Learnt about Server Core

Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Server Core is not a development platform for new server applications. A Server Core installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles, which lowers the maintenance and management requirements of the server, and significantly reduces the attack surface for those server roles.

Effectively, after you install serve Core  and  boot into Server Core (after providing credentials) you are given a Command Prompt.  There is no Start menu, no desktop shortcuts; you see a single Command Prompt Window.

Server Core comes in Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter editions for i386 and x64 platforms.Use the GetProductInfo function to retrieve the product information for the current operating system and identify if Server Core is running.Server Core comes up as an installation option when you install Windows Server 2008. There’s also no "upgrade" path from Server Core.

Developers need to understand the following before writing applications for Server Core.

  • There is no Windows shell and very limited GUI functionality (the Server Core interface is a command prompt).
  • Very few server roles work in Server Core
  • There is no managed code support in Server Core (all code must be native Windows API code).There’s also no Microsoft .NET Framework

    Server Core supports a limited set of functions. Before using a function, check that the function name appears in Server Core Functions by Name or Server Core Functions by DLL. Managed code is not supported. Management tools should be tested on Server Core before deployment.

    Server Core offers the following benefits to the end users

    • Reduced software maintenance as files required to support the installed server roles are only installed.
    • Reduced attack surface as there are fewer files installed and running on the server