Why is Server 2016 Standard not available as an Azure Image? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    We're just venturing into Azure, and the first thing we want to do is create images with Server 2016 standard. Except to our surprise it isn't available. The only version on offer is the Datacentre edition which is overkill for what we need right now.

    This means that i have to build my own image, go through a bunch of hoops prepping the image for Azure, convert it to a VHD and upload it as a custom image.

    Does anyone know why this is? There must be a reason?

    I searched the forums, and found another poster asking the same question (although it wasn't answered) 


    TIA for any thoughts?

    Thursday, February 21, 2019 2:37 PM

All replies

  • As you mentioned we do not offer 2016 standard as a marketplace image. 

    There are always business decisions that are made when deploying images to the marketplace. Such as what each version is capable of and what the majority of users are looking for in Azure. 

    If you take a look at this doc: 


    It goes over the differences between standard and datacenter editions. 

    Few things to note that are different:




    Can be used as virtualization guest

    Yes; 2 virtual machines, plus one Hyper-V host per license

    Yes; unlimited virtual machines, plus one Hyper-V host per license

    Network Controller




    Yes (Windows containers unlimited; Hyper-V containers up to 2)

    Yes (All container types unlimited)

    Host Guardian Hyper-V Support



    Storage replica



    Software Defined Networked



    Storage Spaces Direct



    I am not sure all of these will make much of a difference but some important ones are Virtualization and Containers. The differences between the Standard Version and Datacenter version when it comes to these topics is important. Many users use 2016 with containers and for nested virtualization. Using the Datacenter edition allows for less constraints and will limit the number of issues these kind of users might encounter if they were to use standard edition. 

    I am sure there are other reasons as to why but this is a clear example of some of the reasons we offer datacenter out of the box but not standard. 

    As you mentioned, you can still use standard if you like by uploading an image. But all in all, using the datacenter image will allow you more flexibility down the line if needed. 

    Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:58 PM
  • There is a place for Datacenter Edition of course, and i'm aware of the differences highlighted.

    Sure many are using it for nested virtualisation and containers, but just as many, if not more are using it as an application server where Standard Edition works just fine (and is of course cheaper in licensing terms).

    It just seems strange not to offer Standard Edition as I would think it would be the more commonly required platform, and i've seen a fair few posts grumbling about it.

    Oh well, thanks for the reply anyway :-) 

    Thursday, February 21, 2019 8:28 PM
  • This article may provide part of the reason:
    So it seems that you can't use Accelerated Networking on your Azure VMs if running 2016 Standard.  Only Datacenter is supported.

    Thursday, December 12, 2019 10:59 AM
  • So does Microsoft expect most customers will need to buy the more expensive version?  Anything short of that and you are on your own for creating?


    • Edited by DaveBryan37 Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:48 PM
    Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:47 PM