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Windows Server 2016Enterprises all around the world have long awaited the release of Windows Server 2016. If your business operates using a Windows Server environment, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of upgrading your infrastructure.

That begs the question, “What’s different in Windows Server 2016?”

Although Windows Server 2016 was officially released in late 2015, many organizations may not have learned yet about the benefits of the new server-based operating system. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the features included with the different versions of Microsoft’s Server 2016 platform.

Windows Server Provides Advanced Security Features

Organizations of all types are now coming under increased scrutiny from industry audits and regulators. Windows Server 2016 gives system administrators advanced control over their data.

Microsoft has specifically added new security features which helps businesses bolster their identity management solutions. With the push towards Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, it becomes more important than ever to guarantee to the security of your data when users are working from home or abroad.

Active Directory can now be used to provide granular access to network resources, based on the group policies that your system administrators define upon implementation of Server 2016.

Software Defined Networking

Unlock the future of systems deployment when you install software load balancers, distributed firewalls, and network hardware offloads.

Microsoft has released the Software Defined Datacenter Platform (SDDC) which has streamlined the way organizations deploy apps and services to end users. With fresh infrastructure schemes, your business can ensure reliability and maximum performance on its most critical business processes.

Server 2016 Supports Containers Out of the Box

Businesses are rapidly taking advantage of containerization technology. Did you know that Docker Containers can be integrated into the new Windows Container feature?

Hyper-V Containers are also a new feature, allowing organizations to rapidly deploy apps and services based on the popular Microsoft Hyper-V infrastructure. Microsoft Server 2016 helps your business streamline the deployment of IT services, giving your business a competitive edge.

Powershell 5

One of the easiest ways to automate a Windows Server 2016 task to is to script the task using Powershell.

With Powershell 5 on Windows Server 2016, your business will be able to exert complete over your infrastructure, regardless if you choose to deploy onsite or in the cloud.

Powershell 5 is full of new cmdlets, functions and features to help you orchestrate your infrastructure. Powershell 5 may be the most underrated new feature within Windows Server 2016, given the fact that administrators have become so accustomed to using it within their day to day tasks.

The Introduction of Windows Server Nano

Windows Server Nano is a barebones flavor of Server 2016 that gives app developers a powerful enough operating system to run applications using a minimal amount of server resources.

The new Windows Server Nano has a tiny footprint. The VHD size of Windows Server 2016 Nano is 93% smaller than a traditional Windows Server 2016 deployment.

As a result, Windows Server Nano 2016 requires 80% less critical updates, which means that the versatile platform requires 80% less reboots than the enterprise flavor of Windows Server 2016.

It’s a headless OS, that provides flexibility to administrators by allowing them to use scripting languages such as Powershell to remotely administrate the platform. Nano is flexible enough to deployed on almost any device ranging from a Raspberry Pi to a Hyper-V virtual machine.

Is Windows Server 2016 Worth the Investment?

Every organization is different; if your business has begun using cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2016 can provide rich benefits that will help your business gain a competitive edge.

If your business operates using legacy line of business apps, it may not be beneficial to make the switch just yet.

Is it Time to Make the Switch?

Microsoft says that the final retirement date for Windows Server 2008 will occur on January 14th 2020. Those who still run Server 2008 in their environments are probably well aware that mainstream support ended back in January of 2015.

If your business still uses Server 2008, making the upgrade to 2016 will likely prove to be a profitable endeavor for your enterprise.

What About Server 2012?

Windows Server 2012 will have mainstream support until January 9th 2018. The retirement date for Server 2012 is slated for January 10th 2023. If your organization uses Server 2012, you obviously have some time before you absolutely need to make the upgrade.

Microsoft has provided various upgrade paths for those wanting to adopt Server 2016 within their environments. Windows Server 2016 has a robust feature set that is designed to help organizations deploy applications rapidly through out private cloud and public cloud infrastructures.

If you’re looking for more information on whether or not Windows Server 2016 is the right choice for your business, we’re here at BACS Consulting Group are ready to help. Give us a call at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online. You can also schedule your IT consultation just by clicking the banner below.

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Published on 29th March 2016 by James Berger.