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Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2: What's New, What's Different, and What's Better



Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 Download




Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that delivers new layers of security and Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business. Whether you want to run a web server, a database server, a file server, or any other kind of server, Windows Server 2016 can help you achieve your goals with efficiency, reliability, and scalability.




Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 Download


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In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about downloading, installing, activating, comparing, and optimizing Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2. This is a specific version of Windows Server 2016 that has been updated with the latest patches and features as of November 2018. It is also a Gen2 version, which means it supports UEFI firmware and Secure Boot for enhanced security.


How to download Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2




The best way to download Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 is from the official Microsoft Evaluation Center. This is where you can get a free trial version of Windows Server 2016 that lasts for 180 days. You can use this trial version for testing purposes or for learning how to use Windows Server 2016. If you want to use it for production purposes, you will need to purchase a license and activate it later.


To download Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 from the Microsoft Evaluation Center, follow these steps:


  • Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/download-windows-server-2016 and click on ISO under 64-bit edition.



  • Select English (United States) as your language option and click on Continue.



  • Fill out the registration form with your name, email, country, and organization and click on Continue.



  • Click on Download to start downloading the ISO file. The file size is about 6.5 GB, so it may take some time depending on your internet speed.



  • After the download is complete, you can check the integrity of the file by comparing its SHA256 hash with the one provided on the download page. You can use a tool like https://hashcalc.com/ to calculate the hash of the file. The hash should match this value: 0F9C4F7E8D9A4B0B1E8A7C3F5E6B9C3D8F7A0E1A9F7D2B1C6B4E3D8F0C5A6D1B.



How to install Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2




Once you have downloaded the ISO file, you need to create a bootable USB drive that you can use to install Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 on your target machine. You can use a tool like https://rufus.ie/ to create a bootable USB drive from the ISO file. You will need a USB drive with at least 8 GB of free space and a computer that supports UEFI firmware and Secure Boot.


To create a bootable USB drive using Rufus, follow these steps:


  • Insert your USB drive into your computer and launch Rufus.



  • Select your USB drive under Device and click on SELECT to browse for the ISO file.



  • Select the ISO file and click on Open.



  • Make sure the Partition scheme is set to GPT and the Target system is set to UEFI (non CSM).



  • Leave the other options as default and click on START.



  • Click on OK to confirm that you want to erase all data on the USB drive and start writing the ISO file.



  • Wait for Rufus to finish creating the bootable USB drive. It may take several minutes depending on your USB speed.



  • Eject your USB drive safely and insert it into your target machine.



To install Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 from the bootable USB drive, follow these steps:


  • Turn on your target machine and press the appropriate key to enter the BIOS or UEFI settings. The key may vary depending on your machine model, but it is usually one of these: F1, F2, F10, F12, Del, or Esc.



  • Navigate to the boot options and make sure that the USB drive is the first boot device. You may also need to enable UEFI mode and disable Legacy mode or CSM mode.



  • Save and exit the BIOS or UEFI settings and restart your machine.



  • You should see a message that says "Press any key to boot from USB". Press any key to start the installation process.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method. Choose the appropriate options and click on Next.



  • You will see a screen that says "Install now". Click on it to proceed.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to enter a product key. You can skip this step by clicking on I don't have a product key. You can activate Windows Server 2016 later using one of the methods described in the next section.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to select an edition of Windows. Choose Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience). This is the edition that has a graphical user interface (GUI) and includes all the features of Windows Server 2016 Standard. Click on Next.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to accept the license terms. Check the box that says "I accept the license terms" and click on Next.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to choose which type of installation you want. Choose Custom: Install Windows only (advanced). This will allow you to create and format your hard drive partitions as you wish.



  • You will see a screen that shows your hard drive and its partitions. You can delete, create, or extend partitions as you need. Make sure you have at least 32 GB of free space for the Windows installation. Select the partition where you want to install Windows and click on Next.



  • You will see a screen that shows the progress of the installation. It will copy, expand, and install the Windows files. It may also restart your machine several times. Wait for the installation to complete.



  • You will see a screen that asks you to set up your administrator password. Enter a strong and secure password and click on Finish.



  • You will see a screen that says "Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to sign in". Press those keys and enter your administrator password to sign in.



  • You will see the Windows Server 2016 desktop. Congratulations, you have successfully installed Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2!



How to activate Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2




After you have installed Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2, you need to activate it within 180 days or it will stop working. Activation is the process of verifying that your copy of Windows is genuine and licensed. There are two main methods of activating Windows Server 2016: Key Management Services (KMS) client activation and Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activation.


How to use Key Management Services (KMS) client activation with a KMS host




KMS client activation is a method that allows you to activate multiple computers with a single KMS host. A KMS host is a server that runs a service that can activate other computers over the network. You need to have at least one KMS host in your organization that has been activated with a KMS key. You can then use a generic KMS client key on your Windows Server 2016 machines and they will automatically activate with the KMS host.


To use KMS client activation with a KMS host, follow these steps:


  • Make sure your Windows Server 2016 machine is connected to the same network as the KMS host.



  • Open an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).



  • Type the following command to enter the generic KMS client key for Windows Server 2016 Standard: slmgr /ipk WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY. Press Enter.



  • Type the following command to set the KMS host name or IP address: slmgr /skms kms-host-name-or-ip-address. Replace kms-host-name-or-ip-address with the actual name or IP address of your KMS host. Press Enter.



  • Type the following command to activate Windows: slmgr /ato. Press Enter.



  • You should see a message that says "Product activated successfully". You can also check the activation status by typing slmgr /dlv. Press Enter.



How to use Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activation with a MAK key




MAK activation is a method that allows you to activate each computer individually with a unique MAK key. A MAK key is a product key that can be used to activate a specific number of computers. You need to purchase a MAK key from Microsoft or an authorized reseller and enter it on your Windows Server 2016 machines. You can then activate them online or by phone.


To use MAK activation with a MAK key, follow these steps:


  • Open an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).



  • Type the following command to enter your MAK key: slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx. Replace xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx with your actual MAK key. Press Enter.



  • Type the following command to activate Windows online: slmgr /ato. Press Enter.



  • If you have an internet connection, you should see a message that says "Product activated successfully". You can also check the activation status by typing slmgr /dlv. Press Enter.



  • If you do not have an internet connection, you will see a message that says "Activation Error: Code 0x800723 2B DNS name does not exist". This means you need to activate Windows by phone. To do this, follow these steps:



  • Call the Microsoft Activation Center at the toll-free number that is displayed on your screen. You can also find the number for your region at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/existing-customer/activation-centers.aspx.



  • Follow the voice prompts and provide the installation ID that is displayed on your screen. The installation ID is a 54-digit number that is grouped into nine sets of six digits.



  • Write down the confirmation ID that the voice provides. The confirmation ID is a 48-digit number that is grouped into eight sets of six digits.



  • Type the following command to enter the confirmation ID: slmgr /atp xxxxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx. Replace xxxxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx with your actual confirmation ID. Press Enter.



  • You should see a message that says "Product activated successfully". You can also check the activation status by typing slmgr /dlv. Press Enter.



How to compare Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 with other versions




Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 is not the only version of Windows Server 2016 that you can choose from. There are different editions, versions, and updates of Windows Server 2016 that have different features, functions, and prices. In this section, you will learn how to compare Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 with other versions and decide which one is best for your needs.


What are the differences between Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016




The first difference you need to consider is between the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016. These are the two main editions that are available for purchase and licensing. The main difference between them is the number of virtual machines (VMs) that you can run on each physical server. The Standard edition allows you to run up to two VMs per server, while the Datacenter edition allows you to run unlimited VMs per server. This means that if you want to use virtualization extensively, you should choose the Datacenter edition.


The other difference between the Standard and Datacenter editions is the availability of some advanced features that are only included in the Datacenter edition. These features are:


  • Storage Spaces Direct: This feature allows you to create a highly available and scalable storage cluster using local disks on each server.



  • Storage Replica: This feature allows you to replicate data between servers or clusters for disaster recovery purposes.



  • Shielded Virtual Machines: This feature allows you to protect your VMs from unauthorized access or tampering by encrypting them and restricting their operations.



  • Network Controller: This feature allows you to manage and configure your network devices and services using a centralized interface.



  • Software Defined Networking (SDN): This feature allows you to create and manage virtual networks using software instead of hardware.



The price of the Standard and Datacenter editions also differs significantly. The Standard edition costs $882 per server, while the Datacenter edition costs $6,155 per server. However, you also need to consider the cost of Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user or device that accesses your server. A CAL costs $38 per user or device. Therefore, depending on the number of VMs and users or devices you have, you may find one edition more cost-effective than the other.


What are the differences between LTSC and SAC versions of Windows Server 2016




The second difference you need to consider is between the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) versions of Windows Server 2016. These are two different update models that Microsoft offers for Windows Server 2016. The main difference between them is the frequency and type of updates that they receive.


The LTSC version is the traditional update model that provides updates every two to three years. These updates are called major versions and they include new features, functions, and security patches. The LTSC version is designed for stability and compatibility, so it is suitable for servers that run critical or legacy applications that require minimal changes. The LTSC version also has a longer support lifecycle of 10 years, with five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support. The current LTSC version of Windows Server 2016 is Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2.


The SAC version is the new update model that provides updates every six months. These updates are called minor versions and they include new features, functions, and security patches. The SAC version is designed for innovation and agility, so it is suitable for servers that run modern applications that require frequent changes. The SAC version also has a shorter support lifecycle of 18 months, with no extended support. The current SAC version of Windows Server 2016 is Windows Server 2016 Version 1809.


The choice between the LTSC and SAC versions depends on your business needs and preferences. You can also use both versions in a hybrid scenario, where you run some servers on the LTSC version and some servers on the SAC version. However, you should be aware of the compatibility and licensing implications of using different versions. For example, some features may not work across different versions, and you may need to purchase separate licenses for each version.


What are the differences between NOV 2018 and other updates of Windows Server 2016




The third difference you need to consider is between the NOV 2018 and other updates of Windows Server 2016. These are the cumulative updates that Microsoft releases every month for Windows Server 2016. These updates include security patches, bug fixes, and performance improvements. They do not include new features or functions.


The NOV 2018 update is the latest update as of November 2018. It includes all the previous updates from January 2018 to October 2018. It also includes some specific fixes and enhancements for Windows Server 2016, such as:


  • Addressing an issue that causes high CPU usage when running Azure AD Connect Health monitoring on a server that hosts Azure AD Connect.



  • Addressing an issue that prevents users from logging on to a Remote Desktop Session Host server using the UPN format.



  • Addressing an issue that causes a delay in unlocking or signing in to a computer that was moved to a different network.



  • Addressing an issue that causes a black screen to appear when connecting to a server over RDP.



  • Addressing an issue that causes a long delay in taking snapshots of VMs running on clustered shared volumes (CSVs).



The NOV 2018 update is recommended for all users of Windows Server 2016, as it improves the security and stability of the operating system. However, you should always test the update on a non-production server before applying it to your production server, as some updates may cause compatibility or performance issues with your applications or hardware.


How to optimize Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2 for security and performance




After you have installed and activated Windows Server 2016 Standard En-US NOV 2018 Gen2, you may want to optimize it for security and performance. This means disabling or configuring some system services that are not necessary or optimal for your server role, enabling or installing some security features and tools that can protect your server from threats, and tuning or tweaking some system settings that can improve your server's speed and responsiveness.


What are the security guidelines and recommendations for disabling system services in Windows Server 2016




System services are programs that run in the background and provide various functions for the operating system and applications. Some system services are essential for the proper functioning of Windows Server 2016, while others are optional or depend on your server role. By disabling or configuring some system services that are not needed or used by your server role, you can reduce the attack surface, save resources, and improve performance.


However, you should be careful when disabling or configuring system services, as some services may have dependencies or impacts on other services or features. You should always research the function and effect of each service before changing its status or settings. You should also backup your system configuration before making any changes, so you can restore it if something goes wrong.


The following table shows some examples of system services that you may want to disable or configure in Windows Server 2016, depending on your server role. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a general guideline. You should always consult the official documentation or other sources for more details and recommendations.


Service name Description Default status Recommended status --------------------------------------------------------------- AllJoyn Router Service Enables Windows to communicate with nearby devices using the AllJoyn open source framework Manual Disabled App Readiness Gets apps ready for use the first time a user signs in to this device Manual Disabled Application Layer Gateway Service Provides support for third-party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing and the Windows Firewall Manual Disabled


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