This post belongs to my series about Microsoft's next server OS, Windows Server Longhorn. Today I am answering some essential questions about Server Core.
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What is Server Core?
In Server Core only the services required to perform the following server roles are installed: Active Directory Domain Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server, DNS Server, File Services, Print Server, Streaming Media Services.
How can you manage Server Core?
Server Core doesn't have a graphical user interface. You can manage Server Core on the command line or if you prefer a graphical user interface, remotely with the usual Administration tools. Server Core doesn't support Powershell and .Net, but you can use the Windows Scripting Host (WSH). Microsoft offers some scripts which you can use to configure Server Core. It is also possible to configure Server Core with Group Policy.
Why do you need Server Core?
The advantages of Server Core are: security improvement (reduced attack surface), needs less system resources (occupies only one third disk space), patching is easier, boots up faster.
How can you install Server Core?
You can choose to install Server Core during the normal Windows Server Longhorn setup process.
What can't you do with Server Core?
You can only use Server Core for the roles mentioned above. This means that you can't use Server Core for database systems or as application server, for example.
What other Longhorn features does Server Core support?
Server Core supports Microsoft Failover Cluster, Network Load Balancing, Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications, Windows Backup, Multipath I/O, Removable Storage Management, Windows Bitlocker Drive Encryption, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS), Telnet client, Quality of Service (QoS).
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In the next post of this series I'll show you how to get started with Server Core.