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Hybrid Cloud Blog

Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system built to support your current workloads and allow you to transition to the cloud. We’ve taken all of our learnings from Azure and built them right in, packing it full of exciting new innovations and features. Here are ten we think you’ll love:


1. Control the keys to your sensitive data.

Improve security by limiting access to the IT environment with Just Enough and Just-In-Time Administration. Control who gets access to what and for how long. With Windows Server 2016, you can define which “keys” each admin has access to, even setting temporary permissions.


2. Manage your servers from anywhere, even your mobile device.

Windows Server 2016 has a new toolset hosted in the cloud called Server Management Tools. It’s a web-based remote GUI that allows you to manage your servers—physical or virtual, datacenter or cloud—from just about anywhere, even your mobile device.


3. Deploy servers in an exact configuration and keep them that way.

Automate tasks and manage settings to set up and keep servers configured properly. We’ve enhanced PowerShell Desired State Configuration and given you the ability to define, deploy, and manage your software environment using a single console. We’ve also added elements of open source software that make it easier to test your code.


4. Easily handle the 9:00 A.M. “logon storm.”

We’ve improved and strengthened our Remote Desktop Services platform allowing partners to build secure, customized apps. Graphic improvements have increased compatibility and performance across the board.


5. Do-it-yourself storage.

Software-defined storage used to be exclusive to storage industry vendors. With Windows Server Storage Spaces Direct, we’ve included all the features you traditionally expect, directly in the operating system. This means greater performance, without the premium cost.


6. Upgrade without the downtime.

Rolling Cluster Upgrades and Mixed Mode Cluster allow you to upgrade and manage your servers without taking them down. This is designed to help reduce the impact of management operations on your workload.


7. Click, click, done—just like in Azure.

Windows Server 2016 Software-Defined Networking is based on clear and concise policy management, cutting the time spent on infrastructure.  This Azure-inspired network virtualization feature gives you the centralized control to configure network resources. Deploy new workloads more quickly and use network segmentation to increase security.


8. Move beyond passive security.

Traditional, passive perimeter security is becoming less and less effective. Once someone bypasses your wall, they are free to do whatever they want. With Windows Server 2016, that is no longer true. Add new layers of security to your environment to control privileged access, protect virtual machines, and harden the platform against emerging threats.


9. Use Containers to streamline app deployment from keyboard to production.

We are excited to announce that Containers are now built into Windows Server 2016, helping to accelerate your app deployment. Use Containers to streamline existing apps and to create new microservices, whether on-premises or in any cloud.


10. A super small server that packs a big punch.

Nano Server is a new deployment option for Windows Server 2016 that loads an image 25x smaller than the Windows Server 2016 with a desktop. It brings only the elements that the specific workload needs, resulting in faster boot times and simpler operations.

BONUS — Move to the cloud for less using your existing licenses

With the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, you can use on-premises Windows Server licenses that include Software Assurance to earn special pricing for new Windows Server virtual machines in Azure—whether you’re moving a few workloads or your entire datacenter. Start saving now>

Ready to dive deeper?

This e-book will tell you everything you want to know about Windows Server 2016.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Windows Server 2016.