Five Things to Know About Longhorn Server Core

I've written about Server Core before -- in my Longhorn Server review of Beta Version 2. It's Microsoft's great new addition to the Longhorn Server product. Essentially, Server Core is a slimmed-down, appliancelike version of Longhorn Server that functions in a couple of limited roles and does nothing else. Server Core, as I see it, has three main advantages: it's extremely focused, which means it does what it does very well, resulting in better performance, resilience and robustness than a full-fledged operating system. It also has limited dependencies on other pieces of the Windows puzzle, in that the Core is designed to work without a lot of other software installed; it can generally work by itself. In comparison, many of the previous Windows components aren't really necessary -- like Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer, for example -- which is something that can't be said for Windows Server 2003.

All of this translates into a far smaller attack surface than the standard Windows Server product, given all of the material that's been stripped out. But there are some aspects of Server Core with which you might not yet be familiar, as well as some interesting facts and limitations of the "core"-based approach to computing. I'll take a look at them here.

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News source: ComputerWorld

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drygnfyre said,
This is not a bad thing at all.

Agreed. The more they modularize Windows, the easier it becomes to remove interdependancies. You'd think eventually the effort they're putting into this now would find its way back into consumer editions. We may yet look forward to a Windows installation that doesn't include things like IE, WMP, OE, etc (and I mean *truly* not install them to begin with, not just remove their shortcuts)...

Longhorn Server Core sounds like Netware to me.

@petroid: I agree about the slowass java tools that Novell uses. sometimes consoleone takes a long time to come up.

Server Core is definately suited to core infrastructure use such as DNS/DHCP, web hosting and directory services. It would be great to base an enterprise network around Windows Server Core systems that handle the important backbone services while leaving regular Enterprise Server to do the stuff that requires a GUI. I do think that the introduction of Server Core is a big benefit for Windows networks! Plus, for a command line based OS, the remote management tools are second to none! If only Novell would use MMC or something instead of their slow java tools that take forever to load :-P

"Server Core has no graphical user interface."

they're really trying to push performance with this server core.... hopefully its not a whole new thing to learn on top of regular server2007.