Choosing the right Server Core Remote Management method
Looking for a complete resource on remotely managing your Server Core box? Look no further! I've done research on the topic the last year and have come up with the following remote management methods:
Remotely managing your Server Core using Compmgmt.msc
Remotely managing your Server Core using RSAT
Remotely managing your Server Core using RDP
Remotely managing your Server Core using WinRM and WinRS
Remotely managing your Server Core using SSH
The remaining question is which method to use in which situation:
Is your environment a mixed environment?
When your environment contains Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 hosts, you can't use many features in the Computer Management MMC (compmgmt.msc) Snap-ins or the Event Viewer from these hosts. The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) cannot be used as well and the Windows Server 2003 Adminpak doesn't offer management of all Server Core features.
Use RDP or SSH from Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
From Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 you can use any method.
Does your environment consist of different routed subnets?
When your Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 and your Windows Vista box are on different subnets you can't use many of the Computer Management MMC (compmgmt.msc) Snap-ins.
Use RDP or SSH in routed environments.
Does your environment consist of different domains or workgroups?
Many tools reuse your credentials to authenticate with the Server Core installation. cmdkey.exe provides a way to use alternative credentials, but these won't always work well with certain MMC Snap-ins.
Use WinRM / WinRS, RDP or SSH in multi-domain and workgroup environments.