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On 30th of March, at the monthly community event of I had the pleasure as a proud member to talk about what’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V.

So what’s changed?

Well guys, if you are still excited about all the new features that came along with Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, you are going to be amazed by how many cool new stuff made their appearance with Windows Server 2016! Below there is a small comparison chart with all the new Virtualization Features of Windows Server 2016 compared to 2012 & 2012 R2.

Scale limits

Newly improved scale limits which outperform rival hypervisor from VMware. Do we actually need these limits? Are they applicable in the real world? Well, we live in a cloud cadence, everything is inspired nowadays from the cloud and so these limits. As you already know, Hyper-V is running under the hood of Azure.


Lots of new stuff here, major improvements have been made in the OS. Shielded Virtual Machines is the most anticipated feature at the moment, it lets you protect your workloads by adding encryption (vTPM – Bitlocker), attests the hosts and protects the fabrics from unauthorized personnel / malicious admins. At this point, it can only protect Gen2 Virtual Machines. For the Gen1 there is the Key Storage Drive.

  • Shielded Virtual Machines ( Gen2 Virtual Machines only )

  • Key Storage Drive for Gen1 Virtual Machines
  • Linux Secure Boot
  • Credential and Device Guard
  • Host Resource Protection


Cluster Rolling OS Upgrades is the new migration method of a Hyper-V Cluster to the new OS Version. You just evict a node, format it / install WS 2016 / boot / rejoin it to the cluster and after you finish all the nodes you upgrade the Cluster Functional Level to WS 2016 and just like this you have successfully upgraded your cluster! The recommended migration path is that your cluster is running on Windows 2012 R2. Another highlight is the system Updates which has been streamlined. Meaning that the large number of updates are now combined into one Cumulative Update which is available on a monthly basis 🙂

  • Cluster Rolling OS Upgrades

  • New Virtual Machine Version 8.0
  • Clustering Improvements, Storage and Compute Resiliency
  • Guest Clustering Enhancements
  • Hot Adding Network Cards and Memory
  • Production Checkpoints


ReFS are now better than ever. Provides performance improvements such as rapid disk creation and fast disk merge operations for your Hyper-V workloads (block cloning technology). Discrete device assignment added support for the new all-flash storage NVME devices.

  • Storage QOS
  • Discrete Device Assignment ( NVME )
  • ReFS improvements


Microsoft also did some improvements on Windows Server 2016 RemoteFX which now includes support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1 API. It also allows you to use larger dedicated VRAM and VRAM in now finally configurable.

  • Remote FX Improvements
  • Discrete Device Assignments
  • New GPU Capabilities

Operational Improvements

Powershell Direct is the new PS Remoting designed especially for managing your Virtual Machines in the Fabric. It uses the VM Bus instead of Network Transport in order to connect with the Virtual Machines.

  • Powershell Direct
  • Jea
  • Hyper-V Manager improvements

  • VM Servicing


Nested Virtualization is the feature that everyone been waiting for. It allows you to virtualize a Hyper-V host and run Virtual Machines in it. Another interesting feature is the new installation option of WS 2016, the Nano Server. Unfortunately, this made to last only for a year because Microsoft announced on 15/6 that this feature will be retired for use with infrastructure roles such as Hyper-V and only will be used with Containers.

  • Nano Server Installation Option – Well, this made to last only for a year. R.I.P Nano Server.
  • Nested Virtualization

  • VM Configuration Changes
  • Hyper-V Cluster Manager improvements


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