Microsoft Adds Nano Server Option to Windows Server 2016
A new prerelease build includes an option to install a lightweight version of the operating system software.Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 on April 27, a test build that includes Nano Server as an installation option. First announced a year ago, Nano Server is a container- and cloud-friendly version of Windows Server that dispenses with the GUI, 32-bit support and other software components that compete for CPU cycles. This week, Microsoft has incorporated Nano Server as a deployment option on both the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5. "It is a remotely managed option similar to Windows Server in Server Core mode, but significantly smaller, has no local logon capability, and only supports 64-bit applications, tools, and agents," according to an online support document. "It takes up far less disk space, sets up significantly faster, and requires far fewer updates and restarts than Windows Server with the full desktop experience." According to Microsoft's estimates, Nano Server's image is 25 times smaller than that of a full Windows Server image with desktop functionality. To help administrators keep a closer eye on their Nano Servers, along with Windows Server 2016's new data center modernization features, Microsoft also announced the release of System Center 2016 Technical Preview 5 on April 27.
The latest version of the software giant's collection of data center management tools includes "advanced software-defined datacenter support, including managing the lifecycle of Nano Server hosts and virtual machines, simplified deployment of the new Windows Server 2016 software-defined networking components, and support for Storage Spaces Direct and replicated storage volumes," informed Mike Neil, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise Cloud group, in a blog post detailing the new capabilities.