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Hello Windows Server folks,
Today is a big day, Microsoft just confirmed that Windows Server 2019 is in the oven on high temperature, and will be generally available in the second half of calendar year 2018.
The main four areas focus will be on hybrid, security, application platform, and hyper-converged infrastructure. In addition, a preview of Windows Server 2019 is available today for download through the Insiders program.
In Windows Server 2019, Microsoft will focus on four main key areas: Hybrid Cloud, Security, Application Platform, and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI).
We all know that Hybrid Cloud is here to stay, and the move to the public cloud is a journey and often, a hybrid approach, one that combines on-premises and cloud environments working together, is what makes sense to many organizations. As of today, we can extend our Active Directory, synchronize file servers, and backup to the cloud, those are just a few examples of what we are already doing today to extend our services to the public cloud.
At Ignite in September 2017, Microsoft announced the Technical Preview of Project Honolulu – the new management experience for Windows and Windows Server. Project Honolulu is a flexible, lightweight browser-based locally-deployed platform and a solution for management scenarios. Microsoft goals with Project Honolulu is to make it simpler and easier to connect existing deployments of Windows Server to Azure services. With Windows Server 2019 and Project Honolulu, you will be able to easily integrate Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and much more so you will be able to leverage these Azure services without disrupting your applications and infrastructure.
Security continues to be a top priority for everyone. Microsoft continues on this journey to improve the security posture by working on features that bring together learnings from running global-scale datacenters for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and several other online services.
Windows Server 2019 will bring three areas of security on the table – Protect, Detect and Respond.
On the Protect front, Microsoft introduced Shielded VMs in Windows Server 2016, which was enthusiastically received by many organizations. Shielded VMs protect virtual machines (VM) from compromised or malicious administrators in the fabric so only VM admins can access it on known, healthy, and attested guarded fabric. In Windows Server 2019, Shielded VMs will now support Linux VMs. This is big one! The Hyper-V team is are also extending VMConnect to improve troubleshooting of Shielded VMs for Windows Server and Linux. They are adding Encrypted Networks with SDN that will let administrators to encrypt network segments, with a flip of a switch to protect the network layer between servers.
On the Detect and Respond front, in Windows Server 2019, they are embedding Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that provides preventative protection, detects attacks and zero-day exploits among other capabilities, into the operating system.
On the application platform side, Microsoft is also continuing to improve the choices available when it comes to orchestrating Windows Server container deployments. Kubernetes support is currently in beta, and in Windows Server 2019, they are introducing significant improvements to compute, storage, and networking components of a Kubernetes cluster.
Microsoft is also continuing to improve Windows Subsystem on Linux (WSL), they previously extended Windows Subsystem on Linux (WSL) into insider builds for Windows Server, so that you can run Linux containers side-by-side with Windows containers on a Windows Server. In Windows Server 2019, they are continuing on this journey to improve WSL, helping Linux users bring their scripts to Windows while using industry standards like OpenSSH, Curl & Tar.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft introduced the first Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) platform known as Storage Spaces Direct, and in Windows Server 2019, Microsoft is taking a step further by adding scale, performance, and reliability. They are also adding the ability to manage HCI deployments in Project Honolulu, to simplify the management and day-to-day activities on HCI environments.
Storage Spaces Direct is rock solid platform and can recover from unexpected situations. Read below to know more about my real world experience. I strongly recommend you start evaluating this awesome technology if you’re not doing so already.
One thing to note about Windows Server 2019 is that it will be a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release which means that it will be supported for 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support. And the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) release is scheduled to go at the same time as Windows Server 2019 and will bring container innovations and will follow the regular support lifecycle for Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) releases – 18 months.
Last but not least, System Center 2019 is also coming and will support Windows Server 2019.
If you want to evaluate and download Windows Server 2019 preview, you can sign up today for the program which you can find here.
Until then… Stay Tuned!