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So who is looking to install Windows Server Core in production? 

Posted By:  Neil Hutson 
Publish Date: 1/3/2008


Server core is a major new capability of the Windows Server 2008, allowing the ITPRO to deploy and configure a “minimal-install” version of the operating system which does not include features like a GUI, browser and other technologies ( some people say baggage) not required to run server or appliance based applications. Once installed you can install a number of services such as Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), DHCP Server, DNS Server, File Service, Print Services, Streaming Media Services, Hyper-V (Virtualization) and Web Server (IIS) roles.

The main reason for this capability stemmed from feedback we got from some of our larger customers. They were all moving to global datacenter models, with a very small number of datacenters which needed to be managed 24x7 worldwide. They wanted to be able to procure a new operating system instance quickly, download across the wide-area-network (so it had to be small) and have a reduced attack surface and reduced patching. A Server Core installation only requires about 1 gigabyte (GB) of disk space to install and approximately 2 GB for operations after the installation.

Lets see it in action

To give you an idea of some of the capabilities, we recommend that you first go to Keith Comb’s blog and check out the 8 small screencasts that he has created on the subject.

http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2007/11/04/windows-server-2008-core-screencast-series-watch-all-eight-parts-here.aspx

IIS7 Support

IIS7 and the Web Server role is the most interesting role on server core, but it has one drawback on the full OS version. Server Core does not contain the.NET Framework (this means no PowerShell too). This means that IIS7 on server core can serve up static pages, run classic ASP and PHP, but it is cannot run applications written to take advantage of ASP.NET. To give you an idea of the simplicity of the administration experience for IIS7 on Server Core, you should take a look at the blog article on the IIS team site which provides a lot of details. http://blogs.iis.net/metegokt/archive/2007/06/26/administering-iis7-on-server-core-installations-of-windows-server-2008.aspx

Managing a Server Core instance

The next area is management of server Core as there is not GUI. We have been seeing a lot of questions internally and externally about managing server core machine and then trying to connect to it remotely. Here are some answers if you run into this issue.

C:\>netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable

After which point the firewall should allow all your remote admin tools to connect (computer management and DNS snap-in for example).

If you're looking to instrument your systems using WMI you need to do the following

C:\>netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="windows management instrumentation (wmi)" new enable=yes

The big question

Who is planning to use Windows Server Core and what scenarios are you planning to use it for?160;160;