WOOF! Newsletter

January 25, 2016

Windows Server 2016 Coming Soon! Should You Prepare?

The next version of Windows Server will release this year. With all the new capabilities - new virtualization tools, easier upgrade process - we recommend you start preparing now.

With a new year comes new software!

Microsoft releases its new version of Windows Server later this year – Windows Server 2016. It’s currently in beta (Technical Preview 4), and already showing serious promise for both on-premise and hybrid cloud deployments.

We’re discussing it now because it has new features you should know about.  If you’re interested in upgrading (who wouldn’t be?), starting preparations now is wise.

Let’s take a look at the new features coming in Windows Server 2016 first.

Upcoming Windows Server 2016 Features

  • Nano Servers – A stripped down version of Windows Server you can use for development & testing.
  • Windows Containers – A new type of virtualization.  Think of a Container like a snapshot of the operating system, which you can run on its own.  Where does this help? How about when you need to test an application?  Or build some software in a safe testing environment?  You can make Containers in moments and configure them all sorts of ways.
    **More on Containers at the Microsoft Azure Blog.
  • Hyper-V improvements, like encrypted Virtual Machines.  More security without hampering performance!
  • Improvements to the Update Process – Much like you can update Lync Server to Skype for Business with an In-Place Upgrade, you can update a Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 without downtime.
  • Powerful PowerShell – The Windows Server architecture will have a greater tie-in to PowerShell for management.  No more avoiding it (if you avoided it before!).

Why Prepare Now?

Microsoft has not announced a specific release date yet, but the new Windows Server edition is slated to launch in Q3 2016.

Wait, you might think.  “That’s still a little ways off, and we’ll have plenty of time after launch.  Why should we prepare for it now?”

Since this is a version of Windows Server we’re talking about, there are several good reasons to prepare early.

An in-place upgrade capability saves a lot of time.  But it’s still good to have up-to-date backups and tuned-up hardware beforehand.

More use of PowerShell – PowerShell helps you automate administrative tasks.   There’s plenty of time to familiarize yourself with it before 2016 is released.

Plan for a hybrid setup.  Server 2016 gives both cloud-based and on-premise servers more capabilities to work together.  If you’re interested in a hybrid cloud, you already know this takes time to plan out.

Incorporate Containers into development thinking.  How long this takes depends on how flexible your developer team is.

Prepare for Hybrid Cloud or On-Premise IT with the New Windows Server

The coming changes in Windows Server 2016 show that Microsoft is working to give IT pros what they’re asking for: cloud connectivity, without losing all the on-premise tools they’re using.  For businesses, this means a server platform that keeps up with innovation, and makes it easy to run the network.

Even if some of that network is in the cloud.

Technical Preview 4 is available now for download:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

Don’t forget to check the Software Release Dates section at the bottom of this email.   We’ll add the official release date there as soon as we find out.

Interested in more?  Microsoft has a series of videos on Windows Server 2016 features on its Windows Server 2016 page.