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The next release of Windows family is really close and a technical preview (both for the client and the server OS) is already available for the download. Of course it’s one of the main theme of the TechEd Europe and will be one of the hot topics on the MVP Summit on next week.
Of course the new Windows Server (actually named Windows Server 10 on some sites, but probably renamed in Windows Server 2015) has a lot of new features and improvements that are covered on a dedicated TechNet page. Note that this list may be not complete yet… until the RC of the the final product.
This week I’ll attend at the MVP Global Summit, held in Bellevue & Redmond from November 3 to 6, and will be a great opportunity to learn more about the new releases and their features.
But which are the most interesting news the next wave that, of course, apply also to the next release of Hyper-V?
Some are really important in the virtualization area and seems obvious steps compared to other hypervisors:
- New virtual machine configuration file format will help in handle better the configuration that now is in binary file (the reason is related on the integrity of the file that could be better provided using a binary format). Maybe I don’t 100% in this choice (a text file could be easy to be manually fixed if something goes wrong)… but I understand that a binary format could provide some advantages.
- Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory seems nothing new compared to VMware ESXi features (NICs hot add and remove was introduced in vSphere 4.0) but could be an important step to make VMs more flexible. Both features require generation 2 of VMs, but memory hot add will also require latest version of guest OSes (and note that is not dynamic memory, because can work also without it).
- Rolling Hyper-V Cluster Upgrade is another necessary feature that sound a standard in other solutions. Will simplify the upgrade process of a Microsoft cluster and actually seems that the Hyper-V cluster still rely on Failover cluster features… So could be really important both for the virtualized environments and also for the Microsoft clustered environments (like the Scale-Out File Server).
- Storage quality of service (QoS) will permit to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage performance is automatically readjusted to meet policies as the storage load fluctuates. It’s something interesting that will deserve a more detailed post
- Storage Replica (SR) this feature will enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes ensuring zero data loss at the file system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss. VM replication was already present in previous versions, but this is something more.
- Network Controller is a new server role in Windows Server® Technical Preview designed to be a highly available and scalable server role that provides the point of automation that allows you to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot the following aspects of a datacenter stamp or cluster. Seems a Microsoft’s reply to VMware NSX (not yet at same value, but could be an interesting first step).
As written this list may be not yet complete and, considering that there are some NDA sessions, will be really interesting see what is not (yet) announced.
For more information on the news of the next Windows Server release see also:
- What’s New in Hyper-V in Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of the Hyper-V role in Windows Server Technical Preview, Client Hyper-V running on Windows 10 Technical Preview, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview.
- What’s New in Storage Services in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Storage Services. An update in storage quality of service now enables you to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage Replica is a new feature that enables synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability.
- What’s New in Networking in Windows Server Technical Preview. With this topic you can discover information about new networking technologies, such as Network Controller and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Tunneling, and new features for existing technologies, including IP Address Management (IPAM), DNS, and DHCP.
- What’s New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Failover Clustering. A Hyper-V or Scale-out File Server failover cluster can now easily be upgraded without any downtime or need to build a new cluster with nodes that are running Windows Server Technical Preview.