Server Core technology is a new installation introduced by Microsoft in its next generation of Operating System. Server Core runs only a command shell so that you can administer all the roles supported by servers from command line tools. Windows has been designed on modular architecture meaning its components and services are designed in a procedural way. They have small set of procedures created and these procedures were combined to make a complete Windows System.
Basically there are two shell supported by Windows – one is Command Line Shell (CMD.exe) and other one is GUI shell (explorer.exe). The main reasons to segregate these two shells are the following:
1. You have better control on Windows
2. Other or third party shells can be introduced and configured to run at the time of starting Windows.
3. You can run third party or production applications without displaying Desktop to users.
After looking at Server Core technologies of Longhorn I assume that Microsoft has only replaced CMD.exe with Explorer.exe in registry at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon in entry: Shell in the Right Pane. I’m really not sure about this one but when you replace Explorer.exe with CMD.exe, Windows launches CMD.exe (Command Prompt) rather than Desktop. This really confuses me sometimes – Has Microsoft only changed the entry in the registry to make it Server Core or they have done something more in it? I really don’t have answer to this and need to dig more.
Well, as far as I know, the Server Core technologies or installation makes Windows more secure. This eliminates the hacking and Server is not exposed to hacking anymore now. Server Core runs minimal codes and this gives less access to system thus providing a more secure platform.
I’m still waiting for someone to answer the following questions:
1. What is so different about Server Core in Longhorn?
2. Has Microsoft only replaced Shell entry in registry to make it Server Core or they have done something more?
3. All the services and drivers are started before shell execution. This is already designed since Windows XP released then what’s new in Server Core part.
What is Server Core in Windows Longhorn?
Well, what do you mean by Server Core? A Server Core is a part in where you can have only least functionality of the server operating system. This is the first time Microsoft has introduced this technology. Server Core feature in Longhorn run the minimal code to support a component service in Windows Operating System such as : DHCP, DNS, File Server etc.
You can have a specific feature run in minimal code without exploiting whole OS code. This is possible by running the Windows Longhorn (Microsoft’s Next generation Operating System) in Server Core installation.
This is all about disabling unwanted services in Microsoft Windows Operating Systems (Longhorn). They have done a tremendous job,
I will shout more on this when time permits 🙂
Okay..time permits me:
Windows Longhorn’s new Server Core installation is going to make unhappy administrators who totally depend on GUI tools because Server Core installation and administration is totally dependent on Command lines – yes I’m right – Command lines.
Microsoft has decided to include Server Core in final release of its new operating system (Windows Longhorn Server). Beta 2 had only five roles and Beta 3 includes three new roles: AD, AD LDS, DHCP, DNS, File, Print, and WMS (AD LDS and WMS are new to Beta 3).
It will support more roles in its final release. There will be total of 8 roles to be supported by Windows Longhorn Server.
What’s in Server Core?
Server Core installation is very simple. You just need to proceed with Server Longhorn and select “Windows Longhorn ServerCore” when installing Longhorn product. There are total of Top 9 features supported by Longhorn Server. These are the followings:
- Role-based installation and administration.
- Windows Firewall
- Windows PowerShell
- Server Manager
- Server Core
- Read Only Domain Controller
- Terminal Services
- Network Access Protection
Windows Longhorn Server supports total of 18 role-based installations:
- Active Directory Certificate Services.
- Active Directory Domain Services.
- Active Directory Federation Services.
- Directory Lightweight Directory Services.
- Active Directory Rights Management Services.
- Application Server.
- DHCP Server.
- DNS Server.
- Fax Server.
- File Services.
- Network Policy and Access Services.
- Print Server.
- Terminal Services.
- UDDI Services.
- Web Server.
- Windows Deployment Services.
- Windows Media Services.
- Windows SharePoint Services.
- Windows Server Virtualization.