Microsoft Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 is a server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems, developed concurrently with Windows 10.
The first early preview version (Technical Preview) became available on
October 1, 2014 together with the first technical preview of System Center.
Unlike previous Windows Server versions, which were released
simultaneously with the client operating system, Windows Server 2016 was
released on September 26, 2016 at Microsoft's Ignite conference and became generally available on October 12, 2016. Build your future with Windows Server 2016.
matter where you want to take your organization, get there with Windows
Server 2016—bringing the innovation behind the world’s largest cloud
datacenter to yours.
|Windows Server 2016 - Specification:
||Latest version 1/12/2017
||Windows Server 2016 - Standard or Datacenter as Purchased
||Digital delivery by a text email - Brand New License Key & Download link
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|ISO (DVD image) - Direct download from Microsoft
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Windows Server 2016 has a variety of new features, including:
- Active Directory Federation Services:
It is possible to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in
non-AD directories, such as X.500 compliant Lightweight Directory Access
Protocol (LDAP) directories and SQL databases.
- Windows Defender: Windows Server Antimalware is installed and enabled by default without the GUI, which is an installable Windows feature.
- Remote Desktop Services: Support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1, performance and stability improvements; MultiPoint Services role (see Windows MultiPoint Server)
- Storage Services: Central Storage QoS Policies; Storage Replicas
(storage-agnostic, block-level, volume-based, synchronous and
asynchronous replication using SMB3 between servers for disaster recovery).
Storage Replica replicates blocks instead of files; files can be in
use. It's not multi-master, not one-to-many and not transitive. It
periodically replicates snapshots, and the replication direction can be
- Failover Clustering: Cluster operating system rolling upgrade, Storage Replicas
- Web Application Proxy: Preauthentication for HTTP Basic
application publishing, wildcard domain publishing of applications,
HTTP to HTTPS redirection, Propagation of client IP address to backend
- IIS 10: Support for HTTP/2
- Windows PowerShell 5.1
- Windows Server Containers
- DHCP: As Network Access Protection was deprecated in Windows Server 2012 R2, in Windows Server 2016 the DHCP role no longer supports NAP
- DNS client: Service binding – enhanced support for computers with more than one network interface
- DNS Server: DNS policies, new DDS record types (TLSA, SPF, and unknown records), new PowerShell cmdlets and parameters
- Windows Server Gateway now supports Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnels
- IP address management
(IPAM): Support for /31, /32, and /128 subnets; discovery of
file-based, domain-joined DNS servers; new DNS functions; better
integration of DNS, DHCP, and IP Address (DDI) Management
- Network Controller: A new server role to configure, manage, monitor,
and troubleshoot virtual and physical network devices and services in
- Hyper-V Network virtualization: Programmable Hyper-V switch (a new building block of Microsoft's software-defined networking solution); VXLAN encapsulation support; Microsoft Software Load Balancer interoperability; better IEEE Ethernet standard compliance.
- Rolling Hyper-V
cluster update: Unlike upgrading clusters from Windows 2008 R2 to 2012
level, Windows Server 2016 cluster nodes can be added to a Hyper-V
Cluster with nodes running Windows Server 2012 R2. The cluster continues
to function at a Windows Server 2012 R2 feature level until all of the
nodes in the cluster have been upgraded and the cluster functional level
has been upgraded.
- Storage quality of service (QoS) to centrally monitor end-to-end
storage performance and create policies using Hyper-V and Scale-Out File
- New, more efficient binary virtual machine configuration format
(.VMCX extension for virtual machine configuration data and the .VMRS
extension for runtime state data)
- Production checkpoints
- Hyper-V Manager: Alternate credentials support, down-level management, WS-Management protocol
- Integration services for Windows guests distributed through Windows Update
- Hot add and remove for network adapters (for generation 2 virtual
machines) and memory (for generation 1 and generation 2 virtual
- Linux secure boot
- Connected Standby compatibility
- Storage Resiliency feature of Hyper-V
is formed for detecting transitory loss of connectivity to VM storage.
VMs will be paused 'til the time the connectivity is re-established.
- RDMA compatible Virtual Switch
announced a new installation option, Nano Server, which offers a
minimal-footprint headless version of Windows Server. It excludes the
graphical user interface, WoW64 (support for 32-bit software) and Windows Installer. It does not support console login, either locally or via Remote Desktop Connection. All management is performed remotely via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Windows PowerShell and Remote Server Management Tools (a collection of web-based GUI and command line tools).
However, in Technical Preview 5, Microsoft has re-added the ability to
administer Nano Server locally through PowerShell. According to
Microsoft engineer Jeffrey Snover, Nano Server has 93% lower VHD size, 92% fewer critical security advisories, and 80% fewer reboots than Windows Server. Nano Server is only available to Microsoft Software Assurance customers.
WHAT’S NEW WITH WINDOWS SERVER 2016
Added layers of security - Enhance security and reduce risk with multiple layers of built-in protection.
New deployment options - Increase availability and reduce resource usage with the lightweight Nano Server.
Built-in containers - Develop and manage with agility thanks to Windows Server and Hyper-V containers.
Cost-efficient storage - Build highly available, scalable software-defined storage and reduce costs.
Agile networking - Software-defined networking to automate with cloud-like efficiency. Read overview
Microsoft has been reorganized by Satya Nadella, putting the Server and System Center teams together. Previously, the Server team was more closely aligned with the Windows client team. The Azure team is also working closely with the Server team.
Editions - Licensing & Pricing:
Windows Server 2016 is available in 3 editions (a Foundation edition as it was in Windows Server 2012 is no longer offered by Microsoft for Windows Server 2016):
The editions are suitable for the following application areas:
|| Ideal for...
|| Visualization rights
|| Licensing model
|| Client Access Licenses
|| RAM Limit
|| CPU Limit
|| Small businesses with basic IT requirements; very small or no IT department
|| no, one physical or one virtual installation
|| CALs not required * (limited to 25 users / 50 devices)
|| 64 GB RAM
|| max. 2 CPUs
|| For all companies that require advanced features and virtualize to a lesser extent
|| 2 virtual machines ** or 2 Hyper-V Container
|| CALs required ***
|| 24 TB RAM
|| 512 Cores
|| For all companies with high requirements on IT workloads with large number of virtual systems
|| unlimited virtual machines and Hyper-V Container
Windows Server 2016 has the same distinction between Datacenter and
Standard (unlimited VMs versus two VMs), but it adds a number of
advanced features in Datacenter. Here is a feature comparison from
Microsoft’s licensing datasheet (available for download here):
“To license a physical server, all
physical cores must be licensed in the server. A minimum of 8 core
licenses is required for each physical processor in the server and a
minimum of 16 cores is required to be licensed for servers with one
So the decision to go with either Datacenter or Standard is no longer
based solely on how many virtual machines you’ll need. Now you also
need ask yourself, “Do I need the advanced features?” If you need Windows Server 2012 R2, check here for Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter.