Delivered on the occasion of the Ignite conference, the second Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 clearly confirms the direction taken by Microsoft cloud for his next server operating system. Among the major changes, the arrival of Nano Server. In contrast, there is no setting containers, scheduled for the third build this summer.
Windows Server 2016 is both an evolution of the current Windows Server 2012 R2 and a revolution in the way to the publisher, notes IDG our colleague who reviewed the second Technical Preview the next Microsoft OS server, delivered on the occasion of the Ignite 2016 Conference (in Chicago from May 9 to 13). Those who wish to continue using the operating system as they were previously able to do so for a small training.
However, for those who want to enter the world of cloud servers, containers and micro-services, Windows Server 2016 provides an option to install Nano Server. The latter uses a Windows Server extensively rewritten to provide a compact server (about 400 MB) without GUI managed using remote tools, including PowerShell. This encapsulation is the most extreme of the OS designed by Microsoft for data centers of tomorrow. The driver is using scripts and configuration management tools. This second Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 also provides several new features and changes in Active Directory, services and file storage, the level of clustering and networking, as well as PowerShell.
By using the installer of Windows Server 2016, it seems clear that Microsoft abandoned the GUI, considering growing the concept of servers as part of a programmable infrastructure, says our colleague Simon Bisson. To install the full server, by default it has what we had before with a minimalist interface Server Core.The installation requires a graphical interface to choose the option offering local administration tools. There is no option Nano Server in Windows Server installer, since its establishment requires to create a custom image (custom image) and use the Windows Remote Installation Tool .
A private cloud orientation
Our colleague has installed Windows Server 2016 on a Hyper-V virtual machine to test the administration tools option. It starts with a command and Server Manager line. If desired, you can have a complete interface with the main elements of the Windows 10 interface, including the Start menu and the Edge web browser. We can also be satisfied with the command line and use the remote management tools for more complex tasks. Server management can be centralized with PowerShell and if we want to manage a departmental server, it can be installed with the functions Add Windows Server Roles.
About Hyper-V, developments focus on the establishment of private clouds and on the migration of servers already installed. For example, for instances in clusters, each node can be upgraded to Windows Server 2016 without affecting the other and each of the nodes updated work with Windows Server 2012 R2 until the last server is. Regarding the portability of VMs until you explicitly update the configuration files for a Hyper-V VM update, it will continue to operate as if it was on Windows Server 2012 R2 . The VM can be maintained in this state until all host servers are upgraded.The version of the configuration files can then be switcher and provide access to new features, but removing portability between versions. One of future contributions, not yet available in this second Technical Preview, allow a Hyper-V host to run a VM itself being a Hyper-V host, which will facilitate the deployment of test environments of development.
Nano Server: 3000 instances on a single server
The main novelty remains Nano Server, a real overhaul of Windows Server.Microsoft describes it as a platform for the solutions born in the cloud and microwave services. To function, it is sufficient to tenth instead of a full Windows Server 2016. It is coded in 64 bits, which means that everything that is encoded into 32 bits to be completely rewritten. To install, you must know the deployment tools DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management). An image to install Nano Server is included in the ISO version of the OS (uncompressed files). It can be used to build a virtual hard disk image for use with Hyper-V. It is not easy to convert an image into a virtual machine, but the deployment tools for Nano Server should happen with System Center 2016.
Once Nano Server deployed and installed, it will use the management tools remote PowerShell. It includes the use DISM to deploy and quickly configure VHDs Nano Server since the use is intended for cloud environments “scale-out” for adding servers on the fly. Once the initial image is made DISM, remote management tools can apply the configuration of the server when the image is deployed. For our fellow IDG, the typical use of Nano Server is the OS invited to play in a Hyper-V cluster, each instance hosting service. Gradually, as services expand, new copies can be put in place and operate according to what is requested. On the Ignite Conference 2015, Microsoft introduced a demo rotating over 3000 instances on a single server.Although it is possible to install additional roles and features on Nano Server through PowerShell and use DISM to add to the initial installation image, or VHD (virtual hard disk), it is limited at the start a reduced number of roles for servers, including the roles of compute, file servers and fail-over clustering. Do not expect to run the VDI or graphical management tools on Nano Server, there is no graphical battery and no way to install one.
Containers functions with 3 rd build
A new version of PowerShell (5.0) brings features facilitating complex scripts. It supports classes and flow of information, for example to provide data from scripts to call functions, allowing to build workflows management in PowerShell. Tools also allow you to manage encrypted messages, which is important when working with servers running in public cloud or when going through the Internet. Similarly, the DSC tools (Desired Configuration State) PowerShell simplify the centralized management of configurations and to configure servers on the fly when they are deployed. Combining DSC and Nano Server, simplifies the deployment of applications and services on the images of newly deployed servers. If using Nano Server to host microservices, DSC will ensure that the proper prerequisites are in place before installing the service components. Finally, Microsoft added anti-malware tools in Windows Server 2016. They run and are updated at launch, although no user interface is installed by default.
The willingness of Microsoft to provide a hybrid cloud platform clearly indicates the direction in which Windows Server 2016. The improvements to Hyper-V show that it will be easier to manage virtual machines by updating its host environment, while PowerShell occupies a central place with the arrival of the Nano Server option. Tools and services available for building a cloud infrastructure, ready to overlay the new tools Azure Stack and run a high-density cloud self-service in its own data center.This build of the OS server thus provides many new features, but is expected in other equally attractive to the next, especially on the side of the functions of containers based on Docker (Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers Containers are designed for this summer). Anyway, we are still far from the final version.Microsoft has clearly decoupled its Windows client developments and server and Windows Server 2016 does not advance with the same urgency as Windows 10.