Because Microsoft has shifted to a more gradual upgrade of Windows Server, many of the features that will become available with Windows Server 2019 have already been in use in live corporate networks, and here are half a dozen of the best.
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.
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.
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 ServerCore 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.
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