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Server deployment/migration checklist

Originally Published:
Nov 2017

One configuration error or overlooked step can send your server deployment off a cliff. This checklist will help you complete the process efficiently and avoid costly mistakes.

For a comprehensive look at the new features, minimum requirements, and install options offered by Windows Server 2016, check out this Smart Person’s Guide on TechRepublic.

From the guide:

Windows Server 2016 includes several important changes to the core operating system and many new features in an effort to double down on the security of Microsoft's products, as well as the data being used by endpoints. New and upgraded features include the following:

  • Nano Server: Similar to Windows Server Core mode, a Nano Server must be remotely administered, as it provides no local logon capability and only supports 64-bit applications. Nano Server is optimized for use in private clouds and data centers, as well as running web services, such as DNS or IIS.
  • Windows containers: Unlike virtual machines, containers allow for operating system-level virtualization by providing just enough access to the OS, libraries, and underlying resources to host applications in an isolated user-space.
  • Active Directory Domain Services: Privileged Access Management (PAM) helps to address the theft of credentials by working with Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) to protect the Active Directory (AD) forest from accounts with privileged access. Additionally, new processes are in place for requesting administrative access and monitoring of such accounts, including the expiring links feature, which limits the administrative window period based on a specified time frame.
  • Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) continues to provide simple, secure identity federation and Single Sign-On (SSO) between ADFS-secured enterprises and partner organizations. New in 2016 is the ability to authenticate users stored in LDAP or cloud-based providers.
  • Hyper-V introduces hot management of virtual networking adapters and memory for virtual machines. For security-minded administrators, Windows Server 2016 includes shielded virtual machines that minimize tampering with or the theft of data and virtual machine states by encrypting both and preventing the inspection of video signals and disks.
  • Windows Defender: Microsoft's Windows Server Antimalware application is installed by default in Windows Server 2016 in an effort to detect and neutralize malware threats in real-time with automatic updating.
  • Storage Spaces Direct enables the building of high-availability storage from local storage systems, including JBODs stored locally or networked as part of a storage pool.
  • PowerShell 5.0: Continuing the trend towards being Microsoft's de facto management terminal, PowerShell retains its backwards compatibility while introducing new cmdlets and modules for remote management and scripting of clients, servers, and applications.

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