TL;DR Webinar Report: What’s New in Windows Server version 1709, and Intel Select Solutions

As some of you may have heard, there’s been lots of commotion about Storage Spaces Direct being dropped from Windows Server’s latest build, version 1709. When Microsoft announced this, rumors immediately started floating around like, “Storage Spaces Direct will be repackaged and sold as a subscription-based service like Office365.”  Or even, “Storage Spaces Direct is dead – R.I.P.”

But don’t believe this mumbo-jumbo!  Being that our entire business revolves around Microsoft’s software-defined strategy and Windows Server 2016’s Storage Spaces Direct, we get asked about this subject.  A lot. So we thought, “Why not bring Microsoft along to our next webinar to talk about it?”

For our last webinar of 2017, we invited Jeff Woolsey (Microsoft), Jake Smith (Intel), and Matt Roper (Cherokee County School District) to talk about Windows Server version 1709, the Intel Select Solution that DataON has standardized on, and a real-world Storage Spaces Direct deployment for one of the largest school districts in Georgia.

Windows Server version 1709 is a semi-annual channel release that comes out every 6 months. It’s for customers that want a faster release cadence so they can write new applications, take advantage of modern application platforms and innovate faster. The semi-annual channel is different from the long-term servicing channel, which includes Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016, and is updated every 2-3 years.

While Storage Spaces Direct is not enabled in Window Server version 1709, it IS ENABLED in the new Microsoft Insider Preview builds. However, the best way to enable Storage Spaces Direct is to use the long-term Windows Server 2016. Storage Spaces Direct is NOT DEAD and Microsoft will continue to add more features!

So what is Windows Server version 1709 really focused on then? Two things: containers and management.

With 1709, Microsoft has greatly improved its support for containers, which allows customers to run older applications on a modern kernel with minimal-to-no code change. The Nano Server image is now container-optimized, providing increased container density and performance. Standard 2.0 for .NET is now available, which makes it easy for containers to attach to storage. And Microsoft has now enabled support for Linux containers which gives you greater host flexibility and the ability to run Windows containers and Linux containers side-by-side.

Microsoft has also unveiled Project Honolulu, a new browser-based extensible framework that allows you to easily manage a Windows Server environment. It can be downloaded and managing your servers in less than a minute, with no agents needed! The technical preview for Project Honolulu is now available for download.

Intel has announced their new Select Solution for Windows Server Software-Defined Storage program. It was developed in collaboration with Microsoft, to introduce verified solutions optimized across workloads for compute, storage, and networking.

Intel Select Solutions are designed to provide the best-known hardware and software configurations to provide customers a seamless transition from previous generation technology to the next. The goal is to transform your infrastructure faster, with lower investment. In addition, these solutions are benchmarked against workloads so you know where the performance baselines are going to be.

You can watch this webinar in its entirety on BrightTalk or on YouTube.

For more information about Windows Server Software-Defined, Microsoft has a handy cheat sheet that shows you all its features.

“Now you’re got DataON, Intel and Microsoft doing this together, at 3.2M IOPS at a fraction of the cost, fraction of the power and footprint, and with a much easier, manageable hyper-converged solution. It really is a fantastic time for people to update their platforms.” – Jeff Woolsey, Principal Program Manager of Windows Server, Microsoft


“To think that DataON can build a system that you can scale to 3.2M IOPS performance and above as we introduce Optane and next generation capabilities with the Purley platform, it’s really exciting.” – Jake Smith, Director of Data Center Solutions and Technologies, Intel Corporation


“They were the only vendor to carry the Windows Software-Defined Data Center certification. I thought it spoke volumes [about DataON] and they had a lot of real-world deployments of Storage Spaces Direct.” – Matt Roper, Facilitator of Technology Support Services, Cherokee County School District

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