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Windows Server 2016 – 3 major changes

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Although many may have expected just another iteration of Sever 2016 with its first major update since its release, there have actually been some major changes.

According to the New Horizons technical specialists, the 3 main changes include storage spaces, virtualization, and containers and have a positive impact on the Windows Server performance. The new features will certainly help to improve: storage, productivity, and security.

Storage Spaces Direct

The storage space was available in the previous version of Windows Server, but it has been updated now. In the version before, the feature was called 'storage spaces' and allowed you to take a single server and consolidate all the disks together to be put out as a pool. In the Server 2016, it's direct. It is possible to take multiple servers and they don't have to be connected to the shared storage, they can each have their own local hard drives and you can combine all those hard drives into one pool without having to have any special transport. No special networking is required. 

This feature allows you to take several disks that are on one server and consolidate them together in a storage pool to have highly resilient storage. In the Windows Server 2016 the feature is called storage spaces direct . The best way to think of it is as a software defined sharing storage environment where you can use local a low-cost drive across multiple servers to build it.

Windows Server 2016 now can do both synchronous and asynchronous replication of storage from one server to another at a block level. This is a major advancement for companies because when they are setting up their data recover (DR) environments, they often have a cluster running in their primary region. Then they'll set up another cluster in their DR region. This would mean they need to employ a third party to provide for replication of all the data and storage between the two. Now it's built into 2016, so you no longer need that third party to come in.


Windows Server 2016 brings shielded virtual machines that didn't exist before. It means that a server host that would allow somebody to deploy a virtual machine and encrypt it. This creates better security and protection for the server, ensuring that the virtual machine would only run on specific hosts. This is extremely important because it gives you the ability to have somebody who's managing your Hyper-V host, but they won't have access to the virtual machine, keeping your server more secure. Right now, if you had a Server 2012 machine, and you are the Hyper-V host manager, that means you have access to all the virtual machines that are running on that machine.


Following the development of the technology the next generation of virtualization is Containers. The good thing about these applications is that you will be able to share a single operation system in a single kernel while each of them think they're the only ones using it. This new feature allows you to pack your containers more densely on a server so that you can run more applications on the same hardware.

Containers have been around for a while, but on the Server 2016 it's the first time you can run them in Windows. Before this, it was a Linux-only solution, but now it's a new option for Windows Server users.

Windows Server 2016 New Horizons Training

As one of the main Microsoft training partners in Ireland we provide a wide range of Windows Server courses. Check it out our list of courses get certified now. You can also do your exam at New Horizons Ireland, as we host Pearson Vue, Certiport and Kryterion exams.

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/ Author: Liam Phelan / Number of views: 4799 / Comments: 0 /

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