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Until now, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 have got a similar build evolution during the years. But Windows 10 seems to maintain this trend of continuous improvements, Windows Server instead need a new name…

Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2019 will be generally available in the second half of calendar year 2018. Starting now, you can access the preview build through our Insiders program.

Windows Server 2019 is built on the strong foundation of Windows Server 2016 – which continues to see great momentum in customer adoption. Windows Server 2016 is the fastest adopted version of Windows Server, ever!

Windows Server 2019 will be an evolution of previous platform, with the new Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) to support this version for 10 years.

Windows Server 2019 will bring numerous innovations on four themes: Hybrid, Security, Application Platform, and Hyper-converged infrastructure.

Hybrid cloud

No surprise that Windows Server 2019 will use Project Honolulu, announced at Ignite in September 2017 as a Technical Preview.

Project Honolulu is a flexible, lightweight browser-based locally-deployed platform and a solution for management scenarios; the idea is to make it simpler and easier to connect existing deployments of Windows Server to Azure services.

With Windows Server 2019 and Project Honolulu, customers will be able to easily integrate Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, disaster recovery, and much more so they will be able to leverage these Azure services without disrupting their applications and infrastructure.

Probably the idea of a web based interface it’s also to permit a better integration with other components and other cloud management platform.

Of course, another option is just using PowerShell or use the new System Center: System Center 2019 is coming and will support Windows Server 2019.

Security

The number of cyber-security incidents continue to grow, and the impact of these incidents is escalating quickly. A Microsoft study shows that attackers take, on average, just 24-48 hours to penetrate an environment after infecting the first machine. In addition, attackers can stay in the penetrated environment – without being noticed – for up to 99 days on average, according to a report by FireEye/Mandiant.

Microsoft approach to security is three-fold – Protect, Detect and Respond. And of course, they bring security features in all three areas in Windows Server 2019.

On the Protect front, there is already the Shielded VMs in Windows Server 2016. 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. Also there is VMConnect to improve troubleshooting of Shielded VMs for Windows Server and Linux. By adding Encrypted Networks that will let admins encrypt network segments, with a flip of a switch to protect the network layer between servers.

On the Detect and Respond front, Windows Server 2019 include Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that provides preventative protection, detects attacks and zero-day exploits among other capabilities, into the operating system. This gives customers access to deep kernel and memory sensors, improving performance and anti-tampering, and enabling response actions on server machines.

Application Platform

Two key aspects to call out for the developer community are improvements to Windows Server containers and Windows Subsystem on Linux (WSL).

Since the introduction of containers in Windows Server 2016, tens of millions of container images have been downloaded from the Docker Hub. In Windows Server 2019, the goal is to reduce the Server Core base container image to a third of its current size of 5 GB. This will reduce download time of the image by 72%, further optimizing the development time and performance.

Also Microsoft is 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.

Another aspect is the Windows Subsystem on Linux (WSL) into insider builds for Windows Server, so that customers can run Linux containers side-by-side with Windows containers on a Windows Server. Windows Server 2019 is 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)

HCI is one of the latest trends in the server industry today. According to IDC, the HCI market grew 64% in 2016 and Gartner says it will be a $5 billion market by 2019. This trend is primarily because customers understand the value of using x86 servers with high performant local disks to run their compute and storage needs at the same time. In addition, HCI gives the flexibility to easily scale such deployments.

Windows Server 2016 already permit the Windows Server Software Defined with the S2D feature. Windows Server 2019 will adding scale, performance, and reliability and, of course, the ability to manage HCI deployments in Project Honolulu, to simplify the management and day-to-day activities on HCI environments.

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Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2849 Posts)

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-18. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-18. Nutanix NTC 2014-18. PernixPro 2014-16. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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