Nano Server – The Future of Modern Datacenter

Windows without Windows –

Nano Server is the new headless deployment option for Windows Server 2016. It’s just Headless, but not brain less. 🙂 it’s an excellent solution for modern micro service architecture.

Most of the contents were extracted from Jeffrey Snover interview in Microsoft Mechanics.

The Lightest and Fastest:

The Nano Server is similar to the Windows Server Core mode, but the configuration size of the OS is way smaller compare to GUI one.

Key highlights: What makes Nano server unique?

  • Very few OS updates
  • Faster Reboots (In-fact, very less reboot)
  • Improved resource utilization
  • Install Components what your application needs and nothing else (So less process – Hence quick reboots)
  • Highly customizable
  • No to MSI support, Graphical Stack,  RDP (Highly secured, no much option for attackers :))
  • Fewer ports need to be opened.
  • And its remotely administered server operating system optimized for private clouds and data-centers.
  • Package based installation
    • You can Customize by creating an image or package using PS or DSC – Like,.
      • Hyper- V compute package
      • Web -IIS package
    • Installation of package can be done through either of following ways,
      • Local
      • UNC



And the stats here:


The two main scenarios where NANO solution concentrating are,

  • Cloud and Private Infrastructure
  • Cloud and Application Platform

I have not included the steps on how to do it, since this post is more about exploration.

How do I Install Nano server?

Installation of Nano server is very simple and goes PS way. Import the PS file from 2016 image folder and convert the wim image file to VHD. You are done.

How do I Manage Nano server?

Nano Server is a remotely administered server operating system optimized for private clouds and data centers. Yes, it’s via PowerShell and WMI.

Also, you can remotely manage via existing tools and a new web-based remote management.

Further, offline management can be achieved via the new Nano Server Recovery Console – it’s a local interface.

Local interface will give options to mange the following,

  • Firewall
  • Network Components.

Nano server in Azure?

Microsoft had introduce Azure based remote server management tool, where you can manage nano in Azure portal with very good graphical representation of monitoring components like, CPU, Memory, Network etc.

Including, Device manager for that matter.

Can I install DNS in Nano?

Yes off course, but the DNS server thus created cannot be a domain controller.

The Nano server does not support running a domain controller in Windows Server Technical Preview 4

For more updates on Nano server : Follow the blog