Windows Server 2016 now supported on Amazon EC2

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud, being Amazon’s web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It has a simple interface and it allows developers to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction, while the time required to obtain and boot new server instances has been reduced and users are able to quickly scale capacity. Amazon EC2 offers tools that developers need to build failure resilient applications, which will be isolated from failure scenarios. And, from now on, Amazon EC2 will support the new version of Windows Server 2016.

Microsoft has developed the Windows Server OS for x86-64 platforms, being part of the Windows NT family and the Technical Preview of it was released on October 1, 2014 along with the technical preview of System Center. Windows Server 2016 was unveiled on September 26, 2016, at the Ignite conference, but it became available almost a month later. The new version brings many new features, being available in four forms, as follows:

  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter with Desktop Experience: This is the mainstream version of Windows Server and it supports traditional and cloud-native applications;
  • Windows Server 2016 Nano Server: It boots faster than the Datacenter version and it doesn’t consume too many resources (memory, storage, and CPU), so that other apps and services will run without any problems. The new version brought an updated module for building Nano Server images, but because there’s no desktop UI, users will administer it remotely (with PowerShell or WMI);
  • Windows Server 2016 with Containers: Microsoft has simplified network management and made some performance improvements;
  • Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016.

Before installing Windows Server 2016 on EC2, users will need to take these things into consideration: memory must be minimum 2GiB, they can launch On-Demand and Spot Instances or purchase Reserved Instances, they can bring their own license to AWS and use SSM Agent instead of EC2Config.

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