Windows server 2016 installation options

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Windows Server 2016 comes with three installation options. To the usual installation with desktop environment and the installation Server Core, which already came with the previous version, have added the installation option “Nano Server”.

Server with Desktop Experience:

This is the new name given to the desktop installation, before it was “server with a GUI”. This installation option basically includes the Windows 10 Anniversary edition long term Servicing Branch (LTSB) desktop, plus the Windows Server 2016 console and management tools. This type of installation is usually common and is recommended when you need to run applications that require a local user interface or to implement Remote Desktop services.


Server Core:

It is a lighter and more secure installation option, which has been removed from the desktop environment and the management console. It is primarily intended for remote management, although it does include some local tools such as the PowerShell console and Task Manager.


Nano server:

Nano server a smaller option to use than the Server Core option currently in the other versions of Windows Server. Organizations deploying core server are more secure because it reduces the surface exposed to potential attackers.

Nano servers will be updated with “standalone packages that are installed as applications”, and IT Professionals can use “core PowerShell” and “WMI” (Windows Management Instrumentation) to remotely manage Nano server. On the other hand, the Visual Studio 2015 will be a dev tool that can be used with our Nano server.

Nano Server is the future of Windows Server. It is clear that it is not a parallel project of the Windows Server computer or some kind of experiment. But it is the result of a massive refactoring code project that will eventually change the way all versions of Windows Server are built.

The product team focused almost exclusively on two scenarios: cloud infrastructure and born-in-the-cloud applications. But over time, Nano Server will become the baseline for Windows Server and all the more complex components will be built on top of it.

Currently, there is a growth of migratory flow from data center companies to cloud servers. This is because companies want to get the most out of the hardware resources at the lowest possible cost, and that’s where the nano server enters.

An installation of Nano server occupies less than 500 MB of disk space, and optimizes the consumption of other resources, such as: process count, boot I/O, and kernel memory in use.

Because the Nano server does not have GUI, a tool for administration is required, no worries there is plenty of choice:

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) ;

Server Manager ;


Puppet and chef.


Windows PowerShell and desired state configuration (DSC);

Hyper-V Manager;

Microsoft System Center;



Thanks for reading

Nada Z