Did you know that you can virtualize your Windows Server 2016 Essentials? Instead of hacking into Windows Server Essentials itself and using that as a Hyper-V host we go ahead and do it the official way and download Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 for free. Some administrators don’t like a server without a GUI (server core) but it has a lot of benefits compared to a full blown server with the GUI and roles installed.

  • It requires less resources.
  • It is more secure because the attack surface is smaller.
  • Reduced management.
  • Requires much less updates from Windows Update so less reboots needed.

For managing the Server Core with Hyper-V only we use a normal workstation with Windows 10 + RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools). OK, admitted it is a little bit more complicated but it outweighs the benefits!

If you want to learn more Hyper-V Server 2016 I suggest What’s new in Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016 at Technet. Probably most important new feature is Windows PowerShell Direct. This allows you to run Windows PowerShell commands in a virtual machine from the host without an actual network connection. More reading here Manage Windows virtual machines with PowerShell Direct