Windows server 2012 r2 vs 2016 updates
- February 23, 2017
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Technology
Microsoft’s MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification was launched in September of 2016 and brought with it a slew of new topics with a bigger focus on virtualisation and cloud computing, ensuring that organisations that utilise these technologies are catered to. With technologies related to virtualisation and the Cloud moving forward at a steady rate, it is clear to see that this is a certification that will only grow in stature and popularity.
Which exams do I need to pass?
In order to gain the MCSA Windows Server 2016 certification you will need to pass the following exams:
Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
Networking with Windows Server 2016
Identity with Windows Server 2016
Upgrading to Windows Server 2016
If you have already earned your MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification and would like to upgrade to the latest version, you need merely pass the free upgrade exam 70-743 – Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016. This will see you certified with the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 credential.
Windows Server 2012 Changes
Below we will take a look at 5 of the biggest changes that have been made to Windows Server 2016.
The biggest and most noticeable change involves the new Nano Server. This installation option is a remotely administered, headless server operating system that has been optimised for datacenters and private clouds. It is noticeably smaller than Windows Server and doesn’t offer logon capability. It is much faster to set up and takes up significantly less disk space. It also requires fewer restarts and updates than Windows Server and can be used with Scale-Out File server as a storage host, for Hyper-V virtual machines as a compute host, as a DNS server, as an IIS (Internet Information Service) or as a host for applications that have been developed with cloud application patterns.
Some of the new features that have been added to Hyper-V include the addition of Connected Standby mode when installed on a machine that uses the Always On/Always Connected power model, host resource protection which ensures that the machine does not exceed it’s share of system resources. The added discreet device assignment feature makes it possible to bypass the Hyper-V virtualisation stack, helping you gain faster access to certain PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect express) hardware devices. You are also able to add and remove network adapters while the virtual machine is running (hot add and remove) without having to plan for downtime.
Generation 2 virtual machines that are running the Linux operating system are now able to be booted with the secure boot option enabled. This configuration can be done from the Hyper-V Manager or Virtual Machine Manager. The Nested virtualisation features enables the user to run a virtual machine as a Hyper-V host, making it possible to create virtual machines within the virtual host.
New networking features include software-defined network Quality of Service, Virtual Machine Multi Queues, remote direct memory access and switch embedded teaming.
Other new Hyper-V features include:
- Production checkpoints
- Rolling cluster upgrade
- Shielded virtual machines
- Start order priority
- Windows containers
- Windows PowerShell Direct
Hyper-V Manager has been improved in that it is now possible to use alternate credentials when connecting to a different Windows Server 2016 remote host and manage systems that run Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8 and 8.1. Management protocol has also been updated, enabling easier live migration and remote host enabling.
Other updated features include:
- Windows update will deliver integration services
- More memory and processors for Hyper-V hosts
- Shared virtual hard disks
- More efficient configuration data reading and writing
It is now possible to route traffic to both existing and new virtual appliances. It is also possible to deploy and manage the SDN stack in it’s entirety with the use of System Center Virtual Machine Manager. By using Docker, you will now be able to manage Windows Server container networking.
- Credential Guard ensures that only privileged system software can access secrets.
- Remote Credential Guard ensures that user information stays on the client side and never on the server side.
- Device Guard creates policies that will specify the code that can run on the server.
- Shielded Virtual Machine protects virtual machines from compromised fabric.
- Control Flow Guard protects against memory corruption vulnerability.
Users will now have the ability to build scalable and highly available storage with Storage Spaces Direct, simplifying software defined storage systems deployment and management. Storage Quality of Service can now be utilised to monitor end-to-end performance and to create management policies with the use of Hyper-V and CSV clusters. With Storage Replica, data can now be mirrored in physical sites, ensuring that no data is lost.
As is evident from the changes mentioned above, Microsoft is aiming to keep their certifications current with the ongoing changes and trends in technology. Students that earn their MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification will gain the knowledge that will set them apart from IT professionals who have not upgraded their certification. This will give you a serious advantage during the recruitment process and will aid in the development of your career.