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Windows Server 2019 Nears Home Stretch with New Preview Build

A new preview build of Windows Server 2019, build 17677, was released on Tuesday.

The new build primarily features improved PowerShell support for reporting performance history, plus container improvements.

Microsoft improved the performance history of Windows Server 2019 build 17677 by adding error checking with PowerShell cmdlet "Get-ClusterPerf." It'll now check for "common issues that would prevent performance history from working properly," the announcement indicated. Microsoft also added two new PowerShell cmdlets that can be used for cleaning up and reprovisioning the system's performance history, namely "Start-ClusterPerformanceHistory" and "Stop-ClusterPerformanceHistory."

To improve Windows Server 2019 for container use, Microsoft slimmed down Windows Server Core by making its "noncritical fonts" into optional components. They have to be enabled if wanted. Server Core now just has Arial as the only default font.

The preview also has a new feature that will "record how much Storage Spaces Direct data needs to repair/resync per server." Storage Spaces Direct is a software-defined, shared-nothing storage technology in Windows Server that lets organizations use less expensive hardware storage options, such as SATA, SSD and NVMe disk devices.

Microsoft's previews of Windows Server 2019 are accessible to Windows Insider Program participants (with sign-up). The finalized product is expected to hit general availability in the second half of this year. Microsoft seems to be signaling, though, that it's getting nearer to the home stretch.

For instance, on June 26, starting at 9:00 a.m. PST, there will be a public half-day "Windows Server Summit" (sign-up required).

The summit will feature Microsoft luminaries discussing what's new in Windows Server and the hybrid strategy (using Windows Server on-premises in conjunction with cloud services). There also will be discussions on security, the use of containers for software development and the use of hyperconverged infrastructure, in which compute and storage operations are combined in a cluster.

So far, Microsoft's past discussions about coming Windows Server 2019 improvements have focused on features such as the use of Shielded Virtual Machines to protect hosted Linux workloads. Shielded Virtual Machines is a security feature that protects against the copying of virtual machine files and the theft of information. It's previously just been available to protect Windows virtual machines.

Microsoft also has promised to deliver improved Kubernetes container cluster orchestration support with Window Server 2019, which is a way of simplifying container management for developers. Another strong emphasis has been Microsoft's stress on the central role of the Windows Admin Center, formerly knowns as "Project Honolulu." Windows Admin Center is a browser-based management tool with a graphical user interface that can be used to manage hybrid workloads, as well as hyperconverged infrastructure.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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