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Leo Richardson
Leo Richardson

Download Server Windows 2016 with Nano Server: The Future of Containers

How to Download Server Windows 2016

Server Windows 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that delivers new layers of security and Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business. In this article, you will learn what Server Windows 2016 is, what features and benefits it offers, and how to download it from two different sources: Microsoft Evaluation Center and Microsoft Azure.

What is Server Windows 2016?

Server Windows 2016 is the latest version of the Windows Server operating system that was released in October 2016. It is based on the Windows 10 kernel and supports both on-premises and cloud deployments. Server Windows 2016 is designed to meet the evolving needs of modern IT environments, with new capabilities such as:

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  • Shielded Virtual Machines: A feature that protects virtual machines from unauthorized access or tampering by encrypting them and ensuring that they run only on approved hosts.

  • Storage Spaces Direct: A feature that enables highly available and scalable storage using local disks on servers, without requiring any additional hardware or software.

  • Storage Replica: A feature that provides synchronous or asynchronous replication of volumes or clusters for disaster recovery purposes.

  • Software-Defined Networking: A feature that allows you to create and manage virtual networks using a centralized controller and policies, without requiring physical network devices.

Features and benefits of Server Windows 2016

Some of the main features and benefits of Server Windows 2016 are:

  • Enhanced security: Server Windows 2016 provides multiple layers of protection, such as Credential Guard, Device Guard, Just Enough Administration, Just In Time Administration, and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, to help prevent breaches and detect attacks.

  • Improved performance: Server Windows 2016 leverages the power of the latest hardware technologies, such as Intel Xeon Scalable processors, NVMe drives, and RDMA networking, to deliver faster and more efficient performance for your workloads.

  • Increased innovation: Server Windows 2016 enables you to take advantage of the cloud services and tools offered by Microsoft Azure, such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Active Directory, Azure Monitor, and Azure DevOps, to enhance your productivity and agility.

  • Reduced cost: Server Windows 2016 helps you optimize your resources and lower your operational expenses by using features such as Nano Server, Containers, Hyper-V, PowerShell Desired State Configuration, and System Center Operations Manager.

Editions and installation options of Server Windows 2016

Server Windows 2016 comes in three main editions: Datacenter, Standard, and Essentials. The Datacenter edition is the most complete edition and includes all the new features mentioned above, as well as unlimited server virtualization. The Standard edition includes most of the features but limits server virtualization to two instances per license. The Essentials edition is designed for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices, and includes basic features such as file sharing, remote access, backup, and cloud integration.

Server Windows 2016 also offers two installation options: Server Core and Server with Desktop Experience. Server Core is the recommended installation option that provides a minimal interface with only the core components of Windows Server. It is ideal for headless deployments that are managed remotely via PowerShell or other server management tools. Server with Desktop Experience is the complete installation option that provides a full graphical user interface (GUI) for customers who prefer this option.

How to download Server Windows 2016 from Microsoft Evaluation Center

The Microsoft Evaluation Center is a website that allows you to download free trial versions of various Microsoft products for evaluation purposes. You can download Server Windows 2016 from the Microsoft Evaluation Center by following these steps:

Prerequisites and registration

Before you download Server Windows 2016 from the Microsoft Evaluation Center, you need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • A Microsoft account or an organizational account that is associated with your work or school email address.

  • A device that meets the minimum system requirements for Server Windows 2016, which are: a 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor, 512 MB of RAM, 32 GB of disk space, and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

  • A blank DVD or a USB flash drive with at least 8 GB of space to create a bootable media.

Once you have met the prerequisites, you need to register on the Microsoft Evaluation Center website by providing your name, email address, country, and organization details. You also need to agree to the terms and conditions and the privacy statement. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to download Server Windows 2016.

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Download the ISO file

After you click on the link in the confirmation email, you will be redirected to the download page for Server Windows 2016. You can choose from different languages and editions of Server Windows 2016. The default option is English and Datacenter edition. You can also choose between Server Core and Server with Desktop Experience installation options. The download size is about 6.5 GB for Server Core and about 5.7 GB for Server with Desktop Experience.

Once you select your preferred language and edition, you need to click on the Download button. You will be asked to save the ISO file to your device. You can use any download manager or browser to download the ISO file. The download time may vary depending on your internet speed and connection stability.

Install and activate the evaluation version

After you download the ISO file, you need to create a bootable media using a DVD or a USB flash drive. You can use any tool that supports creating bootable media from ISO files, such as Rufus, Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, or PowerISO. You need to follow the instructions of the tool to create a bootable media.

Once you have created a bootable media, you need to insert it into the device where you want to install Server Windows 2016. You need to restart the device and boot from the bootable media. You will see a setup screen where you need to select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard layout. Then, you need to click on Install now.

You will be asked to enter a product key or skip this step. Since you are installing an evaluation version, you can skip this step and choose an edition of Server Windows 2016 that matches the one you downloaded. You will also need to accept the license terms and choose a custom installation type.

You will see a list of partitions or drives where you can install Server Windows 2016. You need to select one that has enough space and format it if necessary. Then, you need to click on Next. The installation process will begin and may take some time depending on your device specifications.

After the installation is complete, you will be asked to set up an administrator password and sign in. You will see a desktop screen with a watermark that says "Windows Server 2016 Standard Evaluation" or "Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Evaluation". You can start using Server Windows 2016 for evaluation purposes.

The evaluation version of Server Windows 2016 is valid for 180 days from the date of installation. You can extend


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