Windows Server 2016 is available in Standard, Datacenter, and Essentials editions. Windows Server 2016 Datacenter includes unlimited virtualization rights plus new features to build a software-defined datacenter. Windows Server 2016 Standard offers enterprise-class features with limited virtualization rights. Windows Server Essentials is an ideal cloud-connected first server.
The following table briefly summarizes the key differences between Standard and Datacenter editions:
Both Standard and Datacenter editions offer three installation options:
Server Core: reduces the space required on disk, the potential attack surface, and especially the servicing requirements. This is the recommended option unless you have a particular need for additional user interface elements and graphical management tools.
Server with Desktop Experience: installs the standard user interface and all tools, including client experience features that required a separate installation in Windows Server 2012 R2. Server roles and features are installed with Server Manager or by other methods.
Nano Server: is a remotely administered server operating system optimized for private clouds and datacenters. It is similar to Windows Server in Server Core mode, but significantly smaller, has no local logon capability, and only supports 64-bit applications, tools, and agents. It takes up far less disk space, sets up significantly faster, and requires far fewer updates and restarts than the other options.