Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part II – Clustering & Availability

Here we are in part two of the Q&A series, where I’m working through the multitude of questions that were asked during the recent ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview’ JumpStart course, which, if you haven’t heard, is now available on-demand, so check it out! In this post, I’ll be walking through the questions focused around Failover Clustering and High Availability.  There was lots of interest in this topic, especially around the new Compute and Storage resiliency, along with enhancements to Shared VHDX.  On to the questions…

Failover Clustering

Will Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V support Fault Tolerance?

No, Fault Tolerance, a feature within certain editions of VMware vSphere, is not a feature within Windows Server 2016. Taking information from the VMware vSphere Availability Guide, whilst attractive on paper, protection of VMs is still limited to only 4 vCPU, and whilst this is enough for many workloads, Fault Tolerance cannot protect against application failures within the VM, cannot reduce downtime for patching-related outages within the guest operating system, and, the feature itself has resource requirements that can create additional overhead. Read that as ‘takes a performance hit’. You also lose flexibility, as the use of Memory Overcommit, and Hot-Add of disks is disabled.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part I – Virtualization Security

As mentioned in my previous post, back on August 18th and 19th, myself and Corey Hynes delivered a 2-day, live, Windows Server 2016 Preview Jumpstart. For the thousands of you that attended, thank you, it was a lot of fun, and I hope you learned a lot! There are certainly a lot of new features and capabilities coming in the next release of Windows Server! Some of them are incremental improvements, however there are many areas that are completely new to the Microsoft platform, such as Containers and Nano Server. Naturally, there were a large number of questions during the event, in fact, the number was so large, the team couldn’t answer them all in time, so, over the next few blog posts, I’ll be trying my best to answer your questions that were raised during the event.

In this first Q&A post, I’m going to focus on the large number of Security questions that were posed as part of the virtualization module.  The security capabilities that have been introduced in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, are incredibly powerful, but they are also a little complex.  I’d first urge you to watch the on-demand course, to help familiarize yourself with the concepts. If you’re short on time, skip along to the second module, Server Virtualization, around the 8:55 mark, as that’s where we start the security discussion.

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Big Training on Little Servers – It’s Nano Server on MVA!

Have you heard about Nano Server? I thought you might have done. It made just a little bit of noise when we announced it back in April, and since then, the momentum has been building!

For those of you that are thinking, what is Nano Server?, well, in a nutshell, and to steal a line or two from the above linked blog post, Nano Server is…

“a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers. As customers adopt modern applications and next-generation cloud technologies, they need an OS that delivers speed, agility and lower resource consumption.  Nano Server is a deeply refactored version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimized for the cloud and a DevOps workflow.  It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security”

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Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart Now Available On-Demand!

Back on August 18th and 19th, myself and Corey Hynes delivered a 2-day, live, Windows Server 2016 Preview Jumpstart. For the thousands of you that attended, thank you, it was a lot of fun, and I hope you learned a lot! There are certainly a lot of new features and capabilities coming in the next release of Windows Server! Some of them are incremental improvements, however there are many areas that are completely new to the Microsoft platform, such as Containers and Nano Server.

(more…)