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When 2016 means the future

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Günther Imbrechts
Senior System Engineer, EASI

The year 2016 is behind us. Well, not entirely, because Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is on cruising speed right now. The Windows Server 2012 family has proven to be a stable, reliable and easily manageable server operating system. Server 2016 is continuing on that trackrecord. I handpicked some of the facts and features that I find interesting and that I want you to know about. This document is focusing on the advantages when using VMware as the virtualization platform, although some of the features also count for Hyper-V or hardware configurations.

Remote Desktop Services

RDS on Server 2016 presents some nice new features: Windows 10 look & feel, RemoteFX vGPU with OpenGL 4.4 support, RD Connection Broker can now manage 10.000 concurrent logon requests and you can setup HA on an (Azure) SQL database, personal session desktops and a new RDP 10 protocol with updated RDP clients.

Nano Server

Naked version of Windows Server 2016 specifically designed for being a Hyper-V Host, an IIS host or a Scale-Out File Server. You can take the 'naked' litteraly, because it's 93% smaller in size and will need only 20% of the required reboots a normal server needs. You need Software Assurance attached to the license of this server. Powershell.exe can now be run locally on the Nano server.

Licensing changes

As multi-core processors are evolving to a two-digit notation, Microsoft had to change it's licensing model. Where it was previously using a per CPU model, it now switched to a per core model.
The minimum is 8 core packs while 1 core pack is for 2 physical cores. The price of these 16 cores is the same as the previous price for 2 CPU's with 8 cores each. The Standard Edition comes with two OSE's (Operating System Environments) You need one OSE per virtualized server. The Datacenter Edition comes with an unlimited number of OSE's. There is also an Essentials version which is a cloud-connected first server that limits you to 25 users and 50 devices.

Credential Guard & Remote Credential Guard

Credential Guard prevents unauthorized access to privileged system software using virtualization-based security. Remote Credential Guard prevents user credentials exposure.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is builtin, installed and activated by default on Server 2016. If you want the user interface, you have to install this feature seperately.

Just Enough Administration

Powershell security feature that enables authorized users to run specific commands in an elevated context on a remote server.

Internet Information Service (IIS) 10

Self-signed certificate requests are now SHA256, there is a new Powershell module and support for HTTP/2 protocol.

Other new features

Control Flow Guard prohibits memory corruption, extended support on Active Directory for hybrid and cloud-only environments, new Hyper-V features and Windows Containers, Shielded Virtual Machines, Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica. There are also a number of improvements on Failover Clustering.

If you like what you read or if you need more information, please contact EASI so we can help you with your needs.

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