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Categories: Containers Linux Microsoft

@Microsoft touted new #Windows Server 2019 features around #cloud and #containers, but some IT professionals want to see how the new operating system handles more nitty-gritty tasks.

The first Windows Server 2019 preview included new capabilities around hybrid cloud computing, security, application development and Active Directory. It also boasted an improved in-place upgrade feature and raised concerns about price increases.

If the in-place upgrades work as well in the new version as they did in Windows Server 2016, that might nudge some users on older Windows Server versions to make the switch, said Didier Van Hoye, a technical architect based in Belgium and a Hyper-V MVP.

“Many of our customers still cannot treat their servers as cattle,” Van Hoye said. “They have their holy cows, so to speak. If they can move with this in-place upgrade, and if Windows Server 2019 has great application compatibility, then that is a tremendous benefit.”

Microsoft delivered a test version of Windows Server 2019 last week and said general availability will come in the second half of this year. IT professionals can download the Windows Server 2019 preview build when they sign up for the Windows Insider Program for Business.

Windows Server 2019 features for virtualization and storage

Windows Server 2019 adds a new scale-out failover feature, dubbed cluster sets, which aims to increase availability and flexibility to shift VMs across other clusters. These will reduce the risks associated with building a large failover cluster on a single domain, Van Hoye said.  

“It’s normally better to have multiple clusters instead of just one giant cluster. But then, of course, you lose some capabilities,” Van Hoye said. “Cluster sets take away those limitations and give you the same virtual machine mobility and ease of migration you have within a cluster.”

The preview release boosts the node count by orders of magnitude, Microsoft said. Windows Server 2016 capped the nodes per cluster at 64.

Other notable storage improvements in this release are deduplication with Resilient File System – which gives the relatively new file system feature parity with NTFS — and increased capacity with Storage Spaces Direct software-defined storage, said Jeff Woolsey, principal program manager for Windows Server at Microsoft.

The Windows Server 2019 preview build adds shielded VMs for Linux — a feature Windows Server 2016 introduced for Windows VMs. It also includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Exploit Guard to block malware attacks on server hosts and an encrypted networks function to safeguard data as it travels between VMs and hosts.

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