Windows Server 2016 Requirements

Regardless of industry, it’s imperative that your customers have the right operating system to meet end-user needs, support core workflows, and protect proprietary data. The best OS for business servers will vary depending on a range of factors: budget, organization size, preferred applications, and more. Currently, Windows Server 2016 is a popular option that could offer your customers streamlined user experience and access to next-generation functionality.

For managed services providers (MSPs) across the networking space, Windows Server has always been a reliable go-to for business OS needs. Over the years, the platform has kept pace with emerging tech trends, such as cloud computing and hyper-converged infrastructure, with Windows Server 2016 making major headway in bringing these capabilities to scale for organizations of all sizes and budgets.

However, making the most of Windows Server 2016 features isn’t always as simple as purchasing the platform and installing it on a digital environment. There’s work that needs to be done to ensure that teams can reap the benefits of the OS before they put all their eggs in one basket. First and foremost, this means ensuring that systems can meet the basic Windows Server 2016 requirements.

To better understand Windows Server 2016 system requirements, take the time to learn about its use cases, its relationship with previous and successive versions of Windows Server, and the core requirements necessary for the OS to run properly. By doing so, you can make informed choices when it comes time to select the right platform for building out your customers’ servers

What is Windows Server used for?

Windows Server is used by organizations to set up, manage, and maintain business servers. These platforms—whether it’s Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, or their predecessors—differ from personal operating systems in that they support more than one personal computer and enable multiple assets to tap into a larger network of digital infrastructure. Each organization’s server will differ in some way from another, whether in size or setup, but the Windows Server platforms provide the base layer from which to get these environments up and running.

To this end, Windows Server 2016 features go beyond traditional, personal OS platforms. For example, these platforms come with more memory than nonserver options in order to support the demands of corporate usage and allow for more sockets and cores that can connect a greater number of workstations to the organization’s servers. This allows Windows Server to power the business-grade applications and hardware that are necessary to stay competitive in the modern marketplace.

Windows Server versions also offer considerable cybersecurity and data breach prevention capabilities. These defense mechanisms differ from one version to the next and have evolved as cybersecurity threats have become more sophisticated, but features such as access privilege control, security auditing, and active detection are designed to protect proprietary data from the particularly aggressive bad actors that target businesses.

What are the requirements for Windows Server 2016?

Before going all in on MS Server 2016, it’s important that MSPs take the time to assess whether their customers’ infrastructure can meet the basic requirements. While these requirements differ from one version of Windows Server 2016 to the next, they present an overall picture of what systems can handle this OS.

For starters, an organization will need a 1.4Ghz 64-bit processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 32 GB of disk space. There will also need to be one Ethernet network adapter with at least one-gigabit throughput. There are more specific requirements for each of these categories, as well. For instance, processors should support NX and DEP, RAM should have Error Correcting Code or similar technology, and network adapters should be compliant with PCI Express architecture.

If your customers are curious about what capabilities they currently have, the Coreinfo tool should be able to help. Additionally, Microsoft offers resources for organizations that might be preparing to invest in a Windows Server platform to better understand which versions are most compatible with their existing digital environment.

How many versions of Windows Server 2016 are there?

One of the core benefits of Windows Server 2016 is that SMBs can purchase different options that work for their unique needs. Aside from getting to choose between cloud-based management or on-site installation, depending on scaling needs and IT expertise different Windows Server 2016 versions are best suited for varying organizations. These core versions include Windows Server 2016 Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter.

To go into further detail about each of these primary versions, Windows Server 2016 Essentials is best suited for smaller teams that want to leverage the benefits of a sophisticated business-grade server. Because of this, the system requirements are less demanding, but the usage is a bit more restricted. This means that users can only use two CPUs and they’ll have to choose between either a physical or virtual environment but not both.

Windows Server 2016 Standard is, as the name implies, the version that will work for most organizations with typical business server needs. Standard doesn’t limit by CPU but allows 512 cores with its licensing model. It allows for up to two virtual machines or two Hyper-V Containers, depending on what each organization is looking for with its server OS.

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter is best suited for teams with intensive IT demands. This version doesn’t limit the number of virtual machines or Hyper-V Containers that users can run since it’s aimed at companies that rely on complex virtualization systems. Datacenter also comes with features such as Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica, Shielded virtualization capabilities, and more.

Aside from these three main versions, Microsoft offers Windows Server 2016 MultiPoint Premium Server, Storage Server, and Hyper-V Server. Each of these options is tailored to specific customer needs and is licensed according to those needs.

What is the latest version of Windows Server?

While Windows Server 2016 has come to scale for businesses of all sizes since its release late in 2016, it’s no longer the latest version of Windows Server available. This year, Microsoft released Windows Server 2019. This newest version is part of the company’s aim to stay competitive in the business computing space—a reality that’s apparent given features specifically designed for its growing Azure cloud computing initiatives.

With that said, Windows Server 2016 is still a sophisticated and affordable option for many organizations. And, since it’s been available for a few years now, you may be more familiar with the product and can offer your customers greater expertise in support, maintenance, and any troubleshooting that’s necessary. While Windows Server 2019 does offer the latest in cloud computing, HCI, and cybersecurity, Windows Server 2016 will continue to be a reliable option for organizations that currently use or plan on using it.

What can Windows Server 2016 do?

Windows Server 2016 offers an array of competitive features for organizations looking to extract maximum value and flexibility from their OS. From Nano Container and Hyper-V to new Active Directory management capabilities, the platform is aiming to offer customers the tools they need to make the most of the newest trends in business computing. It also includes a new generation of improved cybersecurity tools such as Windows Defender, helping companies protect their digital environment from increasingly sophisticated digital threats.

For example, Windows Server 2016 offers software-defined traffic encryption, helping organizations use SaaS applications without fear of eavesdropping or interference with proprietary data managed off-site. Additionally, new features for Active Directory such as Privileged Access Management make it easier to manage credentials and control who has access to important information. In addition, with Windows Server 2016 you can install Windows Server Backup to back up the full server, system state, or just specific storage volumes or folders.Taken together, these tools allow Windows Server 2016 users to manage virtual environments more efficiently, secure their information from external and internal attacks, and take advantage of new developments in containerization technology. These initiatives are designed to support businesses as they adopt new capabilities such as cloud computing, federated services, and more.