| We’re now onto the fourth technical preview – TP4 – for Windows Server 2016, and it’s really starting to come together nicely. This new Windows Server has been designed with the cloud-first world in mind and brings many enhancements to features such as software-defined networking (SDN), software-defined storage, and changes to support modern computing models including containerisation and micro services.
What’s new in TP4?
We saw Windows Server containers light up in the TP3 release. This release brings us Hyper-V containers which allow for an additional deployment option and a higher level of isolation. Both of these container implementations support Docker for management. Nano Server, a highly optimised and small footprint version of Windows Server, was delivered in TP2. It went through some big changes to make it easier to deploy in TP3 and now we’ve added support for PowerShell Desired State Configuration. There are also many more improvements in software-defined storage and networking in this release and a new release of System Center to manage and support these.
Show me 🙂
There are many resources on the internet that will help you understand some of these new features and technologies. Here are just a few of the recent ones: Mark Russinovich demonstrates Hyper-V Containers on the Microsoft Mechanics show (12 mins). Hear Ben Armstrong cover What’s new in Hyper-V (1hr 16 min) and Matt McSpirit walk us through Software Defined Networking (1hr 11 min) at Ignite Australia. See Jeffrey Snover talking about Windows Server 2016 (14min), Windows Server 2016 Storage (15min), and Nano, Containers and the Modern App Platform (14min) on Channel 9.
Let me at it!
There are a two ways to try out the latest technical preview. By far the easiest method is to spin up an Azure Virtual Machine. Look for the images beginning with “Windows Server 2016” in the Azure Marketplace for quick start options for Full Server, Nano, and Containers. If you don’t currently have an Azure subscription, then you can sign up for a free trial at aka.ms/azuretrial. You can also download the ISO for TP4, and use the popular Customer Experience Guides to explore. System Center TP4 versions are available also.
To the source…
I’ve summarised just a couple of the new and updated features here. To explore more about what’s new or updated in this release head over to the TP4 announcement blog post from the Windows Server and Cloud Platform team.