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What is Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core???

May 28, 2013

Windows Server 2008 R2 – Server Core is a stripped Windows Server 2008 to the bare minimum requirements to run an operating system. It removed the GUI, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, and other dependant components. Removing “extras” means we have to deal without much of the administration tools that we know and love, namely, snap-ins built on the Microsoft Management Console. This leaves the command prompt as our primary interface to the operating system. Microsoft went on the marketing warpath with the following selling points: Reduced maintenance Less code has fewer updates to perform. Reduced attack surface Without the fluff, there is less to attack. Roles and features can be installed as needed and the limited number of services will reduce the areas for attack. Reduced performance requirements Server Core takes fewer CPU cycles and less hard disk space. So, the opportunity to repurpose hardware is increased with this option.

When Microsoft stripped the OS to the bare minimum, it had to leave out the .NET Framework too. The .NET Framework had specific dependencies to operating on Windows Server that were stripped from Server Core. This left a reduced list of available roles to work with. Basically, it was an infrastructure platform.

Here are the available roles for Windows Server 2008 Server Core:

  • Active Directory Domain Service
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADAM II)
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • File Services
  • Print and Document Services
  • Hyper-V
  • Internet Information Services for static HTML and ASP pages
  • Streaming Media

Here is the new list of roles available with Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADAM II)
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • File Services
  • Print and Document Services
  • Hyper-V
  • Internet Information Services for static HTML and ASP pages and a subset of .NET pages
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From → Server Core!!!

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