Windows Server 2016 now available on AWS

Earlier this month Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016, and on October 19th Amazon Web Services announced support for the new operating system with several new AMI’s.  According to an announcement by Amazon on their What’s New site, Windows 2016 on AWS will support Windows new containers as well as Docker. Amazon also offers a Nano deployment of Windows 2016 that is optimized to boot faster than Standard Edition and uses much less disk space.

New Windows Server AMIs include Windows Server 2016, Nano Server, Windows Server 2016 with Containers, and Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016. Windows Server 2016 AMIs are available in all AWS regions and on all current instance types.  Amazon also plans to add support for Windows Server 2016 to it’s Amazon ECS by the end of this year.

You can access the new Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for Windows Server 2016, Nano, Server 2016 with SQL, Server 2016 with Containers, as well as Datacenter editions from the Marketplace today with Standard EC2 pricing.

According to the FAQ if you decide to run the new Nano instance keep in mind that this instance is headless and there is no RDP, so all administration must be done via PowerShell remoting via PowerShell CIM over WinRM or via Windows Remote Management.

It also appears that AWS is moving away from EC2Config service with these new AMI’s, as they include an all-new version of the SSM agent that replaces functionality that was previously supported by the EC2Config service. You can get more details for SSM and the other changes in Windows Server 2016 AMI in the User Guide.