Top Features Of Server 2012: Server Core

Windows Server 2012

Jun 27, 2013 by Andy Cook

Microsoft unveiled some new features of Server 2012 at TechEd North America earlier this month. There are a lot of great changes to it, so every week I will discuss one of the top new features:

The first reason to take a good look at Windows Server 2012 is Server Core. Server Core is the preferred and recommended installation method for Windows Server 2012. Server Core is a minimal installation of an operating system into the environment, which allows is the lowest possible footprint for the OS.

One of the nicest things about Server 2012 is that the Graphical Shell and MMC snap-ins can be added to or removed at any time to the environment. This also means that there is the opportunity and ability to remove the graphical user interface (GUI) after the install is done, which is huge! You are not stuck if you decide to go one way or another for your Server 2012 install. Another benefit of not using the GUI on Windows Server 2012 is that it requires 50 percent less patching than a full installation.

Within Server Core all Roles and Features are copied into Windows side by side by default. If, for some reason, you need to remove a feature, you can then retrieve and add the Role or Feature back in using multiple sources, including: Features on Demand, Windows Update, Mount the Installation WIM or use the WIM file directly. You can also use another “servers Windowswinsxs” folder. Roles and Features that you know you will not use on this Server 2012 install can be taken off the Disk to reduce the footprint even more. They can always be added back in later as well.

Check back next week for my installment on Server 2012’s shift in Server Management.

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