What’s New In Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition Part 1 – Introduction


This is the first in an ongoing series of posts that will focus on the enhancements to Standard Edition (and Datacenter, as it is a superset), rather than also including those that only Datacenter features. This is important due to the feature differentiation between the Datacenter and Standard editions which has come back with Windows Server 2016, as documented in the table below, which I have previously used in this post.

Feature Differentiation: Datacenter and Standard Editions
Feature Datacenter Edition Standard Edition
Core functionality of Windows Server
OSEs / Hyper-V Containers Unlimited 2
Windows Server containers Unlimited Unlimited
Host Guardian Service
Nano Server*
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica
Shielded Virtual Machines
Networking stack

*Requires Software Assurance

The reason why this series is focused on the Standard feature set is there is already plenty of new content that focuses heavily on the Datacenter only features, and the technology is often covered without highlighting which editions of Windows Server it is included with, which I’m sure is something we will see addressed as we get closer to product launch. In the OEM/System Builder Channel, a high percentage of the SKU mix is Standard Edition, as a large portion of these OEM sales go to the price sensitive parts of the SMB channel. As this blog is focused on that channel, it makes sense for us to ensure we get that message out to you.

For these posts I’ll be highlighting the key new features from Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard mostly, and if there is enough demand for it, I’ll also do follow up posts on new features since Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Standard. The other series of posts I am planning is changes to Windows Server 2016 Essentials, depending on what the demand is like from those who attend our upcoming roadshow. While there are other Windows Server 2016 editions that will be made available, they will mostly be out of scope for what this team addresses, but who knows, they might be things we need to cover in time.

Right now, the plan for these posts is the following topics, but this is subject to change based on requestes or any late breaking news.

  • Identity
  • Security
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Virtualisation
  • High Availability
  • Management And Automation
  • Remote Desktop Services
  • Application Development

I’m also hoping that at some point there will be something like the Windows Server 2012 R2 Products and Editions Comparison that provides a table of different features across multiple SKUs, and I’ve asked local product management to chase this up as I’ve found this invaluable as a quick reference over the last few years.


Comments (4)
  1. So SKU’s are compatible with the automation of the windows Server 2012 R2 Products and Editions? What if the high availability of Multiple SKU’s develops new sources of application development for virtualisation?

    1. Yes, you can mix the 2012 and 2016 editions in many scenarios, but use the management tools of 2016 to manage the downlevel versions using automation tools such as PowerShell, DSC etc. The different SKUs will offer different capabilities, so if app developers are going to leverage containers, they need to make sure the their customers are licensed appropriately for them.

  2. Hi Mark, Excellent Article. Thanks for keeping us update.

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