Windows Server 2016 Editions

Windows Server 2016 is essentially available in three versions

  1. Windows Server 2016 Essentials
  2. Windows Server 2016 Standard
  3. Windows Server 2016 Datacenter

The foundation edition in Windows Server 2012 is no longer available.

Essentials

Usage

Essentials edition is ideal for small businesses with basic requirements. Businesses who have a very small or even no IT support.

Virtualisation Rights

Essentials don’t come with any virtualisation rights. You are licensed to one installation (virtual or physical)

Licensing

Essentials edition is licensed based on CPU.  CAL’s are not required but the license is limited to 25 users / 50 devices.

Limits

There is a limit of 64 GB RAM and a maximum of 2 x CPU

Standard

Usage

Standard Edition is for companies which require more features and have a lesser requirement for virtualisation.

Virtualisation Rights

With Standard Edition you can run 2 x Virtual Machines

Licensing

Standard licensing differs from Essentials. You are required to license based on the number of cores in the server. In addition, you need to purchase CALs (user or device) for each endpoint connecting.

Limits

With Standard Edition, there is a limit of 24 TB RAM. There is a limit of 512 Cores (Remember, you are required to license the cores).

Features

Standard has the following features, also available in Datacenter but not available in Essentials.

  • Core Functionality
  • Hyper-V Containers
  • Windows Server Containers
  • Host Guardian Service
  • Nano Server

Datacenter

Usage

Datacenter Edition is ideal for companies with a high requirement on IT for their workloads and especially with a large number of virtual systems. 

Virtualisation Rights

Datacenter Edition allows you to run unlimited virtual machines and Hyper-V containers. It is usually more cost effective than purchasing the relevant number of Standard Edition for the virtual machines required. If you are running a hypervisor other than Hyper-V, chances are you have Datacenter license.

Licensing

As per Standard Edition, you are required to license based on the number of cores in the server. In addition, you need to purchase CALs (user or device) for each endpoint connecting.

Limits

Datacenter  has the same limits as Standard Edition, there is a limit of 24 TB RAM. There is a also a limit of 512 Cores (Remember, you are required to license the cores).

Features

Datacenter has the following additional features, not available in Essentials or Standard.

  • Storage Features (Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica etc.)
  • Shielded Virtual Machines
  • Networking Stack

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