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Windows Server 2016 Preview


With all of the excitement over the recent Windows 10 upgrade and the retiring of support for Windows Server 2003, you may or may not know about the upcoming Windows Server 2016 and all that it has in store for users.
 
The third preview of Windows Server 2016 was launched on August 19th, giving everyone more insight into what can be expected. This technical preview will give you a brief overview of what you can expect from Windows Server 2016 and highlight some of its exciting new features before its final release in early 2016.

 
Microsoft’s last server release was Windows Server 2012 R2, and there are several new technologies and trends that need to be addressed in this update.
 
Firstly, Windows Server 2016 introduces Nano Server, which is an operating system that is designed with the purpose of cloud computing in mind.  This repurposing has allowed the operating system to be a scaled-down version of itself, making it much more efficient. Nano Server should require fewer updates, should have much faster restarts, and promises better security overall.
 
One of the biggest updates is the introduction of Windows server containers – technologies that help to simplify the development and deployment of applications across businesses. This new feature is very exciting for app developers, as it will allow them to more quickly transition apps from development to deployment – a step that is becoming incredibly important as computers and technology has been shifting decidedly towards applications!


 
Windows Server 2016 has also updated Hyper-V, which has been around since Windows Server 2008. Hyper-V allows users to create virtual machines by creating partitions. Updates to Hyper-V promise improved virtualization and Hyper-V Containers (another option for app development).
 
Another key consideration for any server operating system is the security that it offers to its users. Windows Server 2016 does not disappoint in this area! There is a new Host Guardian Service that acts as a boundary between Server 2016’s cloud-based design and guest OS layers. As well, there are improved administration features that can easily decrease potential security breaches by setting limits on which tasks individual users are able to perform.
 
Those in charge of managing their server will be impressed by the changes that Microsoft has made in an effort to make server management more consistent and as simple as possible. These updates should make updates faster and package management and deployment more unified.
 
Lastly, Windows Server 2016 also tackles storage issues by improving the resiliency of virtual machines in response to storage path failures, making behind-the-scenes changes that decrease the cost of storage while improving its scale, increasing the control and predictability of storage quality of service, and making use of ‘Storage Replica’ to ensure that you have access to your information no matter what kind of disaster may occur.

 
Windows Server 2016 is definitely an upgrade from the Microsoft server operating systems currently available. If you’re interested in upgrading your server, it’s a good idea to talk to your IT professional about whether or not you can delay upgrading until this operating system is released early in 2016.
 
Generally, unless you are still running Windows Server 2003 (in which case you should upgrade as soon as possible), waiting until early in the new year for the release of Windows Server 2016 is a great idea!

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