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To Server Core or not to Server Core?

Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Does anybody have experience with the 2008R2 Server Core implementation?  These will be hosted in an ESX environment, and we have only about 5 VMs (file server, print server, DC/DNS/DHCP, WSUS)  out of maybe 20 that fit the bill, and I question whether it's worth all the extra effort.

My primary concerns is, in order to use the RSAT, you have to open so many ports on the firewall that it seems as if you're exposing the server more than you would on a normal install, thus negating the "reduced attack surface"?

Also, anybody know if you can install RDS licensing on a server core setup?  I can't find that info anywhere.

Anybody out there with real world experience on the benefits/negatives of Server Core?  I'm not afraid of the CLI, but only if it pays off in the long run.
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