Microsoft is set to make Windows Server 2019 generally available in the second half of the year 2018, opening up access to its preview build through its Insiders program now and targeting data centers with new features to handle hybrid cloud setups and hyperconverged infrastructure.
What’s in Windows Server 2019?
First of all, Microsoft is positioning the integration with Azure by way of Project Honolulu as a better way for managing hybrid cloud scenarios, plus easy integration with services like disaster recovery, Azure Backup, and file sync.
According to Microsoft as well as hybrid, customers drew attention to three other areas of interest in particular (generally in line with wider cloud trends) – these are security, application platform, and hyperconverged infrastructure. For security, Windows 2018 will introduce Linux VM support to the virtual machine fabric protection feature Shielded VMs that first appeared in Server 16, plus improvements to VMConnect, which allows you to connect local resources to VMs. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection will also be embedded in the latest iteration to detect and guard against exploits at the OS level.
Windows Server 2019 Features –
The next version of Windows Server also adds new security features and enhances support for containers and Linux.
- Enterprise-grade hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)
With the release of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft rolls up three years of updates for its HCI platform. That’s because the gradual upgrade schedule Microsoft now uses includes what it calls Semi-Annual Channel releases – incremental upgrades as they become available. Then every couple of years it creates a major release called the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version that includes the upgrades from the preceding Semi-Annual Channel releases.
The LTSC Windows Server 2019 is due out this fall, and is now available to members of Microsoft’s Insider program.
While the fundamental components of HCI (compute, storage and networking) have been improved with the Semi-Annual Channel releases, for organizations building datacenters and high-scale software defined platforms, Windows Server 2019 is a significant release for the software-defined datacenter.
With the latest release, HCI is provided on top of a set of components that are bundled in with the server license. This means a backbone of servers running HyperV to enable dynamic increase or decrease of capacity for workloads without downtime. (For more on Microsoft HCI go here.)
- Extending your Clusters with Cluster Sets
“Cluster Sets” is the new cloud scale-out technology in this Preview release that increases cluster node count in a single SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) cloud by orders of magnitude. A Cluster Set is a loosely-coupled grouping of multiple Failover Clusters: compute, storage or hyper-converged. Cluster Sets technology enables virtual machine fluidity across member clusters within a Cluster Set and a unified storage namespace across the “set” in support of virtual machine fluidity. While preserving existing Failover Cluster management experiences on member clusters, a Cluster Set instance additionally offers key use cases around lifecycle management of a Cluster Set at the aggregate.
- GUI for Windows Server 2019
A surprise for many enterprises that started to roll-out the Semi-Annual Channel versions of Windows Server 2016 was the lack of a GUI for those releases. The Semi-Annual Channel releases only supported ServerCore (and Nano) GUI-less configurations. With the LTSC release of Windows Server 2019, IT Pros will once again get their desktop GUI of Windows Server in addition to the GUI-less ServerCore and Nano releases.
- Project Honolulu
With the release of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft will formally release their Project Honolulu server management tool. Project Honolulu is a central console that allows IT pros to easily manage GUI and GUI-less Windows 2019, 2016 and 2012R2 servers in their environments.
Early adopters have found the simplicity of management that Project Honolulu provides by rolling up common tasks such as performance monitoring (PerfMon), server configuration and settings tasks, and the management of Windows Services that run on server systems. This makes these tasks easier for administrators to manage on a mix of servers in their environment.
- Failover Cluster removing use of NTLM authentication
Windows Server Failover Clusters no longer use NTLM authentication by exclusively using Kerberos and certificate based authentication. There are no changes required by the user, or deployment tools, to take advantage of this security enhancement. It also allows failover clusters to be deployed in environments where NTLM has been disabled. Launch Windows Feedback for Server\Clustering
- Encrypted Network in SDN
Network traffic going out from a VM host can be snooped on and/or manipulated by anyone with access to the physical fabric. While shielded VMs protect VM data from theft and manipulation, similar protection is required for network traffic to and from a VM. While the tenant can setup protection such as IPSEC, this is difficult due to configuration complexity and heterogeneous environments.
Encrypted Networks is a feature which provides simple to configure DTLS-based encryption using the Network Controller to manage the end-to-end encryption and protect data as it travels through the wires and network devices between the hosts It is configured by the Administrator on a per-subnet basis. This enables the VM to VM traffic within the VM subnet to be automatically encrypted as it leaves the host and prevents snooping and manipulation of traffic on the wire. This is done without requiring any configuration changes in the VMs themselves. Try it out hear.
- Improvements in security
Microsoft has continued to include built-in security functionality to help organizations address an “expect breach” model of security management. Rather than assuming firewalls along the perimeter of an enterprise will prevent any and all security compromises, Windows Server 2019 assumes servers and applications within the core of a datacenter have already been compromised.
Windows Server 2019 includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that assess common vectors for security breaches, and automatically blocks and alerts about potential malicious attacks. Users of Windows 10 have received many of the Windows Defender ATP features over the past few months. Including Windows Defender ATP on Windows Server 2019 lets them take advantage of data storage, network transport and security-integrity components to prevent compromises on Windows Server 2019 systems.
- Smaller, more efficient containers
Organizations are rapidly minimizing the footprint and overhead of their IT operations and eliminating more bloated servers with thinner and more efficient containers. Windows Insiders have benefited by achieving higher density of compute to improve overall application operations with no additional expenditure in hardware server systems or expansion of hardware capacity.
Windows Server 2019 has a smaller, leaner Server Core image that cuts virtual machine overhead by 50-80 percent. When an organization can get the same (or more) functionality in a significantly smaller image, the organization is able to lower costs and improve efficiencies in IT investments.
- Windows subsystem on Linux
A decade ago, one would rarely say Microsoft and Linux in the same breath as complimentary platform services, but that has changed. Windows Server 2016 has open support for Linux instances as virtual machines, and the new Windows Server 2019 release makes huge headway by including an entire subsystem optimized for the operation of Linux systems on Windows Server.
The Windows Subsystem for Linux extends basic virtual machine operation of Linux systems on Windows Server, and provides a deeper layer of integration for networking, native file system storage and security controls. It can enable encrypted Linux virtual instances. That’s exactly how Microsoft provided Shielded VMs for Windows in Windows Server 2016, but now native Shielded VMs for Linux on Windows Server 2019.
Enterprises have found the optimization of containers along with the ability to natively support Linux on Windows Server hosts can decrease costs by eliminating the need for two or three infrastructure platforms, and instead running them on Windows Server 2019.
How to Download Windows 2019 Server?
To obtain the Insider software downloads, registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see GETTING STARTED WITH SERVER on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.
This is a significant change that is helping organizations plan their adoption of Windows Server 2019 sooner than orgs may have adopted a major release platform in the past, and with significant improvements for enterprise datacenters in gaining the benefits of Windows Server 2019 to meet security, scalability, and optimized data center requirements so badly needed in today’s fast-paced environments.
Source – Blogs Windows