This article covers Windows Server 2008 Server Core. First, let's talk about what the Server Core installation is (and what it is not!). Server Core is a minimal environment to run specific server roles, which reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the attack surface for those roles. The following roles are supported on Server Core. At this time, we are still working with the Beta 3 build of Server 2008, so additional roles may be available at Product Launch.
- AD Domain Services
- AD Lightweight Directory Services
- DHCP Server
- DNS Server
- File Server
- Print Server
- Streaming Media Services
Note: Microsoft recently announced that IIS7 would be available as a Server Core role, however the Beta 3 build does not have IIS support. The IIS Role on Server Core does not include support for .NET. There is also no support for GUI management tools. However, according to Bill Staples' blog, .NET support is still being discussed ...
When you look at what Server Core offers, the roles available are ideal for a branch office deployment scenario where there are limited (or no) IT resources remotely and all management is centralized. So let's get started with our installation. For this Server Core install, I am setting up a File & Print Server in a Virtual Environment for my own testing. I allocated 20GB for the Hard Drive and 256MB of RAM for my VM ... so on with the installation! The first few screens are fairly standard - choosing the installation language, the regional options (time and currency format) and my keyboard layout.