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I have been installing either the Standard or Enterprise versions of Server 2008, but am curious about Server Core. What have you used this for? Did you like it or end up having to upgrade to a more complete version?

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A more complete version? As if core is incomplete? Core is completely complete for it's intended role. – joeqwerty Jul 9 '10 at 19:12
Why did you install Standard instead of using the "more complete" Enterprise version everywhere? Could it be that it was appropriate for the intended use? Guess what, the same applies to Core, or any other version. – John Gardeniers Jul 10 '10 at 3:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

We have been using/testing 2008 R2 Core for nearly a year now. Our intention is to migrate the following services to Core installs prior to the end of the next K12 school year.

  • Domain Controllers
  • File Servers
  • Print Server

Microsoft has made great progress in improving their remote management tools suite over the years, but for some users, these tools can present a significant learning curve. If you are still getting your feet wet with core installs, take a look at the Core Configurator which can expedite your deployment/configuration process.

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the only good thing about core is that it confused/scares the hell out of dumb admins! Which is a good thing.

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+/-0, Not sure if Trolling. I really think Core offers "dumb" admins a chance to think about the tasks they want perform rather than just click-n-drooling their way through them. Core is also nice in the less-is-more regard. Why does something as simple as a file server need a full-blown GUI? – jscott Jul 10 '10 at 12:19
more or less just joking! Most admins I work with are too stuck on the gui to ever take the time to learn core. I hade a real good conversation with MS on the subject core vs regular server and their general opinion was with clustered servers you don't gain much in terms of security or patch cycles. So our conclusion was infrastructure and non clusterable servers were the best fit for core. – tony roth Jul 10 '10 at 19:34

We use it primarily for domain controllers. It helps to enforce the best practice that you shouldn't run any services on your DCs other than the AD services.

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The mistake I made is that server core is more suited for infrastructure servers, then it was made to be a modularized application specific server similar to what has been done with some of single purpose Linux distro's.

For example, I thought server core would make a great build server for our code base, this turned out not to be the case. Perhaps this was more due to the dependencies of the code base.

I was able to use it for our SVN server without to much additional pain.

Hopefully, in the future it will be extended to support hosting other services such as Sql Server, TFS, etc.

Overall I think it is a good step in the right direction.

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