Windows Server 2016 is here. Get the cloud-ready operating system today to apply another level of security and innovation to the applications and infrastructure, that power your business. Support the workloads you run today, and make it easier to move to the cloud, when you’re ready. Product Features Built-in security – Enhance security and reduce risk with multiple layers of protection, built into the operating system. Evolve your datacenter – Save money and gain flexibility with software-defined compute storage, and networking technologies, inspired by Microsoft Azure. Innovate faster – Use improved technologies, such as Windows containers and Nano Server, for another way to deploy and run on-premises and cloud-based apps.
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 changed.
- 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 applications
- IIS 10: Support for HTTP/2
- Windows PowerShell 5.1
- Windows Server Containers
Microsoft 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 and on cloud computing platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Starting with the new feature release of Windows Server version 1709, Nano Server can only be installed inside a container host.