The graphical interface, management tools, and management infrastructure can now be added and removed at any point in a server's life cycle, with only a reboot required.
Since Windows Server 2008, the Server Core configuration level has been available.
In a Server Core environment, the graphical interface, management tools, and management infrastructure are removed from the Windows deployment.
You'll still need to patch and reboot, but you won't have to patch and reboot as often.
Rebooting a server typically means the services running on that server have to be unavailable during that time.
CAU is part of Server 2012's Failover Clustering feature.
With CAU, the update process for an entire Server 2012 failover cluster can be performed automatically.
Consider that to manually patch a cluster in Server 2008 and later, you need to perform the following steps: This update process sounds simple enough, but if you have a 64-node cluster, it's a lot of work.
You can purchase products that can reduce the amount of work.
In the case of a Hyper-V host, this means all the virtual machines (VMs) and the services running on them will be unavailable. This is where the Failover Clustering feature comes into play.
When hosts are in a failover cluster, you can move a service (including a VM) between the nodes without downtime, provided that the service supports a zero-downtime migration technology, such as live migration of VMs or leveraging the Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 transparent failover.
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