eugenesergeev - Fotolia
Windows Nano Server is a headless server that debuted in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2. Microsoft developed...
the smaller Windows Server footprint for Hyper-V and container deployment. Although Nano Server can be deployed to a physical machine, it is geared for virtual machine use.
As of this writing, Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 is available for evaluation in either Standard or Datacenter editions. However, prospective adopters can also opt to download just a Nano Server VM for deployment and evaluation as a virtual hard disk (.vhd) file.
The process used in evaluation typically starts by copying script files from the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview ISO file, available from Microsoft's TechNet Evaluation Center, to a folder on the target evaluation server's hard drive.
Administrators can use PowerShell to execute a script to import the Nano Server image file. Create a .vhd for the Nano Server; this will add a computer name, Hyper-V drivers and set other details for the VM. Now create a new VM and deploy the Nano Server .vhd. Boot the new VM and connect to the VM normally, then log onto the Nano Server Recovery Console and get the IP address of the new VM. This allows the use of PowerShell remoting or other tools to connect and manage the Nano Server VM remotely.
This abbreviated overview is one of many possible installation permutations for Microsoft's new headless server. Evaluators can find detailed instructions and examples for preparing, modifying, installing and using Nano Server in Microsoft's online documentation. For example, evaluators can customize the Nano Server image file to accommodate well-defined server roles such as Hyper-V, failover clustering, file server, web server, DNS server and other use cases. These roles can be installed using PowerShell while the Nano Server image is prepared.
Remember that Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server are currently in development, and there will undoubtedly be limitations to features, performance and stability. It's important to review the system requirements and release notes before installing any version of the Technical Preview. Also note that the Technical Preview 5 is slated to expire on December 31.
Everything you need to know about Windows Server 2016
PowerShell Server Manager gives control from a single console
Using PowerShell cmdlets to control multiple remote servers
Dig Deeper on Windows Server deployment
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Learn how load balancing in the cloud differs from a traditional network traffic distribution, and explore services available from AWS, Google and ... Continue Reading
Access management is critical to securing the cloud. Understand the differences between AWS IAM roles and users to properly restrict access to AWS ... Continue Reading
Containers have rapidly come into focus as a popular option for deploying applications, but they have limitations and are fundamentally different ... Continue Reading