HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ Series- Part 4: Windows Server 2016 Basics

Windows Server logo.jpgMicrosoft® Windows Server® 2016 is a scalable and adaptive operating system designed to support the most demanding workloads, provide enterprise-level security for your customers’ IT infrastructures, and enable cloud migration at their own pace. HPE offers several editions of Windows Server 2016 as an HPE OEM license. Read on to see the top Windows Server 2016 frequently asked questions (and answers).


1. What is new with Windows Server 2016?
Windows Server 2016 brings cloud-ready and hybrid-cloud capabilities to the data center, giving customers the platform they need to gain and maintain competitive advantage and drive business value. Improvements to management capabilities, networking, storage, and security options give customers the added flexibility they need to meet ever changing business requirements. Additional platform features, such as Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V containers, increase application speed and agility and further bolster security.


2. What editions of Windows Server 2016 are available?
The Windows Server 2016 editions have been streamlined to better support today's changing business requirements. Windows Server 2016 is available in the following editions:

- Windows Server 2016 Datacenter: For companies of all sizes that have demanding IT workloads and require advanced storage, virtualization, and application deployment

- Windows Server 2016 Standard: Suitable for on premise, physical environments or minimally virtualized environments that require a flexible path toward virtualization

- Windows Server 2016 Essentials: Ideal for smaller businesses with up to 25 users or 50 devices; companies that may only have basic IT needs or have limited IT resources. Essentials edition is a good option for customers currently using the Windows Server Foundation edition, which is not available for Windows Server 2016.

Each of these Windows Server 2016 editions are available from HPE through an HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server license. The Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft partnership combines technologies to help businesses reach their full potential and operate with increased agility, extra layers of security, and higher resiliency and performance. HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server 2016 paired with HPE Servers, storage, and networking solutions provides the technology that helps your customers reach their business goals.

3. How has licensing changed with Windows Server 2016?
The licensing of Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter editions has shifted from processor-based (processor + CALs) to physical core-based (cores + CALs). This aligns the licensing of private and public cloud environments to a consistent currency and simplifies licensing across multi-cloud infrastructures.

Windows Server 2016 customers who are licensing servers with up to two processor and eight cores or less per processor will pay approximately the same amount as they did when licensing Windows Server 2012 R2 based on the two-processor licensing model. The Standard edition of Windows Server 2016 licenses up to two Virtual Machines (VMs) or two Hyper-V containers when all of the physical cores on the server are licensed. For more specifics on core-based licensing, see the HPE Windows Server 2016 licensing datasheet.

Windows Server 2016 Essentials edition continues with the processor-based licensing for platforms with up to two processors and a maximum of 25 users or 50 devices. No Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) are required. 


Licensing model

CAL requirement

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter


Windows Server CAL

Windows Server 2016 Standard


Windows Server CAL

Windows Server 2016 Essentials


No CAL required


Have more questions about Windows Server 2016? Check out the full FAQ, “HPE FAQ for Microsoft OEM licensing—Windows Server”, leave a question below for us to answer, or check out the other blogs in our FAQ Series:
HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ- Part 1: Licensing Overview
HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ- Part 2: OEM Licensing Basics
HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ- Part 3: Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity (COA)

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About the Author


Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.