Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016

What is a Windows Server?

Windows Server is a software package created by Microsoft. It allows users to run servers on professional business systems. Windows Server is mainly used in business environments and is therefore not made for personal use. Windows Server is made for intranet and Internet hosting, advanced messaging and databases. 

Windows Server 2016: Versions

Windows Server 2016 is available in two versions, Standard and Datacenter

Windows Server 2016 Standard is the simpler and cheaper option and is mainly made for smaller businesses. Windows Server 2016 Standard includes a Network Controller, Hyper-V (VM), Applications server, Device Health Attestation and a Nano Server. 

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter is the more advanced option and is mainly made for large enterprises. Windows Server 2016 Datacenter includes the same features as Windows Server 2016 Standard plus some additional features. It also includes Software Defined Network, Direct Storage and Host Guardian Hyper-V support. 

Virtual Machines 

Apart from some features, there are more differences between the two versions. As for the number of Virtual Machines (VMs), the limit for Windows Server 2016 Standard is 2 per 16 Cores. For Windows Server 2016 Datacenter, there is no limit on the number of VMs. 

Storage replicas

Storage Replicas allows its users to copy data between servers and clusters. This feature is used to prevent data loss and is only available to Windows Server 2016 Datacenter owners. 

Network controller

To simplify configuration, management and monitoring of both virtual and physical network infrastructure, Windows Server 2016 Datacenter includes Network Controller. By using Network Controller, users can reduce manual effort and automate network configuration. 

Shielded virtual machines

Shielded virtual machines are only supported for Windows Server 2016 Datacenter. It provides additional protection and encryption for its users. Some of these security features include TPMs, secure booting, disk encryption and enhanced protection against insider threats and malware. Owners of Windows Server 2016 Standard do not have this feature. 

Windows Server 2016: Licences

Windows Server 2016 Standard and Windows Server 2016 Datacenter are both Core-based licences. All physical cores on the server require a licence. Each physical processor requires a minimum of 8 core licences and each server a minimum of 16 core licences. In addition to these licences, all users or devices that want to access the server need a CAL. 

There are Device CALs and User CALs. To decide which of the CALs to purchase, organisations should look at the number of people working for them and the number of devices being used. For example, if there are several part-timers using the same device at different times, it would make more sense (financially) to purchase device CALs, so that the device is licensed and the organisation does not have to purchase CALs for all employees. In contrast, if employees work on multiple devices, it makes more sense (financially) to purchase User CALs, so that employees have their own licence that they can apply to all the devices they use. This means that organisations do not need to buy CALs for all devices used to keep costs as low as possible. 

Windows Server 2016: end of life

For most Microsoft licences, mainstream support lasts for 5 years and then extended support lasts for another 5 years. The same is true for Windows Server 2016. Since Windows Server 2016 was released on 12 October 2016, mainstream support for Windows Server 2016 expires on 11 January 2022. In other words, Windows Server 2016 owners will no longer receive feature updates. However, extended support lasts until 11 January 2027. Extended support means no more feature updates, only security updates.

Windows Server 2016: Requirements


Minimum 1.4GHz 64-bit processor compatible with x64 instruction set.


Minimum 512 MB for Server Core.


32 GB


Ethernet adapter with at least 1 gigabit throughput per second.


Minimum 1024 x 768

In addition to these requirements, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), internet access, a Microsoft keyboard and mouse (or other compatible devices) are required.