UPDATED – 1/25/2017
There are exciting changes in Windows Server 2016 which simplifies and streamlines patching. I think you will find Windows Server 2016 will be easier to maintain and help reduce OpEx costs. Let’s discuss some of these key changes.
In Windows Server 2016 the sea of updates will be streamlined and simplified into a single package. All updates released over a given month will be rolled up in a single package. This will remove the guess work and burden to sort through the large number of hot-fixes released through the breadth of different channels trying to identify the ones you need. It will also simplify the test matrix, making your internal verification processes easier as well as increasing quality by ensuring all changes are verified together to confirm interoperability.
The complexity and uncertainty of trying to figure out which updates you may have installed or missed will be gone with Windows Server 2016. The monthly packages will be cumulative, meaning they will include all previous updates. When you install a new server, no more having to install a long list of updates. If you have the latest monthly update installed, you have all the updates you need… it’s just that simple!
On the second Tuesday of every month (aka. Patch Tuesday) during the mainstream support phase a cumulative update which includes new security and quality fixes will be released for Windows Server 2016. Being cumulative this update will include all the previously released security and quality fixes.
Having a predictable cadence for when you can expect updates, enables you to build patch maintenance processes. Being able to plan ahead will simplify and streamline your ability to manage Windows Server.
Proactive Patch Discovery
Windows Server 2016 will help you keep it up to date better than it has ever before. Automatic Updates (AU) is enabled by default on Windows Server 2016 and configured to:
Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them
Windows Server will automatically check Windows Update or a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) for any relevant updates, and when it finds updates they will be downloaded and you will be notified that there are updates ready to be applied. Updates will not be installed and servers will not be rebooted automatically, as avoiding production downtime is critical for a server. You control scheduling a maintenance window and installing the updates when it is best for your business. The key improvement is that Windows Update will automatically check and proactively notify you when there are updates you should apply. This helps you get the fixes before you encounter issues and avoid downtime before it ever happens.
Automatic Updates is not enabled on Nano Server. Additionally, for customers who prefer the behavior of previous releases Automatic Updates can be easily configured, including being disabled with group policies.
Reduced Footprint with Nano Server
In Windows Server 2016 a new installation type called Nano has been introduced which delivers the smallest Windows Server footprint ever! Having a smaller operating system footprint results in fewer binaries to patch. Having less to patch simplifies keeping your servers current. See this blog for more information about Nano Server:
Windows Server 2016 will reduce costs by delivering:
Predicable monthly update cadence you can plan for
Fewer updates to manage
Cumulative updates that have everything you need
Proactive notification of updates before they cause downtime
Simplified test matrix and streamlined verification process
Reduced updating with Nano Server
In Windows Server 2016 you will be able to build a simple maintenance plan: One update… once a month… That’s it!
Written by: Elden Christensen, Microsoft