Chapter 1. Install Windows Servers in host and computer environments

Many Windows Server books take the approach of teaching you every detail about the
product. Such books end up being huge and tough to read. Not to mention that remembering
everything you read is incredibly challenging. That’s why those books aren’t the best
choice for preparing for a certification exam such as the Microsoft Exam 70-740,
“Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016.” For this book, we focus
on your review of the Windows Server skills that you need to maximize your chances of
passing the exam. Our goal is to cover all of the skills measured on the exam, while
bringing a real-world focus to the information. This book shouldn’t be your only resource
for exam preparation, but it can be your primary resource. We recommend combining the
information in this book with some hands-on work in a lab environment (or as part of your
job in a real-world environment).
The 70-740 exam is geared toward IT professionals who have a minimum of 3 years of
experience working with Windows Server. That doesn’t mean you can’t take and pass the
exam with less experience, but it probably means that it will be harder. Of course,
everyone is different. It is possible to get the knowledge and skills required to pass the 70-
740 exam in fewer than 3 years. But whether you are a senior-level Windows Server
administrator or just a couple of years into your Windows Server journey, we think you’ll
find the information in this book valuable as your primary exam prep resource.
This book covers every major topic area found on the exam, but it does not cover every
exam question. Only the Microsoft exam team has access to the exam questions, and
Microsoft regularly adds new questions to the exam, making it impossible to cover specific
questions. You should consider this book a supplement to your relevant real-world
experience and other study materials. If you encounter a topic in this book that you do not
feel completely comfortable with, use the “Need more review?” links you’ll find in the text
to find more information and take the time to research and study the topic. Great
information is available on MSDN, TechNet, and in blogs and forums.
Organization of this book
This book is organized by the “Skills measured” list published for the exam. The “Skills
measured” list is available for each exam on the Microsoft Learning website: Each chapter in this book corresponds to a major topic area in the
list, and the technical tasks in each topic area determine a chapter’s organization. If an
exam covers six major topic areas, for example, the book will contain six chapters.
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for more information. Some of these addresses (also known as URLs) can be painstaking to
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Download the list at
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Important: How to use this book to study for the exam
Certification exams validate your on-the-job experience and product knowledge. To gauge
your readiness to take an exam, use this Exam Ref to help you check your understanding of
the skills tested by the exam. Determine the topics you know well and the areas in which
you need more experience. To help you refresh your skills in specific areas, we have also
provided “Need more review?” pointers, which direct you to more in-depth information
outside the book.
The Exam Ref is not a substitute for hands-on experience. This book is not designed to
teach you new skills.
We recommend that you round out your exam preparation by using a combination of
available study materials and courses. Learn more about available classroom training at Microsoft Official Practice Tests are available for
many exams at You can also find free online courses and live
events from Microsoft Virtual Academy at
This book is organized by the “Skills measured” list published for the exam. The “Skills
measured” list for each exam is available on the Microsoft Learning website:
Note that this Exam Ref is based on this publicly available information and the author’s
experience. To safeguard the integrity of the exam, authors do not have access to the exam
Chapter 1. Install Windows Servers in host and compute
Windows Server 2016 provides administrators with a variety of ways to deploy servers.
You can install the operating system on a physical computer, as always, but you can also
create a virtual deployment, using Hyper-V virtual machines and also the new Nano Server
installation option.
Important Have you read page xix?
It contains valuable information regarding the skills you need to pass the
Skills in this chapter:
Install, upgrade, and migrate servers and workloads
Install and configure Nano Server
Create, manage, and maintain images for deployment
Skill 1.1: Install, upgrade, and migrate servers and workloads
There is more to installing Windows Server 2016 than running a setup wizard. Deploying
servers, however you choose to do it, requires careful planning before you touch any
hardware. This planning includes selecting the proper operating system edition and the best
installation option for your organization’s needs. If you have existing servers running prior
Windows Server versions, you must decide how to upgrade or migrate them to Windows
Server 2016.
This section covers how to:
Determine Windows Server 2016 installation requirements
Determine appropriate Windows Server 2016 editions per workloads
Install Windows Server 2016
Install Windows Server 2016 features and roles
Install and configure Windows Server Core
Manage Windows Server Core installations using Windows PowerShell,
command line, and remote management capabilities
Implement Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) to
install and maintain integrity of installed environments
Perform upgrades and migrations of servers and core workloads from
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016
Determine the appropriate activation model for server installation, such as
Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA), Key Management Service
(KMS), and Active Directory-based Activation
Determine Windows Server 2016 installation requirements
Planning a Windows Server 2016 installation requires several important decisions that
affect not only the initial deployment of the server, but also its ongoing maintenance. While
the Windows installation process is relatively simple, there are options to be considered
both before you purchase the server hardware and the operating system, and after the initial
installation is complete.
Some of the questions you must consider when planning a server deployment are as
Which Windows Server 2016 edition should you install? Microsoft provides
Windows Server 2016 in several editions, which vary in the features they include,
the resources they support, and the cost of the license. The details of the editions are
described later in this chapter.
Which installation option should you use? Most of the Windows Server 2016
editions include two installation options: Desktop Experience and Server Core.
Desktop Experience includes all of the Windows features and a full graphical user
interface (GUI). Server Core has a minimal user interface and a significantly reduced
resource footprint, so it can utilize less memory and disk space than a Desktop
Experience installation. There is also a third installation option, Nano Server, which
requires an even smaller resource footprint, but this option does not appear in the
initial installation wizard; you deploy Nano Server later, using Windows
Which roles and features does the server need? The type and number of roles and
features you plan to install can greatly affect the hardware resources the server will
need, as well as the edition you purchase. For example, complex roles such as
Active Directory Certificate Services and Failover Clustering typically require
additional resources and are not available in all editions. Third-party applications
also affect resource utilization.
What virtualization strategy should you use? The increased emphasis on
virtualization in enterprise networking has profoundly altered the server deployment
process. The ease with which administrators can migrate virtual machines from one
host server to another has led then to consider not only what roles the physical server
runs, but what roles could be needed on any virtual servers it is hosting. It is also
important to consider what resources could be required if a server has to host
additional virtual machines during a disaster situation.
By answering these questions, you can begin to determine what resources a server will
need. Microsoft publishes minimum hardware requirements for a Windows Server 2016
installation, but it is difficult to predict just what resources a server will need to run
efficiently, once you have installed all of the roles, features, and applications it requires to
Minimum hardware requirements
If your computer does not meet the following minimum hardware specifications, Windows
Server 2016 will not install correctly (or possibly not install at all):
Processor: 1.4-GHz 64-bit
RAM: 512 MB ECC for Server Core, 2 GB ECC for Server with Desktop
Disk space: 32 GB minimum on a SATA or comparable drive
Network adapter: Ethernet, with gigabit throughout
Monitor: Super VGA (1024 x 768) or higher resolution
Keyboard and mouse (or other compatible pointing device)
Internet access
32 GB of available disk space should be considered the absolute minimum. A minimal
Server Core installation with only the Web Server (IIS) role added should install
successfully in 32 GB, but using the Desktop Experience installation option and installing
additional roles will require more storage.
Windows Server 2016 does not support the use of the ATA, PATA, IDE, or EIDE
interfaces for boot, page, or data drives. The system partition also needs additional space
if you install the system over a network or if the computer has more than 16 GB of RAM.
The additional disk space is required for paging, hibernation, and dump files.
Note Installing a Minimum Hardware Configuration
A Windows Server 2016 installation on a virtual machine with the minimum
single processor core and 512 MB of RAM fails. However, you can allocate
more memory for the installation and then reduce it 512 MB afterwards, and
the operating system runs.
Maximum hardware and virtualization limits
Virtualization has complicated the issue of the maximum hardware configurations
supported by Windows Server 2016. It’s no longer a simple matter of how many
processors, how much memory, and largest possible disk size. While processor maximums
were at one time measured in the number of sockets, now they refer to numbers of cores
and logical processors. There are now also different maximums for physical and virtual
machines in some resources.
The maximum hardware configurations for Windows Server 2016 are as follows:
Processors A server host supports up to 512 logical processors (LPs) if Hyper-V is
Memory Up to 24 terabytes per host server and up to 12 terabytes per virtual
VHDX size Up to 64 terabytes.
Virtual machines Up to 1,024 per host server.
Virtual machine processors Up to 240 per virtual machine.
Note Understanding LPs
Intel processors have a feature called hyperthreading, which enables a single
core to process two threads simultaneously when Hyper-V is running. Thus,
an Intel processor is considered to have two LPs per core when Hyper-V is
running and one LP per core when it is not. In an AMD processor with
multiple cores, each core is equivalent to one LP.
Determine appropriate Windows Server 2016 editions per workloads
Windows Server 2016 is available in multiple editions, with varying prices and features.
To select an edition for your server deployment, you should consider the following
What roles and features will you need to run on the server?
How will you obtain licenses for the servers?
Will you be running Windows Server 2016 on virtual or physical machines?
The current trend in server deployment is to use relatively small servers that perform a
single task, rather than large servers that perform many tasks. In cloud deployments,
whether public, private, or hybrid, it is common to see virtual machines performing one
role, such as a web server or a DNS server. It is for this reason that Microsoft introduced
the Server Core installation option in Windows Server 2008 and Nano Server in Windows
Server 2016, so that virtual machines could function with a smaller resource footprint.
Before you choose an installation option, however, you must select the appropriate
Windows Server 2016 edition for the server workload you intend to implement. The
Windows Server 2016 editions are as follows:
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter The Datacenter edition is intended for large and
powerful servers in a highly virtualized environment. The license allows for an
unlimited number of operating system environments (OSEs) or Hyper-V containers.