Compare features in Windows Server versions


Performance and scalability

Feature description

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 Standard and Datacenter

Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter

Physical (host) memory support

Up to 4 TB per physical server

Up to 24 TB per physical server (6x)

Physical (host) logical processor support

Up to 320 LPs

Up to 512 LPs

Virtual machine memory support

Up to 1 TB per virtual machine

Up to 12 TB per virtual machine (12x)

Virtual machine virtual processor support

Up to 64 VPs per virtual machine

Up to 240 VPs per virtual machine (3.75x)

Security

Level of support key

Not supported Not supported    Limited support Limited support    Fully supported Fully supported

Feature description 

Windows Server 2008 R2 

Windows Server 2012 R2 

Windows Server 2016 

 Shielded Virtual Machines  Not supported Not supported  Fully supported
 Just Enough Administration  Fully supported  Fully supported  Fully supported
 Just-in-Time Administration  Limited support  Fully supported  Fully supported
 Credential Guard  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 Remote Credential Guard  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 Device Guard  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 AppLocker  Limited support  Fully supported  Fully supported
 Windows Defender  Limited support  Limited support  Fully supported
 Control Flow Guard  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Enhanced threat detection  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported

Software-defined datacenter: Compute

Level of support key

Not supported Not supported    Limited support Limited support    Fully supported Fully supported

Feature description

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

Cluster OS Rolling Upgrade  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Linux and FreeBSD workloads  Limited support  Limited support  Fully supported
Hot add and remove for disk, memory, and network  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported
RDS RemoteFX vGPU  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported
Server management tools  Limited support  Limited support  Fully supported
Nano Server installation option  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
VM Load Balancing  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported

Software-defined datacenter: Networking

Level of support key

Not supported Not supported    Limited support Limited support    Fully supported Fully supported

Feature description

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

Network Controller  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Microsegmentation  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Software Load Balancer  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported

Software-defined datacenter: Storage

Level of support key

Not supported Not supported    Limited support Limited support    Fully supported Fully supported

Feature description 

Windows Server 2008 R2 

Windows Server 2012 R2 

Windows Server 2016 

 Storage Spaces Direct  Not supported Not supported  Fully supported
 Storage Quality of Service  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported
 Data deduplication  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported
 Storage Replica  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 Storage health monitoring  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 High performance NVMe device support  Not supported  Fully supported  Fully supported
 Persistent Memory for maximun Application Performance  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
 Scale Out File Server  Not supported  Limited support  Fully supported
 VM Storage Resiliency  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported

Cloud-ready application platform

Level of support key

Not supported Not supported    Limited support Limited support    Fully supported Fully supported

Feature description

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server containers  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Hyper-V containers  Not supported  Not supported  Fully supported
Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration  Fully supported  Fully supported  Fully supported
Windows PowerShell 5.1 Fully supported Fully supported Fully supported