Key benefits to Nano include smaller VHD sizes and less updates resulting in less reboots and less downtime. From my testing another one of the key benefits is the memory footprint.
For my tests I ran three Windows Server 2016 TP4 systems: One as a Full operating system, one as Core and one as Nano. Each of these were configured as an A1 system in Azure (1 core with 1.75 GB of memory). To check on the amount of free memory, I used the following command in PowerShell:
typeperf “\Memory\Available Bytes”
The results are best shown graphically – when running just the Operating System in each instance:
- The Full version had 25% of its memory available
- The Core version had 50% of its memory available
- The Nano version had 83% of its memory available!
For full details on this blog post see the full version available at: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2015/12/23/full-nano-and-core-memory-stats-in-server-2016-tp4/