Why is Cuda so unstable on ubuntu-server vs. ubuntu desktop?

I have set up nvidia driver / cuda using deb and runfile installation methods on more than a dozen different computers all running ubuntu 16.04 - the desktop installs typically are very stable but the server editions have a 50/50 chance of the driver failing to build against a kernel upgrade - I’ve tried mixing up which version of the driver I install but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Why is it so unstable on the server edition and is there anything I can do to improve stability? I find it particularly confusing as I thought that the server and desktop kernels were the same?