What is Windows Server 2016? What is this Windows Server?

What is Windows Server 2016? Windows Server 2016 is the eighth release of the Windows Server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was developed alongside Windows 10 and is the successor to the Windows 8.1-based Windows Server 2012 R2.

The first early preview version (Technical Preview) became available on October 1, 2014 together with the first technical preview of System Center. Windows Server 2016 was released on September 26, 2016 at Microsoft’s Ignite conference and broadly released for retail sale on October 12, 2016. It was succeeded by Windows Server 2019 and the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel.

What is Windows Server 2016?

Windows Server 2016, Microsoft’s newest server operating system, has the potential to be a big hit with businesses, IT professionals, and users. Developed alongside Windows 10, the Windows Server team worked closely with the System Center and Azure teams to establish a tightly-knit ecosystem. The end result delivers a seamless Microsoft experience from beginning to end; it bridges familiar technologies such as Active Directory and virtualization with modern infrastructure concepts, like containerization, federated services, and cloud-based services.

For the latest information on Windows Server 2016, check this article periodically, as this “living” guide will be updated when Microsoft releases new information about the OS.

Windows Server 2016

Why does Windows Server 2016 matter?

Just like with Windows 10 where Microsoft recreated much of the underlying operating system, taking into account the change in landscape brought on by smartphones and tablets, Windows Server 2016 represents the culmination of several principles: Compute, Identity, Management and Automation, Networking, Storage and Security and Assurance.

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These are further broken down into the core elements of the OS, infusing Virtualization, Active Directory, Systems Administration, Network Management and Software Defined Network (SDN) Technologies, Disk Management and Availability, and Cloud Integration and Management together to bring enterprises to the future of technology–without abandoning the equipment they are currently using today.

Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition is a full-featured server OS that fuses the rock-solid performance of the Windows Server line with modern infrastructure advancements. It shares much in common with the Datacenter Edition, as all of the core features are available to both. The Datacenter Edition includes support for a greater number of Hyper-V containers, as well as new storage features and enhanced security aimed squarely at protecting virtual machines and network communications with its “zero trust” implementation.

Hyper-V Server 2016 is similar to the Windows Server Core Mode in previous versions of Windows Server with one major notable exception: It does not include any of the roles and services available to the Standard and Datacenter Editions. The reason for this omission is due to Hyper-V Server 2016 being a hypervisor that is installed onto bare-metal (physical) servers; it simply does not require any roles and services, as it serves to host virtual machines only.

Windows Server Essentials 2016 (formerly known as Small Business Server or SBS) is a full server operating system with certain limitations. Designed with SMBs in mind, Server Essentials 2016 aims to provide Active Directory Domain Services along with user/computer management for workspaces of up to 25 users and 50 devices.

It offers a wide range of the new and updated features of the larger Standard Edition, while scaling others down to offer an affordable, easy-to-use solution perfect for a first server. Unlike Standard and Datacenter Editions, Server Essentials does not require the use of Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user or device accessing the server, which is a huge cost saver.

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Windows Server 2016

Who does Windows Server 2016 affect?

While upgrading to Windows Server 2016 is not a requirement per se, businesses and various IT fields using recent versions of Windows Server will see several instant benefits to upgrading, including enhanced security, virtualization/containerization, and management of identity and storage. And yet, ZDNet contributing writer Ken Hess noted that, according to a November 2015 Spiceworks survey, “…almost half of IT pros state that they have no plans to adopt it or that they don’t know if they will adopt it or not.”

Consolidation of servers through virtualization will increase ROI on newly purchased hardware, while lowering the overall resources used by decommissioning previous physical servers. Windows Containers will allow for multiple applications to be hosted from the server with finite resources, essentially allowing corporations to do more with less.

If your enterprise is hosting its own private cloud, or transitioning to a public or a hybrid cloud setup, the additional security included with Active Directory Federated Services along with Nano Server technologies will keep unauthorized access to a minimum while permitting authorized users to access necessary applications, data, and intranet sites.

Windows Server, version 1709

Windows Server, version 1709 primarily affects systems and server administrators, especially those tasked with managing virtualized infrastructures. The move to add Linux support and management of Linux servers, including container support will also affect Linux admins that run mixed networks in a hybrid format for both Linux and Windows.

To a lesser degree, users will be affected given the move to virtualization and containerization of web-based software applications, legacy applications, and how the technology allows for faster deployment and better performance–even on existing hardware.

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When was Windows Server 2016 released?

Public beta testing via Technical Preview 1 (TP1) began on October 1, 2014. As subsequent improvements were made, additional TPs were released for public download; TP4 was made available on November 19, 2015.

RTM was released on September 26, 2016, ending development of its software cycle and making the final code or “gold master” available for download. General availability to all Microsoft software partners rolled out on October 12, 2016 with build number 10.0.14393; and included with the finished code, Microsoft added the following features to the 1607 build:

  • UI: Improvements were made to enhance the user experience (GUI). OS performance changes were made as well.
  • Windows Hello: The popular Windows 10 security feature that manages access to Windows systems through the use of multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, to further secure devices and data.
  • Evaluation to Licensing Path: Microsoft included a 180-day evaluation for enterprises to test Windows Server 2016 prior to upgrading production networks to the latest OS. The conversion process is built right in and is as simple as entering a new product key to register the correct license.

Additional fixes were made available to correct minor issues reported during the Technical Preview period, including Start Menu and Login screen adjustments to correct corruptions. Also, Windows Store apps have been removed, by default, resulting in a cleaner installation.

Volume licensing information is available through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Service Center. General pricing information (PDF) is detailed in the Windows Server 2016 Licensing Datasheet, except Hyper-V Server 2016, which is offered as a free download that does not require a product key–only activation with Microsoft.

Windows Server 2016

Above is information about What is Windows Server 2016? What is this Windows Server? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Windows Server 2016. Thank you for reading our post.

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