Windows Server 2012 Server Core

I am reading up on Windows Server 2012 now that I have a trial version installed. It is pretty sleek. There are many intriguing facets to Server 2012. One item I find especially interesting is using Server Core with some GUI tools. Server Core  is the default install. It is basically command line driven. It essentially means there is no GUI. No Internet Explorer. No Server Manager. No Explorer (what?!).

Hello command line. Goodbye mouse?

Not completely. With Server 2012, it is now possible to go with the Server Core, but also install basic GUI tools, like Server Manager, in order to Manage from the mouse, so to speak. Using the Power Shell within the usual Windows command line (aka DOS), an administrator can quickly install a feature. Luckily, I am a bit used to Power Shell because I use it off of Exchange Server 2010 Servers. It takes a little practice but is very handy. So, in order to get the Server Manager GUI tools working OVER the Server Core GUI-less shell, go to Power Shell and type:
install-windowsfeature server-gui-mgmt-infra

The Server Manager installs after a reboot.

This allows for the more direct, familiar and comfortable Server Manager tools. Personally, I prefer this but it is good to know command line as well. Also, and more importantly, for many company endeavors in  Production or Business server environment, servers are used for very specific functions. Sometimes this occurs in server farms or load balancing scenarios. The need for a Graphical User Interface on each server is not really needed. Server Core not only suffices, but it uses fewer resources. This is a way to trim the fat, so to speak and conserve disk space and other resources.

And with Server 2012, Microsoft has made it easy to add Server Manager, for example, on the fly if needed.

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