Server Core featured in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server Core has a stripped down interface unlike the other versions which have a GUI. Server Core loads only roles and features needed to run your critical Microsoft services such as Active Directory, DHCP, DNS, Hyper-V and File Services. Other applications like internet explorer, start Menu, and Windows Defender are not installed in this version of the OS.

Server Core installation requires less RAM, gets fewer updates and is easier to manage.

There is a lot of benefits especially if you are running it in a virtualized environment, this can help out greatly and has increased stability. Since Server Core has fewer running processes and services installed, there is less of a chance of something going wrong. This is also the same in terms of configuration settings. If you have less things installed on the server, there is less chance an administrator can incorrectly configure a setting or a configuration file. Windows Server 2012
Server Core also significantly reduces the attack surface of your servers. Again, this is because you have less system services running or less processes running and there is less chance that a remote attacker can compromise some kind of system service that may have a bug in it that Microsoft has not patched.

Another benefit of Server Core installations is the reduction in patches. According to some Microsoft estimates, the number of patches that need to be applied can be reduced by one third using Server Core. The actual degree to which patch management can be reduced depends on what server roles are installed.
Server Roles have been expanded with Certificate Server, Windows Server Update and Routing and Remote Access
Here are the steps to perform a Windows Server 2012 Server Core Installation:
  1. Boot the server using Windows Server 2012 media.
  2. Select the Server Core Installation option for your Windows Server 2012.
  3. Configure network, firewall, domain, updates, roles and features.
Windows Server Core has lots of benefits so if you need to learn more and looking for business IT support make sure you contact a Microsoft Certified Partner.

Written by:

Rabih Nassif

System Architects Inc.
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