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Amazon EC2 Adds Windows Server 2016 Support

The latest version of Microsoft's server operating system can now be deployed on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Windows Server 2016 became generally available earlier this month, with Microsoft touting the product as a new phase in its hybrid cloud vision. It features several key enhancements over previous releases, including built-in support for Docker and Windows containers, as well as a new small-footprint deployment option called "Nano Server."

According to an announcement from Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Wednesday, EC2 now supports both the Windows Server 2016 Nano Server and Windows Server 2016 with Containers configurations.

In addition, it also supports Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 Datacenter with Desktop Experience.

Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for these versions are available in all EC2 instance types and in all AWS regions, the company said.

AWS also plans to add support for Windows containers in its Amazon EC2 Container Service by year's end.

"By running Windows Server 2016 on Amazon EC2, you can combine the scale, performance and elasticity of AWS with the powerful new capabilities in this newest version of Windows Server," AWS said in its announcement.

AWS evangelist Jeff Barr noted in a blog post that Windows Server 2016 requires a minimum of 2GB of memory. Standard EC2 pricing applies to Windows Server 2016, he added.

AWS notes a few other caveats that customers should keep in mind in this FAQ. For example, using the EC2 console is a little different for Nano Server:

For Nano Server, Get Instance Screenshot and System Log views are supported, however given Nano Server is headless, Connect via RDP is not. Instead, users can administer a running Nano Server instance via PowerShell remoting, via PowerShell CIM sessions over WinRM, or via Windows Remote Management.

In addition, a new Simple Systems Management (SSM) agent in the Windows Server 2016 AMIs supplants the older EC2Config service, according to the FAQ:

Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server AMIs feature an all-new version of the SSM agent that replaces the functionality previously supported by the EC2Config service, thereby eliminating the need for EC2Config. With these enhancements, SSM agent now supports a number of advanced settings and launch-time configurations.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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