Windows Server 2016 Editions comparison
Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is an operating system built by Microsoft and is the successor of Windows Server 2012. It is the server-edition of Windows 10 and is available since September 2016.
This article shows the differences between the individual Windows Server 2016 editions.
Windows Server 2016 pricing information about can be found at the Thomas-Krenn web shop in the area Microsoft software.
Microsoft is now using a core licensing model for Windows Server 2016 (as it is done also for the SQL server).
Windows Server 2016 is available in 3 editions (a Foundation edition as it was in Windows Server 2012 is no longer offered by Microsoft for Windows Server 2016):
The editions are suitable for the following application areas:
- (*) An RDS CAL is required to access Remotedesktop.
- (**) The Windows Server Standard Edition license allows 2 OSEs (Operating System Environments) when all physical cores are licensed.
- (***) CALs are required for every user or device, which connects directly or indirectly to a server. Details can be found on the Microsoft website in the area Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses.
Minimal System Requirements for Windows Server 2016
The following table shows the minimum requirements for Windows Server 2016. The actual requirements depend on the system configuration and the installed applications and features.
|Description||Minimal System Requirements|
|CPU clock rate||1.4 GHz|
|RAM||512 MB* with (ECC (Error Correcting Code) type or similar technology)|
|Disk space||32 GB**|
|Network adapter||1x Ethernet (at least gigabit throughput)|
- (*) 2 GB for Server with Desktop Experience installation option.
- (**) Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.
Edition comparison by physical / virtual instances
Windows Server 2016 instances can be operated in either a physical operating system environment (POSE) or a virtual operating system environment (VOSE):
|Edition||Running instances in POSE||Running instances in VOSE|
- (*) When a customer runs all the allowed virtual instances, the physical instance can only be used to manage and maintain the virtual instances.
- (**) Essentials can be run in a physical or virtual operating system environment.
Edition comparison by server roles
The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following server roles:
|AD Certificate Services||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured (1)|
|AD Domain Services||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured (2)|
|AD Federation Services||✔||✔|
|AD Lightweight Directory Services||✔||✔|
|AD Rights Management Services (3)||✔||✔|
|DNS Server||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured|
|File Services||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured (4)|
|Network Policy & Access Services||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured|
|Print & Document Services||✔||✔|
|Remote Access||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured (5)|
|Remote Desktop Services (6)||✔||- (7)|
|Web Server (IIS)||✔||✔ automatically installed/configured|
|Windows Deployment Services||✔||✔|
|Windows Server Update Services||✔||-|
- (1) Limited to the setting up of certification authorities - other features of the Active Directory Certificate Services (Network Device Enrollment Services, Online Responder Service)) are not available. More information can be found in the description of the AD CS role on TechNet.
- (2) Must be the root of an ADDS domain structure and must own all operating master roles.
- (3) Access requires an additional AD RMS CAL.
- (4) Data deduplication is not available.
- (5) Limited to 50 RRAS connections and 50 IAS connections; DirectAccess and VPN are supported.
- (6) Access requires an additional RDS CAL (exception: using the Remote Web Access feature of the Essentials Edition).
- (7) Only RD Gateway service is installed and configured, other remote services (including RD session host) are not supported.
Edition comparison by new features
The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following features:
|Core functionality of Windows Server||-||✔||✔|
|OSEs / Hyper-V containers||-||✔ 2||✔ unlimited|
|Windows Server containers||-||✔ unlimited||✔ unlimited|
|Host Guardian Service||-||✔||✔|
|Nano Server||-||✔ *||✔ *|
|Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica||-||-||✔|
|Shielded Virtual Machines||-||-||✔|
- * Software Assurance is required to deploy and operate Nano Server in production.
- Windows Server 2016 - Licensing Datasheet (www.download.microsoft.com)
- Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses (www.microsoft.com)
- Windows Server 2016 - System Requirements (www.technet.microsoft.com)
- Active Directory Certificate Services (www.technet.microsoft.com)
- Windows Server 2016 - Feature-Unterschiede (www.microsoft.com)
- Windows Server 2016 (www.microsoft.com)
- Windows Server 2016 Pricing Information (www.thomas-krenn.com)
Author: Armin Oberneder