Installing Windows 2012 Server Core plus IIS8 isn’t as hard as you might think. At least it isn’t as hard as I thought!
Server Core can be intimidating to long-time Windows users who expect to see the comfortable familiarity of the Windows desktop (though that has also changed with Server 2012). Rather than a Windows desktop you are presented with a command window and required to make changes through text commands. Hey, what is this – Linux?!? :)
You can relax though. There are actually ways to still manage your server via GUI through the use of various remote tools. That gives the benefit of the smaller footprint and attack surface on your server, but still the ease-of-management that users are use to.
Here’s a great recent post with a few quick steps on getting Windows 2012 Server Core installed (not many steps there – its super-easy) then the command lines needed to install IIS8 and enable it for remote access. Then the few steps required to get connected remotely to manage your server.
Check it out – it’s likely way easier than you expected!