We are going to try new SQL Server 2016 and we're thinking to install it on Windows Server Core. I know there are some benefits from going this way. From what I've heard, this setup is more secure and it is much easier to manage. But are there any risks or maybe limitations for the running SQL on Server Core OS? Also can you recommend a good guide on the installing procedure? Thank you for your help.

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2 Answers 2


As for the limitations, some of the services would be unavailable. But I doubt they are critical. Here you can learn more: https://logicalread.com/installing-sql-server-2016-on-server-core/#.WKOlJfL5MTA Also take a look at this article that is described all the supported features and an installation process of SQL on Server Core: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231669.aspx And here it is a short step-by-step guide: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/install-sql-server-2016-on-windows-server-2016-server-core Hope it helps.


Core has smaller installation footprint, less binaries to patch, less services etc. Still all tech except GUI and GUI-dependent is available (Nano is somewhere limited, say with SR-IOV support). P.S. We either do a full GUI or POC Nano. Core is somewhere in the middle, and will fade out eventually. IMHO.

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