Giving you cloud storage and the back-up of your own system, Windows Server 2016’s hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds

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Looking to the skies but with its feet firmly on the ground, Windows Server 2016 lets your business retain on-premises iron while still making the most of the cloud.

Windows Server 2016 is finally open for business and it’s looking like the single most influential Windows server release in recent times, due to the focus on cloud-based integration and technologies. It’s a big step forward for businesses which are looking to transition to the cloud in a controlled way, with the hybrid cloud model letting you seamlessly integrate your server room with cloud services like Microsoft’s Azure.

Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Windows Server 2016 can be whatever your business needs it to be – from the light and fast Nano Server with a tiny footprint to the Datacenter Edition with new advanced software-defined datacenter capabilities including networking and storage.

Virtualisation is at the heart of many great Windows Server 2016 features, especially if you’re looking to declare war on downtime. Improvements to Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor include the ability to hot-add memory, letting you swap out faulty RAM or simply give your server a performance boost without taking the hardware offline. Meanwhile rolling upgrades let you upgrade the OS without interrupting the Hyper-V or the Scale-Out File Server workloads.

Windows Server 2016 also supports Windows Server Containers, which are isolated but share a kernel with the container host, as well as Hyper-V Containers which rely on their own kernel for an extra level of independence and security. Nested Hyper-V – running Hyper-V Containers in Hyper-V virtual machines – is perfect for managing test and development environments. Meanwhile Powershell Direct lets you run PowerShell commands inside a virtual machine from the host.

Along with the improved security of Hyper-V Container isolation, Windows Server 2016 takes a multi-layered approach to security including shielded Virtual Machines which add an extra layer of encryption to prevent tampering and can be restricted to running on specific hosts.

Meanwhile Active Directory Federation Services 4.0 introduces a range of new security means which are particularly useful if you’re integrating with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. Whether you’re in the server room, in the cloud or enjoying the best of both worlds, Windows Server 2016 aims to serve your business better.

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Adam S

Adam S is a technology expert with a passion for innovative ideas.