How can we improve Azure Virtual Machines?

Gallery image for Server 2016 Core (No GUI)

Since server 2008 I’ve tried to use core as the standard OS in everything I deploy (more so once it supported .net), especially in cloud where security teams are always picky, 2012 core was a great edition or even minimal GUI because it reduced the attack surface, Servers such as domain controllers don’t need a GUI at all but can’t be installed on Nano server.
I was looking to upgrade our DCs in azure Dev to 2016 but don’t want to use the full GUI.

Without the ability to remove the GUI like server 2012 a gallery image of core would be best suited.
It also discourages curious admins from logging on to a desktop and “playing” unless they know what they are doing.
Server core was one of the best things introduced into windows server, it also gives more “bang for buck” in performance in the cloud, having a smaller footprint but still being able to utilise the full OS.

I’ve only ever encouraged the use of full GUI for RDS hosts and 3rd party software that the vendor can’t support on core.

It’s also the “Default” option when installing server 2016 manually which is why I was surprised not to see it in Azure.

We can create our own image, however I prefer to use up to date gallery images to save the overhead of keeping an image up to date and instead use DSC & GPO to configure the OS.

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Jason van der Paal shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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  • Dominik Lekse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Seems like the Azure team has released a 2016-Core image in the market place but without mentioning in https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/.

    publisher = "MicrosoftWindowsServer"
    offer = "WindowsServer"
    sku = "2016-Datacenter-Server-Core"
    version = "2016.127.20170406"

    A couple of weeks ago, when I search on the Azure market place and typed Core into the search field, my first thought was that the search is broken rather than that the Core image is not available.

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