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Kevin Remde

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31 Days of our Favorite Things: Either / Or with Core in Windows Server 2012 (Part 19 of 31)

CoreIn Windows Server 2008 we introduced you to the notion of a “Core” installation.  The idea with Server Core was that you had a minimal installation of a server workhorse that didn’t contain any of the extra fluff.  And when I say fluff, I mean GUI / UI / Windows Explorer / IE / multimedia.. stuff.  Things that you don’t really need or want on a server if you want to get the best performance, plus the benefit of a reduced attack surface for the sake of security. 

“I like the idea, Kevin.. but Server Core is hard to administer."

Yeah.. but that greatly improved with Windows Server 2008 R2, and is even better now in Windows Server 2012.  It’s so good, in fact, that the core installation is the default installation of Windows Server 2012. 

“But if I install a Core of Server 2008 R2, I’m stuck with it.  I’d really like to be able to add the GUI later.  Or maybe install it as a Full installation, but then remove the GUI.”

You’re in luck.  That’s what we’re allowing in Windows Server 2012.  It is no longer a one-time decision when you’re doing the installation of the server.  You can add or remove the UI features quite easily, either using the Add (or remove) Roles and Features wizard, or by using PowerShell

In today’s entry for our “31 Days of our Favorite Things”, Keith Mayer will show off how you can choose and then change your choice between a Core install and a “Server with GUI” installation. 


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Kevin is an engaging and highly sought-after speaker and webcaster who has landed several times on Microsoft's top 10 webcast list, and has delivered many top-scoring TechNet events and webcasts. In his past outside of Microsoft, Kevin has held positions such as software engineer, information systems professional, and information systems manager. He loves sharing helpful new solutions and technologies with his IT professional peers.

A prolific blogger, Kevin shares his thoughts, ideas and tips on his “Full of I.T.” blog (http://aka.ms/FullOfIT). He also contributes to and moderates the TechNet Forum IT Manager discussion (http://aka.ms/ITManager), and presents live TechNet Events throughout the central U.S. (http://www.technetevents.com). When he's not busy learning or blogging about new technologies, Kevin enjoys digital photography and videography, and sings in a band. (Q: Midlife crisis? A: More cowbell!) He continues to challenge his TechNet Event audiences to sing Karaoke with him.