Improve IT Efficiency and Productivity with Windows Server 2016 + Hewlett Packard Enterprise


2017-03-23 Improve IT efficiency and productivity with WS2016 and HPE.jpgEvery day, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to improve the efficiency and productivity of their IT. With more and more time constraints, and more and more financial constraints (especially prevalent in small and midsized businesses), everyone is wondering how to do more with less. HPE Servers + Windows Server 2016 enables improved IT efficiency and productivity, and helps simplify management through many key features. 

Let's take a look at a few of these new features Windows Server 2016 has to offer:

Storage Replica: Do you have customers that are keeping critical business data on just one server (or cluster), in one single location? Does this make them (or you) nervous? Would they like to have the storage volume that is holding their data replicated to another server or cluster in another building but think highly specialized storage solutions with replication capabilities are too expensive? Good news! Storage Replica, part of the Windows Server 2016 Datacenter feature set, unlocks cost efficient data replication between server or cluster volumes running on Windows Server 2016 for peace of mind and business continuity.

Benefit: Helps reduce downtime and increases reliability of business data


Storage Spaces Direct & Quality of Service (QoS): If your customers rely heavily on virtualization to keep their IT operations efficient and flexible, highly available storage for virtual machines is a must have! In the past, this has often meant an equally high price tag for shared storage needs. Storage Spaces Direct now offers the ability to pool locally attached storage from SATA HDDs over SSDs to NVMe drives across cluster nodes into a single storage pool for your VMs. Storage Spaces Direct automatically tiers available drives to ensure SSDs and NVMe drives take the urgent call while HDDs provide cost efficient storage, multiple copies of any file are automatically spread out across cluster nodes to help ensure availability and integrity. NOTE: This feature is available exclusively in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition.

Benefit: Helps manage storage costs by using a broader range of storage options and enables lower-cost, highly available and software-defined hyper-converged private and hybrid cloud solutions


Site-Aware Stretch Clusters: A cornerstone of business continuity, stretch clusters, are basically multiple nodes of one cluster that are in two different locations and local nodes that share a separate set of storage each per location. Both sets of shared storage are synchronously replicated so should cluster nodes and storage go down in one location, the cluster just keeps running with the nodes and replicated storage in the other location. NOTE: This feature relies on Windows Server 2016’s Storage Replica functionality included in the Datacenter SKU.

Benefit: Provides high availability and replication of valuable data and ensures data is available to all nodes in a cluster.


Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade: As a seasoned IT operator, you know about the advantages of a server cluster—like high availability and load balancing—but you probably do not look forward to the day you actually have to upgrade the cluster to a newer OS generation. It used to mean exporting data, shutting the cluster down, install from scratch, create a new cluster, import data—in short, everything but having the data continuously available. NO MORE! With Windows Server 2016’s Cluster Rolling Upgrade, where you can simply upgrade the existing Windows Server 2012 R2 cluster nodes one-by-one to Windows Server 2016, either without going offline or only minimal downtime for certain workloads. Alternatively, taking advantage of HPE’s current lineup of ProLiant servers paired with an HPE OEM Windows Server 2016 OS license, you can simply add new nodes running Windows Server 2016 to your existing Windows Server 2012 R2 based cluster step-by-step and then phase out and retire your older nodes.

Benefit: Helps avoid business disruption due to planned downtime and allows more time for upgrading and testing mix-mode clusters


Want to learn more about Windows Server 2016 and HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server 2016 licensing? Visit: Keep up to date with the latest HPE Server + Microsoft solution news by following Coffee Coaching on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


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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.