Its linux… No its microsoft!

Whilst Linux has been doing what Microsoft has caught on to, now 2008 server will have the ability to work in an command line environment which is what they have called it ’server core’. This allows you to install and configure what modules / components you want the server to serve you with. Currently the Server Core allows for the following services to be installed and configured:

  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • File Services
  • Print Services
  • Streaming Media Services
  • Windows Virtualization
  • Why would you want a command line when you can have such a pretty GUI, well there are many reasons.

    Reduced maintenance – Because the Server Core installation option installs only what is required.

    Reduced attack surface - Being that Server Core installations so are minimal, there are considerably less apps running on the server, which in turn will decreases the attack surface.

    Reduced management- Well this is a no brainier, there are obviously fewer applications and services are installed on a server running. 

    Less disk space required- Again same as above really, fewer items, and only the essentials means less space

    Better resourse allocation / usage   – Well there is not the GUI and background applications to start-up there is just what you have told it to do, Being that there is also less demand for system resources you could potentially use lower spec machines to serve.

    Lower risk of bugs – Reducing the amount of code, applications, files, services the list goes on, all of this can help reduce the amount of bugs.

    A quote from Microsoft

    “Customers will benefit from an extremely modular, low-footprint Web hosting platform on top of the already small Server Core,” Microsoft said in a press release explaining the addition. “Server Core is ideal for hosting the PHP scripting language and now runs 10 to 20 times faster than before as a result of improvements in IIS.”

    There is still said to be some GUI involved, such as the essentials, task manager, notepad, the control panel.

    There is obviously some limitations
    from MS once again

    “The minimal nature of Server Core creates limitations:

    • There is no Windows shell and very limited GUI functionality (the Server Core interface is a command prompt).
    • There is no managed code support in Server Core (all code must be native Windows API code).
    • There is limited MSI support (unattend mode only). “

    Owh and the other limitation is there is no upgrade feature, in case you decide you want to go to the full GUI, or you want to roll your 2003 Server to a 08 Server core, you need to re-install cleanly.

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