Windows Server 2016 has been released with many new and cool features. More and more companies are shifting their infrastructure to this new Windows Server release. This article will give you an overview of some of those new features.
Windows Nano Server
Nano Server is a Windows server installation option without GUI and just a command prompt. It is designed to run hyper-V, Hyper-V cluster, Scale-out-file-servers and cloud service applications. It has a 93% smaller VHD size, 92% fewer critical bulletins, and 80% fewer required reboots.
Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers
The next biggest change is the support for containers in Windows Server 2016. Containers allow you to isolate your applications from the underlying OS. Server 2016 provides two kind of containers; Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers. Windows Server containers are isolated from each other but they run directly on Windows Server 2016 OS while in Hyper-V containers run in a VM and provide an advanced isolation.
Docker is an open-source container engine which is used for building, managing and running containers. Although docker containers were actually built for Linux, now there is a support in Windows Serve 2016 as well.
Rolling upgrades for Hyper-V and Storage clusters
This new feature allows you to add new Windows Server 2016 node to a Hyper-V cluster nodes that are running Windows Server 2012 R2. The cluster will keep on running on the Windows Server 2012 R2 functional level until all of the cluster nodes have been upgraded to Windows Server 2016.
Hot add and remove of virtual memory network adapters
You can add virtual memory and network adapters while the VMs are running now. In previous versions, you had to use dynamic memory to change the minimum and maximum RAM settings while the VM is running. Same is the case for virtual network adapters.
With nested virtualization, you can run Hyper-V within a Hyper-V machine. With nested virtualization, you are not limited to run Hyper-V on a physical machine. This feature is handy for training and lab scenarios.
With PowerShell direct, you need not worry about security policies, firewall and host networking configuration in running PowerShell script remotely on your VMs. It enables you to run PowerShell commands in the guest OS of a VM without going through the network layer.
Linux secure boot
In Windows Server 2016, you can enable secure boot for VMs with Linux guest operating systems. In previous version, there was only secure boot support of Windows 8 and Server 2012 VMs.
New host guardian service and shielded VMs
Host guardian service is a new role in Windows Sever 2016 which enables shielded VMs and protects the data from unauthorized access including Hyper-V administrators. Hyper-V virtual disks can be encrypted with BitLocker.