Tag: Build

Windows Server vNext Preview Build 20201

New Windows Server vNext Preview Build 20201

The Windows Insider and Windows Server team just announced a new Windows Server vNext Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release that contains both the Desktop Experience and Server Core installation options for Datacenter and Standard editions. The new Windows Server vNext Preview build has build number 20201 and adds a couple of new features and enhancements. Keep in mind this is an early preview version of Windows Server vNext, and there will be more channels until the official release.

If you want to learn more about Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), check out my blog: Windows Server – Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) vs. Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and the official Microsoft documentation for LTSC and SAC.

What is new

To give you an idea about the new features coming, here is a short glimpse of the new features and changes include:

  • CoreNet: Data Path and Transports
  • (Improved) RSC in the vSwitch
  • Direct Server Return (DSR) load balancing support for Containers and Kubernetes
  • Introducing Virtual Machine (Role) Affinity/AntiAffinity rules with Failover Clustering
  • Flexible BitLocker Protector for Failover Clusters
  • New Cluster Validation network tests
    • List Network Metric Order (driver versioning)
    • Validate Cluster Network Configuration (virtual switch configuration)
    • Validate IP Configuration Warning
    • Network Communication Success
    • Switch Embedded Teaming Configurations (symmetry, vNIC, pNIC)
    • Validate Windows Firewall Configuration Success
    • QOS (PFC and ETS) have been configured
  • Server Core Container images are 20 percent smaller
  • What’s new with the SMB protocol
    • SMB now supports AES-256 Encryption
    • Increased performance when using SMB encryption or signing with SMB Direct with RDMA enabled network cards
    • SMB now also can do compression to improve network performance

To learn more about the new features, check out the full announcement blog.

Download Windows Server vNext Preview Build

If you want to try out the new Windows Server vNext Preview Build 20201, you need to register as a Windows Insider. Registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page.  See the Additional Downloads dropdown for Windows Admin Center and other supplemental apps and products. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see GETTING STARTED WITH SERVER on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

Feedback is essential for the team to provide feedback for Windows Server, use your registered Windows 10 Insider device, and use the Feedback Hub application. In the app, choose the Windows Server category and then the appropriate subcategory for your feedback. In the title of the Feedback, please indicate the build number.

You can learn more about sharing feedback on Microsoft Docs: Share Feedback on Windows Server via Feedback Hub for specifics. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Server Insiders space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share, and learn from experts.

If you are interested in hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, also check out my blog post about the new Azure Stack HCI. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



The Az Update Show

Join The Az Update Show with the latest Azure News from Microsoft Build 2020

In this week’s Az Update Show, Anthony Bartolo and I will be talking about the latest Microsoft Azure news from Microsoft Build 2020. Make sure you join us today (4pm CEST May 22). The Az Update Show is our weekly Azure News livestream, in which Cloud Advocate Anthony Bartolo and I share the latest news and updates for Microsoft Azure.

This week will be a special highlight since the virtual Microsoft Build 2020 developer conference just finished. This means we will have many news and announcements to cover! You can join directly on YouTube or watch here:

If you can’t make it this week, the recording will be available for you to watch.

I hope you tune in for this week’s Az Update Show on Microsoft Build 2020, and see you in the live stream! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below. Also, follow me on YouTube when I will go live on May 27 for my livestream about Hybrid Server Management with Azure Arc.



Microsoft Build 2020

Microsoft Build 2020 Expert Q&A Azure Hybrid Cloud Management

This year, the Microsoft Build 2020 (May 19-20) will be a global digital experience with a non-stop, 48-hour interactive livestream experience straight to your screen. In the digital event session catalog, you find out more about the learning content at the for Microsoft developers but also IT Pros. I am happy to let you know that I will be part of a Microsoft Build 2020 Expert Q&A session on Azure Hybrid Cloud Management together with Sarah Lean (Microsoft Cloud Advocate).

Expert Q&A: Azure Hybrid Cloud and Management

Wednesday, May 20 – 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM CEST 

Community Connections experience – Connect with experts to discuss Azure Hybrid Cloud and Management Technologies like Azure Arc, Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI, Azure Management, Azure Governance, Azure Migrate, and Azure File Sync.

In this Microsoft Build Q&A session, we will be there to answer questions about Azure Hybrid Cloud and Management. Join us on topics like:

I hope you join us at this year’s Microsoft Build 2020 conference online! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.



Hyper-V

Hyper-V vNext is going to support nested Virtualization

I already wrote a blog post about some of the new features which are coming with the next version of Hyper-V. This week was the Microsoft Build Conference where Microsoft was talking a lot about new stuff for developers and the future of Windows, Azure, Office and so on. Now today I found a very interesting email in my inbox from Ronald Beekelaar (Microsoft MVP for Hyper-V) and he had the chance to visit a session at Build Conference where Taylor Brown and Mathew John were talking about Windows Containers: What, Why and How. In this session there was a quick side note, that Windows Server vNext Hyper-V will support nested Virtualization.

Until today a Hyper-V server could only run Virtual Machines when he was running on physical hardware. This was no problem in production, but when you wanted to do some demos or training you needed a lot of hardware to show what is possible with Hyper-V. Now with nested Virtualization you can run Hyper-V inside a virtual machine and build for example a demo and lab environment on your notebook, creating Hyper-V Clusters and so on.

As for some of you this might be not a big deal, this is a huge deal for everyone who did demos or training on Hyper-V.

 

You can watch the session here on Microsoft Channel9.



Microsoft Azure Update at Build 2014

At the Build Conference 2014 Microsoft already announced a lot of new stuff for the whole Microsoft or IT ecosystem. There is absolutely no time to cover all the changes and announcements Microsoft has made in the past 2 days. So I will just focus on the things I care about.

  • Prior to the Build Conference Microsoft announced that Windows Azure will be renamed to Microsoft Azure. This will show how Microsoft is not only building on top of the Windows platform, they also have opened up for other platforms an solutions a long time ago. One example for that maybe was the announcement of supporting Oracle Software in Microsoft Azure around a year ago.
  • Mark Russinovich announced some great new changes to Microsoft Azure IaaS. You can now capture and deploy images, you can Puppet and Chef as well as PowerShell DSC support, to configure you server environment. An this is great for developers, some of the features will show up directly in Visual Studio. Microsoft also did some work on the Networking site which was really important, for example you can now change the subnet for Virtual Machines.
    Microsoft Azure Announcements
  • Microsoft also launched a lot of new preview features like Azure Cache and a lot more. What I love the most is the new Microsoft Azure feature called Azure Automation. Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment, and maintenance of resources in your Azure environment using a highly-available workflow execution engine. Orchestrate time-consuming, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks against Azure and third party systems to decrease time to value for your cloud operations. This is basically Service Management Automation (SMA), which was released with System Center 2012 R2 as a on premise version, now running up in Microsoft Azure. For those how haven’t heard about SMA, SMA is a new automation engine and Runbooks in Service Management Automation and Microsoft Azure Automation are Windows PowerShell workflows.
    Microsoft Azure Automation
  • Microsoft also release a new preview of the Microsoft Azure portal. Since Microsoft released a huge number of new features in Azure, the “old” management portal didn’t really fit the requirements anymore. The new Azure management portal helps you to be much more organized and is using a lot of new concept like “blades” to help you navigate through your Azure environment. The new dashboard also gives you a quick overview about the Microsoft Azure datacenters and there service status, and the new touch friendly dashboard also allows you to customize it for your need. You can check it out on portal.azure.com
    New Microsoft Azure Portal
  • I am not a developer but I was really impressed what Microsoft did for developers. They are just generating a huge numbers of new opportunities with their new platforms not only in Microsoft Azure using IaaS, mobile Services or PaaS, Microsoft also announced a new concept of Universal Apps which allows developers to write apps which run on Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One. Some days ago Microsoft also showed the new Kinect v2 hardware which I hope developers will use to write some really cool stuff. If we have a lot back at Microsoft Azure, what I really liked about the new Portal is the  integration of Team Foundation Server or “team projects”.
    Microsoft Azure Team Projects

This are just a few of the cool new things Microsoft announced at Build 2014, there is a lot more which is definitely worth to talk about.



Hyper-V: “Version 3 kills them all”

Windows Server 8 Server Manager Dashboard

Microsoft showed the latest version of Hyper-V at build conference together with Windows 8 and Windows Server 8. Microsoft showed a lot of new Hyper-V features which turn Hyper-V in really powerful hypervisor.

Some days ago I posted a blog post about new features which Microsoft showed before the build conference, now it’s time to extend the list of new features. There are a lot of even more powerful features than the once I posted back then.

Windows Server 8 as Cloud OS

First let’s start with Windows Server 8 as the base of Microsoft Cloud strategy. Microsofts focus in Windows Server 8 was to make it easy for all to build public and private cloud solutions. There are a lot of improvements to manageability, security, scalability, extensibility, predictability and reliability which will also improve the possibilities with Hyper-V. In technical terms Microsoft made a lot of improvements how you can manage a lot of servers and services, Storage, Networking and Powershell. Of course there is a lot more, but this are the parts I think are the most important. And here are some keywords to the improvements in Windows Server 8:

  • Storage improvements – SMB 2.2, SMB transparent Failover, Data deduplication, Storage Spaces, online filesystem repairs, 64TB NTFS volume etc.
  • NIC Teaming
  • Powershell v3 – You can now just do everything in Powershell and even more with 23000 PowerShell cmdlets.
  • Server Dashboard – The new Dashboard lets you manage all servers, or even better, all Services from one place.
  • Multi-tenant – everything seems to be made for that
  • Performance Counters

Windows Server 8 Hyper-V Manager

Hyper-V Host improvements

Hyper-V gets not only a lot of improvements to Virtual Machine, also the Hyper-V Hosts get some new limit improvements.

  • up to 160 logical CPUs
  • supports up to 2TB RAM
  • no more vCPU:pCPU ration limit

Hyper-V Virtual Machine improvements

Microsoft did a lot to extend the existing Virtual Machine hardware to support even high workload Virtual Machines. I will not write a lot about this because the facts here will tell more that a lot of words.

  • VHDX Format – supports up to 64TB Virtual Disks
  • 32 CPUs per VM
  • 512GB RAM per VM
  • Support for Fibre Channel Adapters
  • Supporting Virtual Active Directory Servers

Hyper-V Networking improvements

Hyper-V got a lot of improvements in terms of networking. Microsoft realized that networking features are really important if you start to create private and public cloud scenarios and now even create a mix of public and private cloud scenarios without creating a lot of work for the IT teams to reconfigure Virtual Machines.

  • QoS and flexible bandwidth allocation
  • Support for SR-IOV (Direct Access to the physical Network adapter)
  • Network Virtualization
  • PVLAN support
  • Dynamic Virtual Machine Queue (D-VMQ)
  • Receive Side Coalescing (RSC)
  • DHCP Guard
  • Extensible virtual switch
  • IPsec Task offload

Hyper-V Clustering improvements

Hyper-V gets also a lot of Cluster improvements. But you have to be aware that Clusters are for really high availability and this adds a lot of costs to projects and solutions. Microsoft is working on Cloud solutions which will give great availability to low cost. For example Hyper-V Replica or Live Migration to another host over the Ethernet without the need for a shared storage. But if you need real HA you will need the Failover Cluster.

  • supporting up to 4000 VMs per cluster
  • supporting up to 64 Cluster nodes
  • improved Cluster Manager Console
  • VM Monitoring – Application health detection inside the virtual machine
  • New Placement policies – Virtual Machine Priority and enhanced placement
  • Storage Live Migration
  • Hyper-V Replica supporting clustering
  • No need for Block Storage – you can use SMB Shares
  • Support for Storage Spaces
  • Automated Node Draining – like Maintenance mode in SCVMM
  • Cluster Aware Updating (CAU)
  • Cluster Shared Volume Improvements – BitLocker support, a lot of performance improvements, Self-Healing
  • Live Migration Queing
  • Migrate multiple Virtual Machine at the same time

Windows Server 8 Hyper-V VM Move

Hyper-V Storage improvements

A I mentioned earlier Microsoft made a lot of improvements in terms of storage in Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V can take advantage of those which are quiet impressive. For example with the new features in SMB 2.2 you can now use SMB file shares to store your Virtual Machines.

  • VHDX
  • ODX
  • RDMA
  • SMB 2.2 – Transparent Failover
  • 4K native disk support
  • Data Deduplication
  • Virtual Fiber Channel
  • VM boot from SAN

Hyper-V Management Improvements

As everywhere in Windows Server 8 PowerShell is the key. And the new Server Manager Dashboard Microsoft enable to create Server Groups to manage multiple servers from a single console.

  • Powershell for Hyper-V
  • Powershell Workflows – Commands and Tasks across servers
  • Hyper-V Extensible Switch – lets vendors to create “plugins”. Could be very interesting for Cisco UCS installations.
  • Server Manager Dashboard – lets you manage multiple Hyper-V host from a single console.
  • SCVMM 2012 – not a part of Windows Server 8 but will add great management solutions

Windows Server 8 Hyper-V Powershell

Hyper-V HA and Data Protection

Now I think this is maybe the greatest new feature. You can now live migrate a Virtual Machine from one Hyper-V Host to another without Shared Storage or Cluster configuration. And with this option Microsoft also included a new feature called Hyper-V Replica which includes the option to replicate Virtual Machine to another host which can be hosted in the same network or even in the cloud.

  • Live Migration
  • Live Storage Migration
  • Live Migration to another Hosts (Not clustered) over the Ethernet
  • Hyper-V Replica – Replicated Virtual Machines to another Hyper-V host on-premise or public cloud
  • BitLocker support for CSV

This are not all of the new features Windows Server 8 Hyper-V has to offer but I tried to list the important ones. And if Microsoft sticks with their licensing model, it will be a really strong competitor to the VMWare vShpere 5.