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Joseph Thompson
Joseph Thompson

Windows Server 2016 Download: Datacenter, Standard, and More


How to Download Windows Server 2016




Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that delivers new layers of security and Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business. Whether you want to run a small business server, a large datacenter, or anything in between, Windows Server 2016 has you covered.


But how do you download Windows Server 2016? And how do you install it on your server? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will compare the different editions and features of Windows Server 2016, explain the different download options available, and provide step-by-step guides on how to install Windows Server 2016 using various methods.




how to download windows server 2016



Windows Server 2016 Editions and Features




Windows Server 2016 comes in three main editions: Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter. Each edition has different features and capabilities that suit different needs and scenarios. Here is a brief overview of each edition:


  • Essentials: This edition is ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices. It does not support virtualization and has limited features compared to the other editions. However, it is easy to set up and manage, and includes some cloud-based services such as Office 365 integration.



  • Standard: This edition is ideal for medium-sized businesses that require advanced features and virtualization. It supports up to two virtual machines per license, plus one Hyper-V host per license. It also includes features such as Storage Replica, Storage Spaces Direct, and Shielded Virtual Machines.



  • Datacenter: This edition is ideal for large enterprises that require high levels of scalability, performance, and availability. It supports unlimited virtual machines per license, plus one Hyper-V host per license. It also includes features such as Network Controller, Software-Defined Networking, and Nano Server.



For a detailed comparison of the features and capabilities of each edition, you can refer to this table. You can also use the Windows Server 2016 Feature Comparison Tool to compare the features of different editions based on your specific needs and scenarios.


Windows Server 2016 Download Options




There are different ways to download Windows Server 2016, depending on your preferences and requirements. Here are some of the most common download options available:


  • Download from Microsoft Evaluation Center: This option allows you to download a free trial version of Windows Server 2016 for evaluation purposes. You can choose from various options, such as ISO, VHD, or Nano Server. The trial version is valid for 180 days and can be converted to a full version with a valid license key.



  • Download from Azure: This option allows you to download a pre-configured virtual machine image of Windows Server 2016 from the Azure Marketplace. You can choose from various options, such as Essentials, Standard, or Datacenter. You can also customize the image with your own settings and applications. The image is billed by the hour and can be converted to a full version with a valid license key.



  • Download from Other Sources: This option allows you to download Windows Server 2016 from other sources, such as third-party websites or torrent sites. However, this option is not recommended, as it may expose you to risks and disadvantages, such as malware, viruses, or invalid licenses. You should always verify the authenticity and integrity of the source before downloading anything from the internet.



Windows Server 2016 Installation Steps




Once you have downloaded Windows Server 2016, you can install it on your server using different methods, depending on your preferences and requirements. Here are some of the most common installation methods available:


  • Clean Install: This method allows you to perform a fresh installation of Windows Server 2016 on a new or existing server. This method is recommended if you want to start from scratch or if you want to avoid any compatibility issues with your previous operating system. To perform a clean install, you need to follow these steps:



  • Prepare your server by checking the hardware requirements, backing up your data, and creating a bootable media (such as a DVD or USB drive) with the Windows Server 2016 image.



  • Boot your server from the bootable media and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to select the language, time zone, keyboard layout, and edition of Windows Server 2016 that you want to install.



  • Accept the license terms and choose the type of installation. You will need to select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) if you want to perform a clean install.



  • Select the disk where you want to install Windows Server 2016 and create partitions as needed. You will need to format the disk before installing Windows Server 2016.



  • Click Next and wait for the installation process to complete. You will need to restart your server several times during the installation process.



  • After the installation is complete, you will need to configure your server settings, such as network settings, administrator password, server name, domain membership, and roles and features.



  • In-place Upgrade: This method allows you to upgrade your existing operating system to Windows Server 2016 without losing any data or settings. This method is recommended if you want to keep your existing configuration and applications or if you want to minimize downtime. To perform an in-place upgrade, you need to follow these steps:



  • Prepare your server by checking the compatibility of your existing operating system with Windows Server 2016, backing up your data, and creating a recovery media (such as a DVD or USB drive) with the Windows Server 2016 image.



  • Run the setup.exe file from the recovery media and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to select the language, time zone, keyboard layout, and edition of Windows Server 2016 that you want to upgrade to.



  • Accept the license terms and choose the type of installation. You will need to select Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications if you want to perform an in-place upgrade.



  • Click Next and wait for the installation process to complete. You will need to restart your server several times during the installation process.



  • After the installation is complete, you will need to activate your Windows Server 2016 license and verify that your settings and applications are working properly.



  • Cluster OS Rolling Upgrade: This method allows you to upgrade your cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2016 without any downtime or service interruption. This method is recommended if you want to take advantage of the new features and capabilities of Windows Server 2016 in your cluster environment. To perform a cluster OS rolling upgrade, you need to follow these steps:



  • Prepare your cluster by checking the compatibility of your existing cluster nodes with Windows Server 2016, backing up your data, and creating a bootable media (such as a DVD or USB drive) with the Windows Server 2016 image.



  • Drain one of the cluster nodes by using the Failover Cluster Manager or the PowerShell cmdlet Suspend-ClusterNode. This will move all the roles and resources from that node to another node in the cluster.



  • Evict the drained node from the cluster by using the Failover Cluster Manager or the PowerShell cmdlet Remove-ClusterNode. This will remove the node from the cluster configuration.



  • Perform a clean install of Windows Server 2016 on the evicted node by following the steps described above.



  • Add the upgraded node back to the cluster by using the Failover Cluster Manager or the PowerShell cmdlet Add-ClusterNode. This will add the node to the cluster configuration and update the cluster functional level to Windows Server 2016.



  • Repeat these steps for each node in the cluster until all nodes are upgraded to Windows Server 2016.



  • Migration: This method allows you to transfer roles and features from one server to another without affecting the source server. This method is recommended if you want to move your existing configuration and applications to a new server or if you want to decommission your old server. To perform a migration, you need to follow these steps:



  • Prepare your source and destination servers by checking the compatibility of their roles and features with Windows Server 2016, backing up your data, and installing Windows Server 2016 on the destination server.



  • Install Windows Server Migration Tools on both servers by using the Server Manager or the PowerShell cmdlet Install-WindowsFeature Migration. This will install a set of tools that can help you migrate roles and features from one server to another.



  • Create a migration folder on the source server by using the PowerShell cmdlet Export-SmigServerSetting. This will export the settings of the roles and features that you want to migrate to a folder that you can copy to the destination server.



  • Copy the migration folder from the source server to the destination server by using any file transfer method that you prefer, such as network share, USB drive, or cloud storage.



  • Import the migration folder on the destination server by using the PowerShell cmdlet Import-SmigServerSetting. This will import the settings of the roles and features that you migrated from the source server and apply them to the destination server.



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