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What's new in Windows Server 2016: Containers, Nano Server and Hyper-V

Matthew Finnegan | June 27, 2016
Windows Server 2016 will charge users per core, potentially increasing licensing costs

A full list of the numerous updates and additions to Hyper-V as of the fourth technical preview - including improved PowerShell support for VM upgrades - can be seen here.

Windows Server 2016: Storage

Improvements to on-premise storage capabilities have been informed by its Azure platform, and Microsoft is eyeing what's called the 'software defined data centre' in an attempt to bring down costs of running private clouds.

The move into software defined storage began in Windows Server 2012 with the launch of Storage Spaces and Scale Out File Server and is continued in the latest versions of the OS.

For example, Storage Spaces Direct allows organisations to tap internal storage in standard servers, similar in some respects to VMware's vSAN, providing a pool of virtualised storage that can be easily scaled.

Another new feature in Windows Server Technical Preview is Storage Replica, which offers block-level synchronous replication between servers and clusters disaster recovery purposes.

Meanwhile, rolling upgrades also make it easier to upgrade storage clusters to Windows Server 2016 without any downtime.

The third technical preview has also revealed improvements to software defined networking tools, with SDN architecture from Microsoft Azure, including a scalable network controller and L4 load balancer.

The fourth preview added support for all-flash configurations with NVMe SSD and SATA SSD devices in Storage Spaces Direct, as well as other storage features such as improved health monitoring and monitoring capabilities.

More information on updates can be seen here.

Windows Server 2016: Licensing

At the end of 2015, Microsoft announced details on licensing arrangements for Windows Sever 2016. Customers will be required to pay per-core rather than per-processor when the service launches later this year. This mirrors a similar change with SQL Server licensing a few years back, and is likely to increase costs and complexity for users.

"Microsoft's auditors likely will have a field day with these new requirements for Windows Server, in the same way that they have used the ever-more-complex licensing rules for SQL Server to increase the company's audit-based revenue in recent years," Christopher Barnett, an associate attorney with Scott & Scott LLP, told IDG News Service.

Source: Computerworld UK 


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