Windows Server 2016 is the latest version of Microsoft’s server operating system, released in October 2016. It offers a range of new features and improvements that aim to enhance the performance, security, and manageability of Windows Server environments. In this article, we will explore some of the key aspects of Windows Server 2016 and how it can benefit your organization.

What’s New in Windows Server 2016?

Windows Server 2016 introduces several new features and enhancements that are designed to address the challenges and opportunities of modern IT environments. Some of the highlights include:

Core-based licensing: Windows Server 2016 adopts a new licensing model that is based on the number of cores in a processor, rather than the number of processors or physical cores. This simplifies multicloud management and reduces costs for customers who use multiple servers across different platforms.

Shielded virtual machines: Windows Server 2016 provides a new level of protection for virtual machines by encrypting their entire contents, including the hypervisor layer. Shielded virtual machines can run on any Generation 2 Hyper-V host and can be managed by using PowerShell or Hyper-V Manager.

Nano Server: Windows Server 2016 introduces Nano Server, a lightweight version of Windows Server that can run on bare-metal servers with minimal hardware requirements. Nano Server supports only essential server roles and features, such as Active Directory Domain Services, DHCP Server, File Services, and Remote Desktop Services. Nano Server can be deployed quickly and easily using templates or PowerShell commands.

Windows Containers: Windows Server 2016 supports running containers on Hyper-V hosts using either Hyper-V Containers or Docker containers. Hyper-V Containers are based on the same technology as Hyper-V virtual machines, while Docker containers are based on a different format that is more portable across different platforms. Both types of containers can leverage the benefits of isolation, scalability, and portability that containers offer.

Storage Spaces Direct: Windows Server 2016 enables customers to create highly available and scalable storage solutions using local disks without requiring expensive SANs or NAS devices. Storage Spaces Direct allows customers to combine multiple disks into a single logical unit called a storage pool, which can then be striped across multiple hosts for improved performance and reliability.

Log Analytics: Windows Server 2016 integrates with Microsoft’s cloud-based service Log Analytics to provide comprehensive monitoring and analysis capabilities for server events and activities. Log Analytics collects data from various sources within an organization’s network, such as servers, applications, databases, files, processes, users, devices, etc., and stores them in Azure Data Lake Storage or Azure Blob Storage. Log Analytics then uses advanced analytics tools to generate insights and reports that can help troubleshoot issues, optimize performance, detect threats, comply with regulations, etc.

These are just some of the new features that are available in Windows Server 2016. There are many more improvements and enhancements that cover various aspects of server administration and management.

How to Install Windows Server 2016?

To install Windows Server 2016 on your server hardware or virtual machine image file (VHD or VHDX), you need to follow these steps:

Download the installation media from Microsoft’s website1. You can choose between an ISO file or an ISO+USB bundle file.

Create a bootable USB drive or DVD using the installation media you downloaded.

Boot your server from the bootable USB drive or DVD.

Follow the instructions on the screen to select your language preferences2, accept the license terms3, choose your installation type (Server Core or Desktop Experience), select your installation location (internal drive or external drive), configure your network settings (IP address), create your user accounts (local accounts or domain accounts), etc.

Wait for the installation process to complete.

After installing Windows Server 2016 successfully4, you need to activate it using either a product key5 or an online activation method. You also need to install any required roles or features for your server environment.


Windows Server 2016 is a powerful server operating system that offers many new features and improvements that can help you manage your IT infrastructure more efficiently and effectively. Whether you want to run virtual machines on Hyper-V hosts using Shielded VMs, deploy containers using Nano Servers, create storage solutions using Storage Spaces Direct, monitor your server events using Log Analytics, or anything else related to server administration and management, Windows Server 2016 has something for you.