Nano Server Microsoft YouTube Official Screenshot

Microsoft sneaked out Windows Server 2016 Nano Server edition requirements last week. The company says that the service will only be available to customers who have Microsoft Software Assurance. Strangely, Microsoft slipped the information into the overall announcement that Windows Server 2016 and System Center will arrive this fall.

So, many users may well have missed the news. Either way, Microsoft is saying the Software Assurance plan is a necessary requirement for Nano Server. The plan is offered with some volume license agreements, which customers will also require.

Nano Server is the small footprint option for installing Windows Server. There are compromises for customers, such as a lack of support for console login. It also lacks the graphical user interface and Windows Installer in Server 2016. It allows remote management through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Powershell.

“Microsoft engineer Jeffrey Snover claims that Nano Server had 93 percent lower VHD size, 92 percent fewer critical security advisories, and 80 percent fewer reboots than Windows Server”.

Required License Agreement

Windows Server 2016 Nano Server is a lightweight server without a GUI. It appeals to customers who require a small footprint, with Microsoft saying it is ideal for supporting cloud applications created through micro services.

While this position means customers will need to have a volume license agreement, Microsoft says that is by design. The company has created Windows Server 2016 Nano Server to be oriented for enterprises building Windows network infrastructures. This basically means large businesses with large Windows volumes.