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What Businesses Should Know About Windows Server 2016

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 08:04 -- Kayla Smith

Microsoft has released four technical previews of Windows Server 2016 in the past year and the new server operating system is slated to be released in early 2016, though the exact release date is not yet known. At catmandu, we understand that business owners don’t necessarily care about the exact specs of a computer or in this case, a server operating system, but you do care that it always does the job it needs to do without downtime or other issues.

You need your technology to function properly so you don’t have to worry about it and so you can work productively. That’s why we will attempt to explain the benefits of Windows Server 2016 in layman’s terms so you can decide if an upgrade is worth it for your business.

Here’s what you need to know about Windows Server 2016

Server 2016 is a bold move away from Server 2012. While you can use Windows Server 2016 like a traditional client-server network, you will also be able to use applications built using microservices and containers. What does that mean? Before, the server operating system shared everything all at once to its clients. All of the various processes that were occurring had to share the server’s resources. Container technology segregates these processes and restricts the amount of CPU and memory that an application can use. This significantly improves portability and the amount of applications that a server can host.

Server 2016 has an option called Nano Server. This is a new deployment option for Server 2016 that does not have a graphical user interface (GUI) and the best way to perform maintenance on it is remotely. Microsoft engineer and lead architect Jeffrey Snover said that Nano Server has 92 percent fewer critical bulletins and 80 percent fewer reboots than Windows Server. For a business this means increased productivity, less downtime, and more revenue-producing tasks. According to the Microsoft blog, Nano Server “is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security.”

Windows 10 and Server 2016 weren’t released simultaneously. Normally, Microsoft releases a new operating system at the same time as a server operating system. This time, however, they didn’t. Windows 10 was released more than 6 months before Server 2016 is to be released. Some believe Microsoft is doing us a favor by not requiring Server 2016 in order to use some new features in Windows 10 (in the beginning, anyway). We can expect Server 2016 to have frequent, rolling updates.

Server 2016 is serious about security. Microsoft has announced something called a “Host Guardian Service” which protects Virtual Machines. If your business uses Virtual Servers you should know that security flaws and holes are much more likely. However Host Guardian Service only allows access to shared Virtual Machines from trusted sources. Microsoft has promised many more importance security features arriving with Server 2016 (such as built-in Windows Defender), however the company is keeping quiet about most of the details.

If you’re still using Windows Server 2003...

Stop it. Stop it right now. Windows Server 2003 lost support from Microsoft this past July and it becomes increasingly dangerous to use the outdated operating system. There will never again be an update or security patch for Server 2003 which means that your network can be easily infiltrated by malware or by people with malicious intent. You need to update to a modern server operating system such as Server 2012 or Server 2016 as soon as possible. 

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