once we have the CLR only on server core we will be able to have PowerShell too.