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.
If you missed it, fear not, as it’s now available on-demand!
You can access the on-demand content here.
We covered a huge amount of ground over the two days, specifically covering:
Module 1: Introduction to Windows Server 2016
In this module, we’ll introduce you to the key investment areas of Windows Server 2016, and how it is at the heart of the next generation of the Microsoft datacenter platform. We’ll also introduce the other modules in this course.
Module 2: Server Virtualization in Windows Server 2016
Hyper-V has delivered new and improved capabilities, release on release, since its introduction in Windows Server 2008, and this release is no exception. In this module, we’ll explore all of the new and exciting capabilities that Hyper-V provides, and show you why it’s the best virtualization choice for your next generation infrastructure. We’ll also take a look at improvements in Failover Clustering, which provides the foundation for a resilient Hyper-V infrastructure, along with the new rolling upgrade capability.
Module 3: Software-Defined Storage in Windows Server 2016
Back in Windows Server 2012, Microsoft changed the game with the introduction of Storage Spaces, enabling you to transform low-cost, high-volume hardware into enterprise class storage. Fast-forward to Windows Server 2016, and with it, comes incredible new storage capabilities to provide you with greater levels of efficiency, performance and scalability, along with new deployment models to help you lower costs even further.
Module 4: Software-Defined Networking in Windows Server 2016
Network Virtualization in Windows Server 2012 R2 was powerful. Networks could be created in seconds, spanning entire datacenters, and reaching into the cloud. Things are about to get even more powerful. In this module, we explore the new networking capabilities of Windows Server 2016, such as the all-new Network Controller, Software Load Balancer and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Tunneling, along with new features for existing technologies, including IP Address Management (IPAM), DNS, and DHCP.
Module 5: Introducing Nano Server
Back in Windows Server 2008, we introduced Server Core – a low footprint, reduced attack surface, GUI-less installation option of Windows Server. With Windows Server 2016 however, we take that approach to a whole new level with Nano Server; a complete refactoring of Windows Server, providing the smallest footprint, fastest booting, most cloud-optimized version of Windows Server, ever! In this module, you’ll learn all about Nano Server and what it can do for you!
Module 6: Introducing Windows and Hyper-V Containers
Containers are rapidly becoming one of the hottest technologies in IT, but do you know what they do? What are they used for? Are they just for developers? In this module, we explore Microsoft’s investments in Container technology in the next release of Windows Server – specifically, Windows Containers, and Hyper-V Containers. You’ll learn all about each type, how they differ, and the use cases for each type.
Module 7 – Automation in Windows Server 2016.
Automation is the key to realizing the highest levels of efficiency and standardization in the datacenter. Windows PowerShell 5.0 includes significant new features, including support for developing with classes, and new security features, that extend its use, improve its usability, and allow you to control and manage environments more easily and comprehensively. Multiple new features in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) are also described in this module!
Over the two days, we also received a number of questions. Now, when I say ‘number of questions’, I actually mean a truck-load of questions. Over the next few blog posts, I’ll be trying to answer as many as possible. I’ll separate them over a number of posts to help keep things organized, as frankly, if it were all in a single post, it would be REALLY long. Trust me.
There’s a few below to get you started though.
General Windows Server 2016 Preview Questions
When will Windows Server 2016 be released?
Whilst we haven’t provided an official release date at this point, we have confirmed that the final release will be sometime in 2016. Up to that point, we plan to release further previews to allow you to evaluate and test the new functionality within your environments. You can read a little more about the roadmap for both Windows Server and System Center, on the Server and Cloud blog.
Does Microsoft provide virtual labs, where I can run instances of Windows Server 2016 to test new functionality and features?
Yes, the TechNet Virtual Labs provides exactly that, however as of today, there are no Windows Server 2016 labs available. That will change in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, you can download the Technical Preview and run it on an existing physical, or virtual infrastructure, to try out many of the new features. There are many experience guides that will help you get started.
Is there a new version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) being released?
Yes, there is a corresponding set of RSAT tools available for Windows 10. For those not familiar, the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 lets IT administrators manage roles and features of the Windows Server Technical Preview, from a remote computer running the full release version of Windows 10. You can download the latest version here.
Where can I find information on the evaluation of Windows Server 2016?
What are the minimum requirements for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3?
Is Windows Server 2016 compatible with Exchange Server 2013?
At this stage, no, the supported platforms for Exchange 2013 are detailed on TechNet, and the latest supported Windows Server operating system is the 2012 R2 release. The same applies to Exchange 2016, for which the system requirements are detailed here. More support information will be released in the future, so stay tuned to the Exchange blog.
Will you cover new Active Directory features of Windows Server 2016?
That’s all for now, and don’t forget, check out the on-demand ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart’!