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Microsoft offers a preview of Windows Server 2016

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April 29, 2016

Microsoft has delivered a preview of Windows Server 2016 and says the new OS is feature-complete, meaning this is still not final code but there won't be any new surprises in the final version of the operating system.

The technical preview adds the option to install the OS in Nano mode. That's Microsoft's slimmed down, ready-for-containers version of Windows Server 20xx.

The company's long story for the new version of Windows Server is that it delivers a cloud-like experience, thanks to SDS and SDN (software-defined storage and networking).

The latter emphasises security by isolation. Microsoft wants you to have fine control over which virtual machines get to talk to which hosts and guests.

On the storage front, Microsoft thinks its Storage Spaces is ready to combine physical storage resources into virtual pools of storage.

Microsoft is now calling its server virtualisation “software-defined compute.” It's no coincidence that a new preview of System Center 2016 has emerged on the same day, as it's gained the ability to manage the lifecycle of nano-servers, create and enforce software-defined networking policies and drive software-defined storage.

As could be expected, there's also more elements into Linux virtual machines as well. It looks like Microsoft really does like the cute little penguin this year.

But what we don't know is when the software giant plans to issue the final code into the wild. The smart money is still on late September, when Microsoft's Ignite conference begins.

Whenever the final release emerges, expect a lot of noise about how Microsoft intends to deliver an Azure-like experience, with differentiation between Windows Server and Azure Stack.

We spoke to Microsoft enthousiasts who are keen to point out the company plans to offer an alternative-- Windows Server and System Centre will both be much better at hybrid clouds and have tighter Azure integration.

To be sure, Azure Stack will behave like Azure out of the box, so while it will enable hybrid clouds you won't perceive them as such.

Source: Microsoft.

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