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What You Need to Know About Microsoft Windows Server 2016

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is now available for all businesses. Whether you’re an existing Windows Server client looking to make an upgrade, or a first-time user, there are a few new features worth taking note of.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature is the Nano Server. This lightweight installation option is 93% smaller than the traditional Windows Server, and offers would-be hackers a smaller attack surface. The Nano Server will have fewer updates than the full Windows Server, aligning more closely with the Windows 10 Current Branch for Business update model. All updates will need to be triggered manually, and Nano Server will require a Software Assurance agreement to be deployed.

Storage Spaces Direct uses software to allow administrators to build high availability tiered storage systems with local storage. This is an improvement on technology first introduced with Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2016 has significant security upgrades for the containers and Hyper-V features, including shielded VMs (virtual machines) and virtual hard disk encryption with BitLocker through The Host Guardian. Containers are the next step in virtualization, creating isolated environments that allow applications and services to run independent of the main system, and the main system to run independent of applications and services.

Other features include rolling cluster upgrades, which will allow administrators to deploy upgrades without downtime, and essential security improvements with Windows Defender and the PowerShell toolkit.

The total cost of the upgrade to Windows Server 2016 looks to be on par with the cost of Windows Server 2012, with standard licenses remaining more or less the same. Consumers who have concerns about potential software incompatibilities or other issues can purchase Windows Server 2016 as an open license, which can be downgraded to run older versions like Server 2012. This means your current software will remain legal, while allowing you to upgrade to Server 2016 on the same license once you’re ready to make the transition.

Considering upgrading your business to Microsoft Windows Server 2016? Contact KMSI at sales@kmsi.net or (403) 274-7848 for more information. We’re the trusted IT professionals for businesses in Calgary.

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