Windows Server 2016 delivers capabilities to help you create a more flexible and cost-efficient datacenter using software-defined compute, storage and network virtualisation features inspired by Azure.
Run your datacenter with a highly automated, resilient, virtualised server operating system.
- Reduce your datacenter footprint, increase availability, and reduce resource usage with "just enough OS" using the Nano Server deployment option, with an image that is 25x smaller than Windows Server 2016 with the full desktop experience.
- Upgrade infrastructure clusters to Windows Server 2016 with zero downtime for your workload, and without requiring new hardware, using mixed-mode cluster upgrades.
- Increase application availability with improved cluster resiliency to transient failures in network and storage.
- Automate server management with PowerShell 5 and Desired State Configuration.
- Manage Windows servers from anywhere using the new web-based GUI–Server management tools.
- Deploy applications on multiple operating systems with best-in-class support for Linux on Hyper-V.
Windows Server 2016 delivers new capabilities to prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines and harden the platform against emerging threats.
- Prevent risks associated with compromised administrative credentials. Use new privileged identity management features to limit administrative access by enabling “just enough” and "just in time" administration. Use Credential Guard to prevent administrative credentials from being stolen by "pass-the-hash" attacks.
- Protect your virtual machines using the unique shielded virtual machine feature. A shielded VM is encrypted using BitLocker and can only run on approved hosts.
- Protect against unknown vulnerabilities by ensuring only permitted binaries are executed using additional security features such as Control Flow Guard and Code Integrity as well as Windows Defender optimized for Server roles.
- Use Hyper-V Containers for a unique additional layer of isolation for containerised applications.
Windows Server 2016 includes expanded capabilities in software-defined storage with an emphasis on resilience, reduced cost, and increased control.
- Build highly-available and scalable software-defined storage solutions at a fraction of the cost of SAN or NAS. Storage Spaces Direct uses standard servers with local storage to create converged or hyper-converged storage architectures.
- Create affordable business continuity and disaster recovery among datacenters with Storage Replica synchronous storage replication.
- Ensure application users have priority access to storage resources using quality-of-service features.
Windows Server 2016 delivers key networking features used in the Azure datacenters to support agility and availability in your datacenter.
- Deploy and manage workloads across their entire lifecycle with hundreds of networking policies (isolation, Quality of Service, security, load balancing, switching, routing, gateway, DNS, etc.) in a matter of seconds using a scalable network controller.
- Dynamically segment your network based on workload needs using a distributed firewall and network security groups to apply rich policies within and across segments. Layer enforcement by routing traffic to virtualised firewall appliances for even greater levels of security.
- Take control of your hybrid workloads, including running them in containers, and move them across servers, racks, and clouds using standards-based VXLAN and NVGRE overlay networks and multi-tenanted hybrid gateways.
- Optimise your cost/performance ratio when you converge RDMA and tenant traffic on the same teamed NICs, driving down cost while providing performance at 40G and beyond.
Windows Server 2016 delivers new ways to deploy and run your applications – whether on-premises or in Microsoft Azure – using capabilities such as Windows containers and the lightweight Nano Server deployment option.
- Windows Server Containers bring the agility and density of containers to the Windows ecosystem, enabling agile application development and management.
- Use Hyper-V Containers for a unique additional level of isolation for containerised applications without any changes to the container image.
- Use the lightweight Nano Server deployment option for the agility and flexibility today’s application developers need. It’s the perfect option for running applications from containers or micro services.
- Run traditional first-party applications such as SQL Server 2016 with best-in-class performance, security and availability.