Microsoft® has announced that Windows Server™ 2019 will be available this month (October 2018). Perhaps the most notable feature of the latest version is the improved support for hybrid environments which utilize both on-prem datacenters and public cloud services. This is accomplished with the use of Windows Admin Center (version 1809), which runs on either Microsoft Edge™ or Google Chrome. The improved support for hybrid environments will be welcomed by many organizations, as it’s rare for them to fully change from on-prem to the cloud without some degree of hybrid utilization during the transition. In many cases, a hybrid may be a permanent model, so it’s important to blend the environments as seamlessly as possible.
Perhaps the top concern for most organizations considering moving to the cloud, either in full or in part, is security. I maintain that major cloud services such as AWS™, Azure™ and others are typically safer and more secure than even the best on-prem datacenters, and Windows Server 2019 includes much of that security. This latest version supports Shielded VMs on Linux®, improvements to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Windows Defender Exploit Guard.
We also see another example of Microsoft’s support for competing platforms, as Windows Server 2019 supports Linux containers which can run beside Windows containers. This would have been unheard of before Satya Nadella was CEO.
Of course, Microsoft promises countless feature and performance upgrades.
Windows Server 2019 will cost more than its predecessor, largely resulting from higher CAL pricing, but Microsoft is using the opportunity to offer discounts to lure users to Azure. According to Microsoft, customers may receive discounts of up to 80% on Windows Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved Instances. Migrations to Azure SQL Database with Azure Hybrid Benefit may yield the customer as much as 55% discount.
Windows Server 2019 will be available in Datacenter, Standard, and Essentials editions.