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5 eye-opening reasons to upgrade to Windows server 2016

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Microsoft has released Server 2016 and has not simply embraced many new technologies, they have integrated them directly into the core of what Server 2016 is. This is a fundamental shift from the concept of adding roles and features on to more of a holistic approach to the OS and how it can provide for the needs of today’s software defined data center. While there are many new features in Server 2016, five stand out as game changers for the modern data center.


One of the key things on everyone’s mind today is security. With high profile data breaches occurring, Microsoft upgraded several new key technologies such as Credential Guard and Device Guard – designed to protect not only the traditional login, but also the software platform itself. However, this is only part of the security enhancement, the other critical piece to this is updates to the detection and auditing abilities of Server 2016 – so if you do have an incident it can be detected quicker. These features are even integrated with Microsoft Operations Manager for further advanced auditing abilities.

Cloud / Hyper-V

5 eye-opening reasons to upgrade to Windows server 2016_1-Body Text ImageServer 2016 Hyper-V has deep ties with Azure and allows the onsite virtual machines in Hyper-V to be migrated to the Azure cloud. For Microsoft and Linux workloads, this enables portability that is needed today to rapidly expand a deployment from Hyper-V to Azure, without the pain of reconfiguring.

Storage Spaces

Server 2016 has now included a built in virtual storage platform designed to leverage local storage and SSD’s on hosts to provide a de-centralized storage solution that is feature rich. This converged solution can help IT reduce the high costs of centralized storage without sacrificing critical features such as synchronous and asynchronous replication with workload I/O control for virtual machines and other workloads.


Server 2016 has now added native ability for containers and micro-services applications. Beyond simply providing a container level, Server 2016 can also leverage the Azure cloud to make a container deployment even more scalable as you can migrate from on-premise to Azure. While Nano will be the container of choice for Server 2016, both Linux and Docker containers will also be supported along with orchestration tools such as, Docker Swarm or Kubernetes to take full advantage of these platforms.

Enhanced Networking

While Hyper-V always had basic networking for its virtual machines, it was lacking in several key areas, and Server 2016 addresses these. Server 2016 brings network policy management features such as isolation, load balancing, QoS, switching and routing to Server 2016. In addition to the feature set, enhanced network security has also been introduced with software firewalls and security policies.

Server 2016 has taken many of the new key devices businesses are looking for today and incorporated them into all aspects of Server 2016 – making it a secure must have application, hypervisor, cloud and container platform for today’s software defined data center.

Click here to learn why you should upgrade your server infrastructure regularly. IDC gives advice for improving performance and decreasing server administration costs.


Brian Kirsch

Brian Kirsch

Brian Kirsch is an IT Architect and Instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, focusing primarily on the virtualization and storage environments. He has been in information technology for over 20 years and has worked with VMware products for more than 10 years. Kirsch holds multiple certifications from VMware, CommVault, Microsoft and Dell EMC, he also sits on the VMUG Board of Directors a role he has held for the last five years helping to guide and shape the user community. Kirsch also provides a direct line of communication from customers to the VMware product architects through the VMware Customer Council and the VMware Inner Circle.

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