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Microsoft announce Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 2019 is due for release in the 2nd half of 2018, and the preview is available now via the Insiders program.

What’s new?

Microsoft have identified four key themes:

Hybrid Cloud

Combined with Project Honolulu, Microsoft’s re-imagined Windows Server management experience, Windows Server 2019 aims to make it easier to connect existing on-premises Windows Server installations into Azure. Services such as Backup, File Sync, and Disaster Recovery will be easily available.

Security

Always near the top of an organisation’s priority list, security continues to be a focus in Windows Server 2019.

Shielded VMs (added in Windows Server 2016) will now support Linux VMs while Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) is being embedded into Windows Server 2019 to help prevent and detect attacks.

Application Platform

Microsoft are aiming to reduce the Server Core footprint of 5GB by two thirds, to help dramatically reduce image download times for containers. Continuing the theme, Kubernetes support is currently in beta and Windows Server 2019 will see improvements around compute, storage, and networking within a Kubernetes cluster.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

For organisations looking at Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Microsoft Windows Server 2019 will add scale, reliability, and performance over the current Windows Server 2016 offering. Project Honolulu will also help with management in these situations too.

System Center 2019

It is confirmed that System Center 2019 will be released, although there is no further info now.

Price increases

Right at the end of the Microsoft post, they say this:

It is highly likely we will increase pricing for Windows Server Client Access Licensing (CAL)”

This may well be a (not so) subtle move to push more organisations towards using Microsoft Azure, as Windows Server CALs are not required to access machines hosted in Azure. However, even if an organisation has just 1 on-premises Windows Server 2019, they’ll need the corresponding CALs for all accessing users.

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I’d say now is a good time to start having conversations between the various internal teams – ITAM, Infrastructure, Security, Finance etc. – to decide on a plan of action for renewal time.

Further Reading

Microsoft blog post – https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/20/introducing-windows-server-2019-now-available-in-preview/

Project Honolulu – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/manage/honolulu/honolulu

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About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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