How to install windows server 2016 (Step by Step Tutorial)

This Windows tutorial, we will discuss how to install windows server 2016 step by step.

Here we will also see the hardware and software requirements to install windows server 2016.

We will also see various windows server 2016 editions and pricing details.

What is Windows Server 2016?

Windows Server is a group of operating systems designed by Microsoft that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.

Windows Server 2016 has lots of new and enhanced features in all areas like Hyper-V, Identity and access, Administration, Networking, Security and assurance, Storage, Failover clustering, etc. You can check what is new in windows server 2016 in this MSDN article.

Windows Server 2016 editions

Windows server 2016 comes with 3 editions:

  • Datacenter: This is ideal for highly virtualized and software-defined datacenter environments.
  • Standard: This ideal for low density or non-virtualized environments.
  • Essentials: This is ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices.

Essential Edition

Essentials are ideal for small business with basic IT requirements with visualization rights are offered to only one physical or one virtual machine.

And licensing model is based on CPU with a limit of maximum 2 CPU and RAM limit of 64GB.

Here client access licensing is not required only a remote desktop server is required (limited to 25 users / 50 devices). It comes with a licensing cost of $501.

Standard Edition

Standard editions are suitable for all companies that require advanced features and virtualize to a lesser extent.

Standard Edition includes Nano Server and unlimited Windows Server containers; customers also receive rights to two Operating System Environments (OSEs) or Windows Server containers with Hyper-V isolation.

Licensing is based on the core where 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 of Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses. It comes up with a licensing cost of $883.

Datacenter Edition

Standard editions are suitable for all companies with high requirements on IT workloads with a large number of virtual systems.

Datacenter Edition includes Shielded Virtual Machines, software-defined networking, Storage Spaces Direct, and Storage Replica; customers receive rights to unlimited OSEs or Windows Server containers with Hyper-V isolation. It comes up with a licensing cost of $6,155.

Some basic feature differentiation between standard and datacenter editions of windows server 2016:

Windows server 2016 editions
Windows server 2016 editions

Windows Server 2016 editions comparison

FeatureEssentialsStandardDatacenter
Core functionality of windows server_PP
OSEs / Hyper-V containers_PP
Windows Server containers_PP
Host Guardian Service_PP
Nano Server_PP
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica__P
Shielded Virtual Machines__P
Networking stack__P

Windows Server 2016 pricing details

Below is the pricing details for windows server 2016 which may also vary from country to country, you can also check the pricing details in this MSDN URL.

Windows Server 2016 editionLicensing modelPricing Open NL ERP (USD)
windows server 2016 DatacenterCore-based$6,155
windows server 2016 StandardCore-based$882
windows server 2016 EssentialsSpecialty servers (server license)$501

Windows Server 2016 download

Like other Windows server operating systems, Microsoft provides a 180 days free trial for windows server 2016 which you can download from the below URL.

Minimum system requirements to install windows server 2016

Microsoft has recommended minimum system requirements to install windows server 2016.

You need a minimum disk space of 32 GB with 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor and minimum RAM of 512 MB (2 GB for Server with Desktop Experience installation option) which are some basic.

We can find more on the system requirements of Server 2016 in the MSDN link.

Note: The screen shots are little blur because we took the screen shot from a smartphone.

Step-1: Download Windows server 2016 ISO file from the link provided above.

Step-2: We are trying to install a laptop with 2TB of hard drive and 16 GB of RAM where Windows 10 was already installed.

We are installing on top of Windows 10. So we first extract the ISO file to a folder using RAR file extracting software like WinZip.

Clicking on the .exe file to install windows server 2016 this screen appears where it shows we’re getting a few things ready.

windows server 2016 installation
windows server 2016 installation

Step-3: Since we were installing on top of windows server 2016 on top of Windows 10, it asked us to keep personal files and apps or you do not want to keep.

NOTE: This actually overrides Windows 10, it did not show me to do a partition and install in another drive. So be careful, I am not sure if I did any mistake.

Windows server 2016 installation step by step
Windows server 2016 installation step by step

Step-4: Then it ask to accept the application notices and license terms.

install windows server 2016
Windows server 2016 installation

Step-5: Select image screen appears where we can choose the Server 2016 version on this menu as we need Server 2016 Standard with GUI so selected “Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience)”.

windows server 2016 installation options
windows server 2016 installation options

Step-6: Then comes the product key page to provide the license key or the product key to activate windows server 2016.

windows server 2016 install gui
windows server 2016 install gui

Step-7: We can select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” because we will do a clean installation OS. But if you need an in-place upgrade you should select “Upgrade: Install and Keep files, settings, and applications” here.

This option suitable for supported OS, features, services, and roles. But keep in mind you should not prefer in-place upgrade for critical roles like Active Directory Services, etc.

Step-8: Then it will show a screen where you can choose if you want to “Download and install updated” which is the recommended option or you can choose “Not right now” option.

windows server 2016 installation steps
windows server 2016 installation steps

Step-9: Then it will start installing windows server 2016 and the system may restart multiple time.

windows server 2016 download
windows server 2016 installation guide

Step-10: After the installation is done, the system will restarts and reboots and it will ask the preferred language time zone and keyboard input methods. Follow a screenshot similar to this.

windows server 2016 price
windows server 2016 installation and configuration guide pdf

Step-11: This it will ask to set a password for the local administrator account. We should configure a secure password for local admin.

windows server 2016 installation and configuration
windows server 2016 installation and configuration

Step-12: This finished installation of windows server 2016 and it will display the Administrator login screen where you can provide the password to login.

windows server 2016 editions
windows server 2016 editions

You may like following Windows tutorials:

In this step by step tutorial, we learned the below things:

  • What is Windows Server 2016?
  • Windows Server 2016 editions
  • Essential Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Datacenter Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 editions comparison
  • Windows Server 2016 pricing details
  • Windows Server 2016 download
  • Minimum system requirements to install windows server 2016
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