Installing a Windows 2016 Server begins with a plan. In this video Scott Burrell introduces the different editions of Microsoft's new server platform and presents a planning worksheet to prepare for the installation. Minimum system requirements are also presented along with higher, suggested minimums.
- [Instructor] Windows Server 2016 has taken Microsoft's Server platform and updated it for a new era. The basic functions that you've come to rely on from a Windows server are still there, at little or no cost increase over Server 2012 R2, but there are a lot of new possibilities. It's important to consider your organization's needs, and the capabilities of Windows Server when planning what product to buy, and how to install it. Server 2016 is touted as a cloud-friendly platform, which is important in this stage of technology.
Whether you are hosting virtual servers in your own private cloud, or taking advantages of services like Azure, Server 2016 has added features to fit today's environment. Now, there are basically two editions of Windows Server, Standard and Datacenter. The differences between them are easy to list, but they are significant. Standard Edition is limited to 16 or fewer processor cores. That is no big deal if you know what your server will do, and don't plan to scale that server during its lifecycle.
If on the other hand, you're of the mindset that you can buy the server hardware you need for now, and add processors later, this may become important. Another limitation of Standard Edition that is worth pointing out is the maximum number of virtual machines it can host in Hyper-V. In Standard Edition, that number is two. Standard Edition is meant to be one server that can perform several different roles, many at the same time, but it is not going to host a lot of virtual machines.
There are a couple of other editions of Server 2016 available for special use. Windows Server 2016 Essentials is a nice solution for small businesses that are destined to never grow beyond 25 users. It comes with the added bonus that it doesn't require connection licenses, and many services are prepared for easy deployment. Nano Server is a feature you get with Standard or Datacenter Server, and not a standalone product, and Server 2016 Hypervisor or Hyper-V comes at no cost, and it does exactly one role, it hosts other virtual machines.
One thing that will help you determine which edition of Server 2016 to buy is deciding the server's function on the network. Every service or role you may install on a server will require some resources to operate, and the amount of resources needed, and the type of roles you plan to install, may make the decision for you as to which edition of server you need to purchase and install. If you plan to use this server to host virtual machines, you'll need lots of disk space for the virtual hard drives, lots of processing power to run those virtual machines, and buckets of RAM to dole out, maybe more than Standard Edition allows.
Not to mention Standard Edition only allows you to host two virtual machines. If you only plan to install DNS, then the only thing you need is a reliable network connection, and a Nano Server deployed from another Windows 2016 server may cover you. With that in mind, the published minimum hardware requirements for Server 2016 are, a 1.4 gigahertz, 64-bit processor, a half a gig of RAM, and a SATA or SAS hard drive with at least 32 gigabytes available for a system partition.
You'll also need a Gigabit network card, and it should support PXE or PXE boot. That's right, the published minimum RAM is half a gig. It's worth pointing out right here that right after announcing the minimum RAM at 512 megabytes, Microsoft's website warns you that if you attempt to install on that little memory, the installation will fail. It's always a good idea to take the minimum requirements of processor, memory, and drive space, and increase them by double, triple, or more, depending on what you plan to do or what you are willing to be limited to in the future.
Planning your server or servers will get easier as you gain experience with the various services and their needs. I recommend that you use a worksheet, like the one in the handouts, named Server Planning Worksheet. Begin by filling out what the server will do. On my worksheet, I limited the space in this box to help keep me from overloading the server. Then move forward to the edition of server that you will need, and the hardware that you'll be using for that server. For our example, we will plan to install a file server to host user home directories, so we don't need a lot of processing power, but we will need disk space for every user.
Let's say a 300 gigabyte hard drive will suffice, and 12 gigabytes of RAM should take care of us. With this few resources needed, and these limited functions being served, Standard Edition will serve us well. We'll continue using this worksheet in the next video as we prepare and install the first server in our Windows Server 2016 network.
- Installing from a disk or image
- Using the Desktop Experience
- Installing Windows Server from a network
- Working with command-line IPv4 vs. IPv6
- NIC teaming
- Managing roles
- Adding features
- Managing storage
- Working with virtual hard disks and remote volumes