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Windows server 2016 essentials

Windows Server 2016 Essentials is a cloud-connected first server

Ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices

Recommended for users using foundation edition, which is not available with Windows Server 2016



Windows server 2016 essentials

Windows Server 2016 Essentials is a cloud-connected first server

Ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices

Recommended for users using foundation edition, which is not available with Windows Server 2016

Server 2016 is an operating system built by Microsoft and is the successor of Windows Server 2012. It is the server-edition of Windows 10 and is available since September 2016.

This article shows the differences between the individual Windows Server 2016 editions.

Windows Server 2016 pricing information about can be found at the Thomas-Krenn web shop in the area Microsoft software.

Microsoft is now using a core licensing model for Windows Server 2016 (as it is done also for the SQL server).

Microsoft Software at Thomas-Krenn

Windows server 2016 essentials Editions

Windows Server 2016 is available in 3 editions (a Foundation edition as it was in Windows Server 2012 is no longer offered by Microsoft for Windows Server 2016):[1]

  • Essentials
  • Standard
  • Datacenter

The editions are suitable for the following application areas:

Edition Ideal for… Virtualization rights Licensing model Client Access Licenses RAM Limit CPU Limit Pricing
Essentials Small businesses with basic IT requirements; very small or no IT department no, one physical or one virtual installation CPU-based CALs not required * (limited to 25 users / 50 devices) 64 GB RAM max. 2 CPUs Microsoft Software at Thomas-Krenn

Standard For all companies that require advanced features and virtualize to a lesser extent 2 virtual machines ** or 2 Hyper-V Container Core-based CALs required *** 24 TB RAM 512 Cores
Datacenter For all companies with high requirements on IT workloads with large number of virtual systems unlimited virtual machines and Hyper-V Container
(*) An RDS CAL is required to access Remotedesktop.
(**) The Windows Server Standard Edition license allows 2 OSEs (Operating System Environments) when all physical cores are licensed.
(***) CALs are required for every user or device, which connects directly or indirectly to a server. Details can be found on the Microsoft website in the area Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses.[2]

Minimal System Requirements 

The following table shows the minimum requirements for Windows Server 2016.[3] The actual requirements depend on the system configuration and the installed applications and features.

Description Minimal System Requirements
CPU architecture x64
CPU clock rate 1.4 GHz
RAM 512 MB* with (ECC (Error Correcting Code) type or similar technology)
Disk space 32 GB**
Network adapter 1x Ethernet (at least gigabit throughput)
(*) 2 GB for Server with Desktop Experience installation option.
(**) Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.

Edition comparison by physical / virtual instances

Windows Server 2016 instances can be operated in either a physical operating system environment (POSE) or a virtual operating system environment (VOSE):

Edition Running instances in POSE Running instances in VOSE
Essentials 1** 1**
Standard 1* 2
Datacenter 1 unlimited
(*) When a customer runs all the allowed virtual instances, the physical instance can only be used to manage and maintain the virtual instances.
(**) Essentials can be run in a physical or virtual operating system environment.

Edition comparison by server roles

The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following server roles:

Serverrolle Datacenter/Standard Essentials
AD Certificate Services ✔ automatically installed/configured (1)
AD Domain Services ✔ automatically installed/configured (2)
AD Federation Services
AD Lightweight Directory Services
AD Rights Management Services (3)
Application Server
DHCP Server
DNS Server ✔ automatically installed/configured
Fax Server
File Services ✔ automatically installed/configured (4)
Network Policy & Access Services ✔ automatically installed/configured
Print & Document Services
Remote Access ✔ automatically installed/configured (5)
Remote Desktop Services (6) – (7)
UDDI Services
Web Server (IIS) ✔ automatically installed/configured
Windows Deployment Services
Windows Server Update Services
(1) Limited to the setting up of certification authorities – other features of the Active Directory Certificate Services (Network Device Enrollment Services, Online Responder Service)) are not available. More information can be found in the description of the AD CS role on TechNet.[4]
(2) Must be the root of an ADDS domain structure and must own all operating master roles.
(3) Access requires an additional AD RMS CAL.
(4) Data deduplication is not available.
(5) Limited to 50 RRAS connections and 50 IAS connections; DirectAccess and VPN are supported.
(6) Access requires an additional RDS CAL (exception: using the Remote Web Access feature of the Essentials Edition).
(7) Only RD Gateway service is installed and configured, other remote services (including RD session host) are not supported.

Edition comparison by new features

The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following features:[5]

Feature Essentials Standard Datacenter
Core functionality of Windows Server
OSEs / Hyper-V containers ✔ 2 ✔ unlimited
Windows Server containers ✔ unlimited ✔ unlimited
Host Guardian Service
Nano Server ✔ * ✔ *
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica
Shielded Virtual Machines
Networking stack


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