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.