Windows Server 2016’s Nano Server has a minimal footprint in terms of RAM and disk utilization. This means you’ll be able to fit far more Nano server virtual machines onto a converged architecture virtualization host than you would traditionally configured Windows Server virtual machines.
Windows Server 2016’s new installation option, Nano Server, can boost the number of virtual machines that can be run on converged architecture.
Converged architecture systems can host about 9,000 traditional virtual machines. That number isn’t definite, as quite a bit of estimation goes into defining what counts as a traditional virtual machine—for example, the operating system that the VM is running and what applications it hosts. Generally speaking, a Windows virtual machine needs between 600MB and 1,000 MB of RAM. RAM is often a limiting factor in terms of hosting virtual machines. The less RAM that virtual machines consume, the more virtual machines that a specific converged architecture system configured for virtualization is able to host.
Windows Server 2016’s Nano Server has a minimal footprint in terms of RAM and disk utilization. Nano Server can be run with up to 30% less RAM than a traditional installation of Windows Server. This means you’ll be able to fit far more Nano server virtual machines onto a converged architecture virtualization host than you would traditionally configured Windows Server virtual machines.
The tricky part about Nano Server is that it can host some, but not all, Windows server workloads. Nano Server is very good at hosting Internet Information Services (IIS)-type workloads. You can also use it to host scale-out file servers and DNS servers, and even as a virtualization host. Eventually Nano Server should be able to host any workload that could be deployed on Windows Server, but that day is likely several years down the road (and not when Windows Server 2016 releases later this year).
Technologies such as Nano Server and containers are more efficient in the way that they leverage existing hardware resources such as processor, storage and RAM—providing organizations that have deployed high-capacity converged architecture systems even more bang for the buck.
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