Friday, April 23, 2010

What is windows server core in Windows server 2008?

When I was installing Windows server 2008 R2 I came across the option where I had to install either Windows Server R2 Full install and other one was Windows R2 Server Core Installation.

Anyone thought what is Windows server core installation in 2008? I did some analysis. let me explain what is this all about.

What is Windows Server Core?
Windows Server Core is a type of install which installs what is needed to make the Hadware a server. The basics to call the hardware a server. We can call this as a "THIN" install.

Whats the difference between the regular install and the server core install?

a> Server core doesnt have a GUI. Command prompt is used for all the tasks.
b> There are no desktop Icons. Notepad, remote desktops access have got GUI.
c> There is no upgrade from windows 2003 to Windows 2008 server core. We need to go for fresh install.

Advantages -

1> Easier to secure,manage and maintain. It has reduced attack surface as less services and less applications are present. reduced management as less parts are present to manage.
2> Lower hardware requirement. So less maintenance overhead. minimum requirement is about 1.6 GB hard drive space, lower processor overhead and lower memory requirement.
3> Supports unattended installations. It can be fully automated.
4> Supports key infrastructure roles like IIS, AD DS, DHCP, DNS, AD LDS etc.

Disadvantages -

1> few roles not compatible with server core.
2> no windows GUI. work to be done using command prompt.  For example, you can open notepad GUI by typing notepad.exe on cmd . Also the datepalce by tping timedate.cpl on cmd.
3> There is not .NET framework or IE on the server.
4> This needs a fresh installation.

Configuring on server core -

using the command on the command prompt -
start /w ocsetup

This command will help you inconfiguring roles, AD DS, IIS etc.

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