Windows Server 2019 Is Almost Here! Let’s Take a Look at Some of the Most Important, New Features.

It’s been almost two years since the release of Windows Server 2016 with Storage Spaces Direct hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), and nearly six years since the release of Windows Server 2012 with Storage Spaces. A lot has happened since then. We at DataON have an amazing relationship with Microsoft. DataON was the first vendor certified for Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. And now we are also validated for Windows Server Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) and Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD). In fact, we’re known for being Windows Server experts. Last week, Microsoft released its first test build of Windows Server 2019 and I’m really excited to share with you some of its new features.

  • Project Honolulu
    This is a big one. Project Honolulu is a new server management tool and centralized console that enables IT administrators to manage GUI and GUI-less Windows Server 2016 and 2019 environments. Bundling up common tasks like server configuration and assigning tasks, performance monitoring, and management of Windows Services that run on server systems, Microsoft makes it easier and more efficient than ever for IT administrators to manage their servers.  We at DataON are looking to expand our partnership with Project Honolulu with our MUST visibility, monitoring, and management tool.  More information about that coming soon!
  • GUI for Windows Server 2019
    Finally, Windows Server 2019 gets a GUI. Between the release of 2016 and RS4, the feature changes were supported via Server Core (and Nano) GUI-less configurations. But now administrators can use both!
  • Smaller Containers
    Another big one! Windows Server 2019 has a leaner Server Core image that shaves VM overhead by 50-80 percent and frees up physical storage. Organizations will be able to get more from their storage, cut hardware costs and improve efficiency.
  • Security Improvements
    We are seeing more and more hackings and cybersecurity breaches as of late. Microsoft improves its built-in security to help IT administrators address an “expect breach” model of security management. Rather than assume perimeter firewalls will protect the organization from security compromises, Windows Server 2019 assumes servers and applications are already compromised. Windows Defender Advanced Threat common vectors for security breaches, and automatically blocks and alerts about potential malicious attacks.

I’ve spent a lot of time with customers over the years. Many times, customers are looking to reduce storage licensing fees from other vendors and consolidate to a dedicated Windows Server solution. Some are switching from a traditional SAN to a software-defined storage solution. And now, we are seeing customers flock to HCI because they’re getting everything in a box. Less hardware, less wiring, consolidated management, and bigger upfront and down-the-road cost savings.

In the February 2018 Magic Quadrant Report for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Gartner describes Microsoft as a visionary in the HCI space with its broad range of integrated applications; an increased focus on cloud, mission-critical and ROBO opportunities; and additional Azure support and integration. Their research shows growing momentum with Windows Server, with thousands of customers deploying a Microsoft HCI.

With Windows Server 2019, the future is looking very bright for future data centers!

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