Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system (OS) that delivers new layers of

security and Microsoft Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business.

One of the important feature is Softwzre-defined datacenter. Windows Server 2016 delivers a more flexible and cost-efficient OS for your datacenter, using software-defined compute, storage, and network virtualization features inspired by Azure.

Software-defined compute

The following list presents just some of the amazing new features that fall under the software-defined compute stack for Windows Server 2016:

  • Minimize attack surface, increase availability, and reduce resource usage with just-enough OS using the Nano Server deployment option, which is 25 times smaller than Windows Server while still providing a desktop experience.

  • Make the move to the cloud easier by running your workloads in Microsoft Hyper-V, the same hypervisor that runs Azure and Azure Stack.

  • Deploy applications on multiple operating systems with best-in-class support for Linux on Hyper-V.

  • Upgrade infrastructure clusters to Windows Server 2016 with zero downtime for your application/workload, and without requiring new hardware, using mixed-mode cluster upgrades Support.

  • Increase application availability with improved cluster resiliency to transient failures in the network and storage. 

  • Add incremental resiliency to your clusters by using Cloud Witness to connect to resources in Azure.

  • Automate server management with native tools such as Desired State Configuration and Windows PowerShell 5.0.

  • Manage Windows servers from anywhere by using the new web-based GUI—Server management tool—a service running in Azure. Especially useful for managing headless deployment options such as Nano Server and Server Core.

Software-defined storage

The following list introduces some of the enterprise grade storage features coming in Windows

Server 2016:

  • Build highly available and scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of a Storage-Area Network (SAN) or Network-Attached Storage (NAS). Storage Spaces Direct uses standard servers with local storage to create converged or hyper-converged storage architectures.

  • Create affordable business continuity and disaster recovery among datacenters with Storage Replica synchronous storage replication.

  • Ensure that users of business-critical applications have priority access to storage resources using Storage Quality of Service (QoS) features.

Software-defined networking

The following lists some of the new features around software-defined networking coming in Windows Server 2016:

  • Deploy complex workloads with hundreds of networking policies (isolation, QoS, security, load balancing, switching, routing, gateway, DNS, etc.) using a scalable network controller in a matter of seconds, similar to how we do it in Azure.

  • Dynamically segment your network based on workload needs using an Azure-inspired distributed firewall and network security groups to apply rich policies within and across segments. Route or mirror traffic to third-party virtual appliances for even higher levels of security.

  • Offer greater service availability with software-based scale-out and scale-up resiliency for both theinfrastructure (host, software load balancer, gateway, network controller) and the workloads.

  • Take control of your hybrid workloads, including running them in containers, and move them across servers, racks, and clouds utilizing the power of VXLAN and NVGRE based virtual networking and multitenanted hybrid gateways.

  • Optimize your cost/performance when you converge Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and tenant traffic on the same teamed Network Interface Cards (NICs), thereby driving down cost while providing needed performance guarantees at 40G and beyond.

For details, please ref the Microsoft free book: Introducing Windows Server 2016 at or email me at