Q. Can I mix deployment types in a Windows Server 2016 cluster?

A. With Windows Server 2016 there are 3 deployment types/configuration levels

  • Server with Desktop Experience
  • Server Core
  • Nano Server

In normal operation and to be blessed by the cluster validation tool all nodes in a cluster should be running the same configuration level, e.g. all Server Core or all Nano Server.

During an upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 or if migrating Windows Server 2016 cluster to a new deployment type, e.g. wanted to move from a cluster of Server Core instances to Nano Server instances it is possible to mix but this should only be for a limited type during upgrades/migrations and not for normal run state.

If you did mix deployment types in a cluster such as Server with Desktop Experience, Server Core and Nano Server you would need to ensure that any workloads in the cluster are supported across the deployment types.