Windows Server "Core"

403Forbidden403Forbidden MemberMember Posts: 88 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone!

I have a general question to ask about Windows Server "Core".

In the experience of those out there how often have people used this if ever? I understand the smaller footprint and attack profile that it has compared to the full installation, and even that it uses "Mostly" only CLI to configure and manage things like DHCP and DNS.

I want to know more about when this has been used, what it was used for, what you should use it for, what you should never use it for and what you could use it for but there are better ways out there to do it.

I am mostly using it to practice my CLI skills and trying to become less reliant on the GUI.



  • TechGuy215TechGuy215 Explore_Dream_Discover Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    We use Server Core installations for a read-only domain controller at a few of our branch offices.

    From Technet:

    You can only run 9 roles on a server core installation.

    AD DS
    AD LDS
    File Services
    Print Services
    Streaming Media Services
    Web Server (IIS)

    Some benefits:

    Greater stability
    Simplified management
    Reduced maintenance
    Reduced memory and disk requirements
    Reduced attack surface
    * Currently pursuing: PhD: Information Security and Information Assurance
    * Certifications: CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:R&S, CWNA, ITILv3, VCA-DCV, LPIC-1, A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Project+, and many more...
    * Degrees: MSc: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; BSc: Information Technology - Security; AAS: IT Network Systems Administration
  • bgold87bgold87 Senior Member Member Posts: 112
    I've only seen it used for an RODC.
  • 403Forbidden403Forbidden Member Member Posts: 88 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I guess what I really want to know is how useful/practical is it to become familiar with setting up the DHCP/DNS roles on a core server?
    What are the most commonly used services on an RODC?
  • SlowhandSlowhand Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    Server Core's functionality has been expanded greatly since it was first introduced in Windows Server 2008. As of this writing, there's a whole slew of new features and roles available to install, you can run PowerShell on it, there's greater 3rd party software support, and you can even configure a full install of Windows Server 2012 (as well as on R2) and then turn off the GUI to make it a Core install.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Network Engineer Member Posts: 1,363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    We have one acting as a domain controller however it wasn't required... I'm not sure if there was any reasoning behind doing it either.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • undomielundomiel Virtual Member Member Posts: 2,818
    We had a client that we deployed their Hyper-V cluster as all 2008 R2 Core nodes. It worked out pretty well for them. Since pretty much everything can be done with remote management tools and PoSH the lack of a GUI is never a problem.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon --
  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    SQL Server also now runs on Windows Core. So for SQL servers, it also makes sense.
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