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Recently I have gone through some articles regarding Windows Server core installation, which is very light weight server and consume low resources when compared with full installation.

What my doubt is whether we REALLY get any benefit with "server core" installation? Because, generally the server will be in log off mode and it does not use any additional resources for GUI environment.

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3 Answers

The biggest gain to Server Core is the reduced attack surface. The CPU/RAM gains are minimal, though important in certain scenarios (Hyper-V and very low memory systems/VMs spring to mind).

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Core is designed to be small (disk space) and lightweight (cpu) therefore it is ideal to use in a VM for a simple, unattended task such as DHCP, DNS, print server, etc, almost as if it is an appliance. You would gain little from running Core on a physical machine, on modern hardware.

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Depends what you do with it. Core also needs a lot less reboots (because less components get updates that may result in a need to reboot). I use core mostly for Hyper-V setups (well, Hyper-V server IS a server core).

The lower restart need is the main advantage. Driver update "issues" (until you find out how to acutally install new drivers properly) the main disdvantage.

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