Earlier this October Microsoft unveiled their new operating system Windows 10 as well as Windows Server 10. The best way to feel out Windows 10 and Windows Server 10 is to try out the technical preview for yourself (and I highly recommend doing so!); however, these are my impressions of the more drastic changes to take place.
It’s important to note, as this is just a technical preview, that not all the new features listed will be included in the final product. So far, however, here is what we know about the release expected in summer of 2015.
- Upgrades to the Hyper-V cluster, technically known as Windows Server Virtualization, will now be able performable on a server-by-server basis. Previous Windows server operating systems required all servers in the cluster to be upgraded simultaneously. Now, those being upgraded from Windows Server 2012 will be able to be upgraded individually.
- Windows PowerShell 5.0, whose own technical preview was released earlier in April, makes its debut in the new Windows Server 10 technical preview. It’s been upgraded with new features and functions, with one of the more notable improvements being OneGet. OneGet allows a better and more simplified way of handling packages. Microsoft’s documentation describes it as “a manager or multiplexer of existing package managers (also called package providers) to unify Windows package management with a single Windows PowerShell interface.” Here is a full list of PowerShell’s 5.0 upgrades.
- Network Access Protection (NAP) is has officially been removed, a change rumored on internet forums over the last several months. It was originally designed so that certain criteria, if not passed, would deny access to the network. Such criteria could include not having current Windows update, a firewall enabled, etc.
- Windows Defender, Microsoft’s anti-spyware and malware program, is now included by default. Although not everyone will choose to use it, it’s probably in the public interest to have some basic protection from the get-go.
- “Storage Replica (SR) is a new feature which enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as the stretching of a failover cluster for high availability.” Microsoft describes this in more detail here.
- Increased web application proxy functions including HTTP Basic pre-authentication, HTTP publishing, HTTP to HTTPS redirection, Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG) publishing, and upgrades to the Administrator UI. For a full list and details about each check out the documentation.
These are some of the more stand out changes to Windows Server 10. Expect some to be removed, potential new features added, upgraded, or changed. All together the general consensus seems to be that Microsoft is going at a steady pace in its server software development. They’re not necessarily making game-changing modifications, but rather necessary and smart improvements.