The new Windows Server 2019, built on the foundation of Windows Server 2016, was made generally available last month and we’re taking a look at some of the new features that caught our eye, in particular the new hybrid cloud and storage features.

Hybrid Cloud

Server Core app compatibility feature on demand

The Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand is the first feature package that can be added to Windows Server 2019 at any time.

It increases Server Core compatibility with server applications that are already in-market or have already been developed and deployed. This is done to increase the functionality and compatibility of Server Core and has been kept as lean as possible.

Blue data migration button being pressed on apple keyboard

Storage Features

At DC Networks, we are particularly interested in the new storage migration service and storage replica features of the Windows Server 2019.

Storage Migration Service

This is a new technology that makes it easier to migrate servers to a newer version of Windows Server. It provides a graphical tool that displays inventories of the data on your servers, enables you to transfer the data and configuration to newer servers, and can optionally move the identities of the old servers to the new servers so that apps and users can be kept as they were.

Storage Replica

Storage Replica is now available in Windows Server 2019 Standard Edition with a new test failover feature that allows mounting of destination storage to validate replication or backup data.

There is also a list of new features to the Storage Spaces Direct available here.

Secure lock icon over lines of code background

Security Features

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

ATP exposes memory and kernel level attacks and responds by suppressing malicious files and terminating malicious processes.

Windows Defender ATP Exploit Guard

A new set of host-intrusion prevention capabilities designed to lock down the device against a wide variety of attack vectors and block behaviors used in malware attacks and to enable you to balance security risk and productivity requirements. Includes:

  • Attack Surface Reduction(ASR)
    Prevent malware from getting on the machine by blocking suspicious malicious files, scripts, behaviours and email-based threats.
  • Network Protection
    Protects the endpoint against web-based threats by blocking any outbound process on the device to untrusted hosts/IP addresses through Windows Defender SmartScreen.
  • Controlled Folder Access
    Protects sensitive data from ransomware by blocking untrusted processes from accessing protected folders.
  • Exploit Protection
    A set of mitigations for vulnerability exploits that can be configured to protect your system and applications.

There have also been improvements introduced to shielded virtual machines, with better support for machines with intermittent connectivity, better troubleshooting and Linux support.

Application Platform Features

  • Linux containers on Windows:
    You can now run Windows and Linux-based containers on the same container host, using the same docker daemon.
  • Container improvements:
    Improvements have been made to the Windows Server 2019 containers including:

    • Improved integrated identity
    • Better application compatibility
    • Reduced size and higher performance
    • Management experience using Windows Admin Center (preview)
  • Encrypted Networks:
    Virtual network encryption allows encryption of virtual network traffic between virtual machines that communicate with each other.
  • Improved Support for Kubernetes
  • Plus much more, available here.

Other New Features

Desktop experience

Windows Server 2019 brings back the Desktop Experience which and you can choose between Server Core installations or Server with Desktop Experience installations during OS setup.

System Insights

A new feature, System Insights provides local predictive analytics capabilities, backed by a machine-learning model, to Windows Server. This enables you to analyse system data, including performance counters and events, providing insight into performance and helping to reduce operational expenses.

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