Nano Server Survival Guide

Sorry, I have been quite busy lately that I have not been blogging. Why? I have been consolidating alot of information about Nano Server developments from multiple different official sites and documenting their links into the most recently updated Nano Server Survival Guide article in TechNet Wiki. Yes, it is originally a stub article published back last year and had never been worked on since Nano Server has limited information out there. And that was when I decided to say, what the heck? Let me publish a few TechNet Wiki articles and I will come back to this original Nano Server Survival Guide TechNet Wiki stub article later. Hopefully, I can prepare this article before Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta. That is how my TechNet Wiki articles adventure begun…

You can either view this article from the Microsoft TechNet Wiki which may have any improvement updates by the TechNet community on the link below:

Or carry on reading this page on the original article that was published but may not be containing most up to date information.

The Original TechNet Wiki Article on Nano Server Survival Guide

1. Introduction

What is a survival guide? It’s a page created as a pointer to information on the web. You can use the information below to learn the fundamentals of the Microsoft Nano Server and share information with other community members. Resources are categorized based on the type of content (video, training, blog article, etc.) as well as the age of the content, with the most recent articles listed at the top of the list, generally speaking.

Please add useful articles and training resources you find are not already in the lists below.

NOTE: The “collection of links” blog articles have been intentionally left out as they simply point to subsets of the resources shared here. To keep the resources here lean and relevant, it will be helpful to simply put direct resource links here to prevent sending visitors into a “content loop” where the encounter the same links repeatedly.


2. Background

Windows Server 2016 offers a new installation option: Nano Server. It has no drivers, roles or features installed by default and does not show up as an installation option in Windows Server 2016. Nano Server is the future of Windows Server, it is optimized for cloud and follow the minimum footprint principle where the installations image must be customized first. Other server roles will come consecutively and that is why the experts recommend you to start looking into Nano Server as as soon as possible. This means that you cannot interactively log onto a Nano Server and you need to manage it remotely.

Nano Server is a remotely administered server operating system optimized for private clouds and datacenters. It is similar to Windows Server in Server Core mode, but significantly smaller, has no local logon capability, and only supports 64-bit applications, tools, and agents. It takes up far less disk space, sets up significantly faster, and requires far fewer updates and restarts than Windows Server. When it does restart, it restarts much faster. The Nano Server installation option is available for Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016.

Nano Server is ideal for a number of scenarios:

  • As a “compute” host for Hyper-V virtual machines, either in clusters or not
  • As a storage host for Scale-Out File Server
  • As a DNS server
  • As a web server running Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • As a host for applications that are developed using cloud application patterns and run in a container or virtual machine guest operating system


3. Product Documentation


4. Training Resources from Microsoft

4.1. Microsoft Virtual Academy

Course on the Microsoft Virtual Academy website:

4.1.1 Videos from the above course (on channel 9)


4.2. How-to Videos (Channel 9)

The following how-to videos on Channel 9 take viewers through the initial on-boarding process.

4.2.1. Getting started


4.2.2. Advanced


4.3. How-to Videos (External)


5. Webinars

Webinars sorted by source (MS or community).

Microsoft Webinar Links:

Community Webinar Links


6. Articles

The following lists of blog articles are group by Microsoft resources, followed by community resources. Newer resources should be placed at the top of the list.

6.1. Microsoft TechNet Blog – Nano Server


6.2. Microsoft TechNet Blog – Windows Server


6.3. Microsoft IIS Blog – Nano


6.4. TechNet Wiki Links


6.3. Community Links


7. White Papers


8. Tools


9. Social Media


10. See Also