Windows 2008 Impressions: Attended Installation

The attended installation process of Windows 2008 has been simplified.

Until Windows 2008, the process of installing a Windows system included the basic configuration of the system.
In other words the installer was asked a bunch of question he had to answer and once he was done he had a running
system. The system still needed to be configured but a basic system was up and running.

Windows 2008 changes this, (the installation no longer provides a running system) in order to simplify the installation
process almost all configurative questions have been removed and we are left with the bare necessities. The installation
process (very similar to Vista’s installation process) is comprised of the following questions:

1.      Location (locale and time zone)

2.      Disk partitioning-note that you do not have to create a partition, you can simply choose empty space and the
installation procedure will configure it for you

3.      Product Key-by entering the correct key the correct version of the OS is chosen, if no key is entered the installer is
warned yet he is allowed to choose the version of the installation and he has to provide the key later on.

That’s it.

To Windows veterans this may seem a bit strange, you may be asking yourself, where is the part in which we configure
networking, you may also be asking yourself where do I chose the components I want installed…the answer is that they
have been removed from the installation process for the sake of simplicity.

When you are done with the installation all you get is a system with a very basic installation of Windows 2008 Server. System
configuration has been moved from the installation further down the line. Do not fear though, it has not been moved too far down
the line, you actually configure your server just after you have installed it with two new tools provided by the system (I will write
about them in my next post on the subject).

I am not sure how to treat this change or how I feel about it. On one hand there is no doubt that this change simplifies the installation
process of the OS which in turn allows quicker installations due to it’s “fire and forget” style, yet on the other hand it provides less
flexibility during the installation phase and it makes it seem a lot simpler to deploy a server. In addition to that it also makes it seem simpler
to deploy the OS. You may be asking why does that seem problematic?

Begin rant: The field of IT is being treated with less respect due to the fact that everyone feels that they can get involved with IT,
they understand IT and they can do IT since IT is simple. When all you need to deploy and OS is to click a mouse things
will get a lot worse…
Obviously this isn’t the root of all evil yet deploying a server correctly isn’t as simple as clicking on a button and in my opinion
the impression that it is as simple as clicking on a button shouldn’t be created…after all perception is everything.

Disclaimer- The experiences and the ideas expressed in this post are my personal experiences. If you feel that they are inaccurate
or incorrect feel free to contact me about them.



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