While the push for cloud-readiness continues to grow, there is still the need for on-premises data centres. Selecting what would work best for your environment may be challenging, but a hybrid model is perhaps the future-proof strategy organizations need to meet their growing needs. With the latest version of Windows Server bridging on-premises and the cloud, organizations are using it to extend their data centre to the public cloud.
Windows Server 2019 is pre-installed on some of the leading PC brands, including Lenovo, Dell and HP. For its latest release, Microsoft focused on four key areas: hybrid cloud, security, application development and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). There are also some fantastic offers for exclusive Windows Server customers, including Azure Hybrid Benefit, where customers get a significant reduction in costs associated with running their workloads in the cloud and discounted rates on Azure for individuals and teams. These discounts help support ongoing development and testing.
Windows Admin Centre
One of the biggest features of the Windows Server 23019 is the Admin Centre, which gives customers more support and visibility over their hybrid server infrastructure. This highly secure, simplified, and integrated feature costs nothing with a 2019 license and can be accessed securely from any browser. The Admin Centre is used for general server management, troubleshooting, configuration and maintenance, remote or branch office systems management, and streamlined HCI management. It's easy to deploy and can work with existing management tools.
The 2019 release also comes loaded with a lot more features than its predecessors:
- Storage Migration Service | Enhanced Azure AD authentication
- VM protection | System Insights
- Enhanced Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection
- Linux containers | Kubernetes platform support
Wherever you're using Windows Server—on a physical server, within a virtual machine, running on Hyper-V or VMware, or in the cloud on Azure—you can use Windows Admin Center as your management hub across your hybrid environment. Download the tool at no additional charge and install it in minutes. You can also complete administration tasks inside the Windows Admin Centre:
- Perform day-to-day server management tasks such as viewing and managing processes, services, certificates, devices, events, files, firewall rules, installed applications, users and groups, networks, registry, roles and features, storage, and updates.
- Manage Windows Server roles and features such as Hyper-V Virtual machines and containers, Active Directory, DHCP, DNS, Storage Migration Service, and Storage Replica.
- Use the PowerShell and Remote Desktop web consoles within Windows Admin Center for scripting and other tasks.
- Manage failover clusters by configuring and managing disks, networks, roles, virtual machines, and updates with cluster-aware updating.
The barrage of cybersecurity attacks exposes server vulnerabilities. Today's security must consider attack vectors such as virtual machines and others such as phishing. By installing Windows Server 2019, organizations gain protections because the operating system enables robust security by default. It also provides an extensive suite of additional multi-layer security features worth activating. Each organization needs to prioritize which security issues to address and balance tightening security and keeping systems simple to use.
Through Windows Admin Center, you can onboard to Azure Security Center to discover active security threats and view recommendations to improve your servers' security posture. Windows Admin Center also makes it easy to deploy a point-to-site VPN with the Azure Network Adapter, allowing secure access to cloud resources
Microsoft has embraced Linux to give organizations greater AppDev and DevOps flexibility, both on-premises and in the Azure public cloud. The latest version delivers an improved version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL lets your developers run a Linux environment— including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications—directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of managing a virtual machine. Windows Server 2019 includes built-in support of Kubernetes, bringing improvements to compute, storage and networking components of Kubernetes clusters. Some specific enhancements include:
- Container networking in Windows Server 2019 has been enhanced to improve the usability of Kubernetes on Windows nodes by increasing platform networking resiliency and strengthening the support of container networking plugins.
- Deployed workloads on Kubernetes can use network security to protect both Linux and Windows services using embedded tools.
Datacenters are shifting from traditional servers with separate conventional storage arrays, network appliances, and hypervisor hosts to hyper-converged infrastructure with software-defined storage and networking. The reason? Less complexity, lower costs, and better performance reduces capital expenditure (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx). Hyperconverged continues to be a fast-growing segment of the on-premises server industry.
For businesses considering the next step in their journey to the cloud, Windows Server 2019 helps bridge on-premises operations with innovative Azure services that help fast track digital transformation initiatives and create new opportunities.
For more information on Windows Server 2019, contact Chris Pierson - Channel Account Specialist.