A cool new, but optional feature has landed in Windows Server 2016: Soft Restart. Once installed, it provides the capability to initiate a soft restart, which skips hardware initialisation. In other words, it restarts the operating system without restarting the whole machine. After installation, there are two ways to initiate Soft Restart:

Command Line: shutdown /r /soft /t 0
PowerShell: Restart-Computer -Soft

The new (to be implemented) feature sounds very handy for physical servers with large amounts of memory and/or raid-controllers, eliminating the need to check these components. This will save minutes. This might, in particular, be handy when an unscheduled restart is needed during production hours. Well don’t, Microsoft.