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Are there any performance advantages over classis windows server 2008 installation?

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No (not measurable). Uses less memory, though (not really relevant except you have a small server). Most important: A lot less patches apply- so a lot less resets are needed ;)

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+1 - uses less memory and less hard drive space, but that is about it. Server core is about reducing maintenance/management requirements and reducing the security attack surface area, not about performance. – MattB May 13 '10 at 13:42
Yeah. Never overlook the restart issue. There is a LOT of stuff in normal windows triggering a restart when patched. Server Core is REALLY bare bones (no user interface - frequent restarts originate somewhere there), so it can run a lot longer until "sometimes" a patch comes around. I rarely have servers up 3 months, server cores have that pretty often between patch resets. – TomTom May 14 '10 at 10:58

The Windows Server Core option was designed so servers only have to run the bare minimum amount of services in order to function, and perform the task designated to them (e.g. DHCP, or DNS). You will find that with Server Core, less resources are designated to services which you don't require, as those services simply won't be there unless you install them. The end result is more processing power and memory available to those key services you need to run.

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actually the number of services is not THAT much lower - even normal WIndows does not install everything "just because it can". Processing power of a non-running service thus really is not reduced. Windows and core both use the same processing power for me without user load - which is pretty much 0. Memory is it (a LITTLE, though), and disc footprint. – TomTom May 14 '10 at 10:57

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