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Configuration Resources for Windows Server 2016

For the most part, I run a Windows shop. Digging around for some information on the latest Windows Server operating system, Windows Server 2016, I’ve come across some useful information that I thing every administrator/engineer should know. I used all of this information to build my Windows Server 2016 VMware Templates.

Resource 1: What’s New in Windows Server 2016 Link
Windows Server 2016 has been out for a while now, but it’s always good to start with learning about what the development team focused on improving with each new release of Windows Server. This guide outlines the changes made to compute, identity and access, administration, networking, security and assurance, storage, failover clustering and more.

Resource 2: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016 Link
The guide linked above focuses on performance and tuning for server hardware, server roles, and server subsystems. It dives deep into every setting, and the potential effect that setting has. That deep dive will enable you to make more informed decisions about each settings relevance to your system, workload, performance, and energy usage goals which will help you build an optimized platform for your environment.

Note: Download a PDF of the guide by following the Download PDF link on the left hand side of the page.

Server Hardware Tuning – This section outlines performance and power optimizations that can affect your server hardware, including CPU, cache, memory, disk, network, storage adapter and more. These performance and power optimizations will help you avoid resource contention and bottlenecks. Energy efficiency is also covered extensively. While energy efficiency does improve with each new generation of processor released, finding the right balance between performance and power consumption can be a bit of an enigma.

Server Role Tuning – This section outlines roles in Windows Server 2016, and will help you tune each role based on the needs for your server deployment. Active Directory Servers, File Servers, Hyper-V Servers, Remote Desktop Services, Web Servers, Windows Server Containers and more are covered in this section, allowing a more granular look into each role and the considerations that should be made to improve efficiency and performance.

Server Subsystem Tuning – This section outlines performance optimizations for server subsystems. Cache and memory management, networking subsystem, storage spaces direct, and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are all covered in depth in this section, offering you the information you need to squeeze the most performance out of your deployment.

This guide is updated regularly, and has already been through several revisions to go even deeper into how to optimize and tune your Windows Server 2016 deployments.

Resource 3: Determine the Appropriate Page File Size for 64-bit Versions of Windows Link
The guide linked above offers a very deep dive into the Windows page file, crash dump settings, performance counters, recommendations for sizing based on your deployment and more. I’ve noticed a pretty big jump in performance when paging is properly configured for a virtual machine in my environment.

Resource 4: The Windows Server Technical Content Library Link
This resource offers an incredible amount of information, including the What’s New in Windows Server 2016 guide linked above. Click around, and see what piques your interest.

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Scott Forehand

Scott Forehand is an accomplished systems architect, engineer, and administrator with over a decade of experience designing and managing virtual environments, networks, storage and server infrastructures and operations with a proven ability to create and automate solutions to improve productivity, reliability and performance. He has achieved multiple certifications in virtualization, networking, cloud, storage and other technologies, and is honored to be a VMware vExpert in 2018.