Archive for June, 2014

Server Core installations now benefit from Windows Defender, too.

While I write this, Windows Server 2012 R2 is Microsoft’s latest and greatest Windows Server version.

I planned on writing a blogpost on all the new features, specific to Server Core, but decided that this one blogpost would suffice…


Server Core vs. Full Installations

Don’t get me wrong, though. Server Core installations offer tons of new features and I really advice you to check it out.

The point is, however, that, these days, Server Core installations aren’t that special anymore. Most of the Server Roles and Features are available for both Full installations and Server Core installations. Also, since Windows Server 2012, you can switch between Server Core and Full (and minumum shell) after installation, making for a really interesting story when admins don’t run Server Core installations.


Windows Defender

Which brings me to the one feature specific for Server Core installations in Windows Server 2012 R2. According to the What’s Changed in Security Technologies in Windows 8.1 page on Microsoft TechNet:

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, Windows Defender is available on Server Core installation options (without the user interface), and it is enabled by default.

Windows Defender is primarily intended for consumer and unmanaged PC scenarios, and most large organizations will want to use an enterprise antimalware solution such as System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, which also includes support for ELAM.



With Windows Defender built into Server Core installations, these installations are now more malware resistant from day 1.

Of course, when you decide to implement an anti-malware solution, like Microsoft’s System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, the malware scanning part of Windows Defender will be disabled, until such time you uninstall the anti-malware solution (properly).