Comparison of Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016


This is something we get asked about a great deal when talking to OEM and System Builder partners, and while you can find the latest version over on TechNet, I've simplified it a little here by highlighting the areas that differ between the two main Windows Server editions.

 

Locks and Limits

Locks and Limits Windows Server 2016 Standard Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Maximum number of users Based on CALs Based on CALs
Maximum SMB connections 16777216 16777216
Maximum RRAS connections unlimited unlimited
Maximum IAS connections 2147483647 2147483647
Maximum RDS connections 65535 65535
Maximum number of 64-bit sockets 64 64
Maximum number of cores unlimited unlimited
Maximum RAM 24 TB 24 TB
Can be used as virtualization guest Yes; 2 virtual machines, plus one Hyper-V host per license Yes; unlimited virtual machines, plus one Hyper-V host per license
Server can join a domain yes yes
Edge network protection/firewall no no
DirectAccess yes yes
DLNA codecs and web media streaming Yes, if installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, if installed as Server with Desktop Experience

Server roles

Windows Server roles available Role services Windows Server 2016 Standard Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Active Directory Certificate Services Yes Yes
Active Directory Domain Services Yes Yes
Active Directory Federation Services Yes Yes
AD Lightweight Directory Services Yes Yes
AD Rights Management Services Yes Yes
Device Health Attestation Yes Yes
DHCP Server Yes Yes
DNS Server Yes Yes
Fax Server Yes Yes
File and Storage Services File Server Yes Yes
File and Storage Services BranchCache for Network Files Yes Yes
File and Storage Services Data Deduplication Yes Yes
File and Storage Services DFS Namespaces Yes Yes
File and Storage Services DFS Replication Yes Yes
File and Storage Services File Server Resource Manager Yes Yes
File and Storage Services File Server VSS Agent Service Yes Yes
File and Storage Services iSCSI Target Server Yes Yes
File and Storage Services iSCSI Target Storage Provider Yes Yes
File and Storage Services Server for NFS Yes Yes
File and Storage Services Work Folders Yes Yes
File and Storage Services Storage Services Yes Yes
Host Guardian Service Yes Yes
Hyper-V Yes Yes; including Shielded Virtual Machines
MultiPoint Services Yes Yes
Network Controller No Yes
Network Policy and Access Services Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Print and Document Services Yes Yes
Remote Access Yes Yes
Remote Desktop Services Yes Yes
Volume Activation Services Yes Yes
Web Services (IIS) Yes Yes
Windows Deployment Services Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Windows Server Essentials Experience Yes Yes
Windows Server Update Services Yes Yes

Features

Windows Server Features installable with Server Manager (or PowerShell) Windows Server 2016 Standard Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
.NET Framework 3.5 Yes Yes
.NET Framework 4.6 Yes Yes
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) Yes Yes
BitLocker Drive Encryption Yes Yes
BitLocker Network Unlock Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
BranchCache Yes Yes
Client for NFS Yes Yes
Containers Yes (Windows containers unlimited; Hyper-V containers up to 2) Yes (all container types unlimited)
Data Center Bridging Yes Yes
Direct Play Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Enhanced Storage Yes Yes
Failover Clustering Yes Yes
Group Policy Management Yes Yes
Host Guardian Hyper-V Support No Yes
I/O Quality of Service Yes Yes
IIS Hostable Web Core Yes Yes
Internet Printing Client Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
IPAM Server Yes Yes
iSNS Server service Yes Yes
LPR Port Monitor Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Management OData IIS Extension Yes Yes
Media Foundation Yes Yes
Message Queueing Yes Yes
Multipath I/O Yes Yes
MultiPoint Connector Yes Yes
Network Load Balancing Yes Yes
Peer Name Resolution Protocol Yes Yes
Quality Windows Audio Video Experience Yes Yes
RAS Connection Manager Administration Kit Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Remote Assistance Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Remote Differential Compression Yes Yes
RSAT Yes Yes
RPC over HTTP Proxy Yes Yes
Setup and Boot Event Collection Yes Yes
Simple TCP/IP Services Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support Installed Installed
SMB Bandwidth Limit Yes Yes
SMTP Server Yes Yes
SNMP Service Yes Yes
Software Load Balancer Yes Yes
Storage Replica No Yes
Telnet Client Yes Yes
TFTP Client Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
VM Shielding Tools for Fabric Management Yes Yes
WebDAV Redirector Yes Yes
Windows Biometric Framework Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Windows Defender features Installed Installed
Windows Identity Foundation 3.5 Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Windows Internal Database Yes Yes
Windows PowerShell Installed Installed
Windows Process Activation Service Yes Yes
Windows Search Service Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Windows Server Backup Yes Yes
Windows Server Migration Tools Yes Yes
Windows Standards-Based Storage Management Yes Yes
Windows TIFF IFilter Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
WinRM IIS Extension Yes Yes
WINS Server Yes Yes
Wireless LAN Service Yes Yes
WoW64 support Installed Installed
XPS Viewer Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience Yes, when installed as Server with Desktop Experience
Features available generally Windows Server 2016 Standard Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Best Practices Analyzer Yes Yes
Direct Access Yes Yes
Dynamic Memory (in virtualization) Yes Yes
Hot Add/Replace RAM Yes Yes
Microsoft Management Console Yes Yes
Minimal Server Interface Yes Yes
Network Load Balancing Yes Yes
Windows PowerShell Yes Yes
Server Core installation option Yes Yes
Nano Server installation option Yes Yes
Server Manager Yes Yes
SMB Direct and SMB over RDMA Yes Yes
Software-defined Networking No Yes
Storage Management Service Yes Yes
Storage Spaces Yes Yes
Storage Spaces Direct No Yes
Volume Activation Services Yes Yes
VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) integration Yes Yes
Windows Server Update Services Yes Yes
Windows System Resource Manager Yes Yes
Server license logging Yes Yes
Inherited activation As guest if hosted on Datacenter Can be host or guest
Work folders Yes Yes

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