Microsoft Windows Server 2019 improves the hybrid cloud, security and application environment. It also has a new machine-learning system insight feature that offers predictive server data analysis, including events and performance counters. It now supports running Linux as a guest OS in shielded VMs and adds security features like data corruption detection. It also includes a smaller, leaner server core image.
Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization technology that lets customers use the computing power of a physical computer in a software version called a “virtual machine.” Each VM acts like a complete computer and can run its operating system and programs, so companies can use the unused processing power in their physical computers to support more flexible desktops, servers, databases and applications. With Hyper-V in Windows Server 2019, businesses can get a full suite of features and capabilities that make it easier to manage a virtualized environment. That includes an enhanced backup solution that uses Volume Shadow Copy to capture and save images of a VM’s OS and data without interfering with running services. Other improvements include an improved replication feature that now can mount destination storage to validate replicas, better VM-to-VM move performance and new Windows Admin Center support for Hyper-V Manager.
The newest version of Hyper-V also improves protection and security by adding shielded VMs for Linux that prevent access to the host machine from other VMs in the same cluster. It also adds a troubleshooting capability with VMConnect Enhanced Session Mode to aid in troubleshooting lost connectivity between a shielded VM and its Host Guardian Service, plus connection improvement that provides uninterrupted encrypted browsing over coalesced connections and corrects problems such as TCP congestion.
Windows Server 2019 includes several improvements to Hyper-V Backup, anti-ransomware protection and instant VM boot from backup. It also provides improved storage capabilities that reduce platform overhead and help create a more efficient and leaner operating environment. Microsoft has renamed the ReFS file system to Resilient File System (ReFS) and added data deduplication to improve storage savings. This block-level technology eliminates duplicate data blocks, decreasing the space files take up on disks. With the addition of Virtual Network Encryption (VNE), you can encrypt network traffic between virtual machines for security. It helps prevent eavesdropping, manipulation or forging of packets by anyone with physical network access to the underlying host servers.
Windows Server 2019 provides a new browser-based tool for managing servers and clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, and even Windows 10 PCs installed locally on the same network. Windows Admin Center is included at no additional cost beyond the cost of Windows Server 2019. If you’re running legacy applications on Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, it’s important to note that these two products reached their End of Extended Support on January 14, 2020. As a result, Microsoft no longer releases any non-security fixes or updates for them. However, you can get three more years of security updates by migrating to the latest version of Windows Server.
The new container features in Windows Server 2019 help you to modernize your traditional apps by running them inside containers. The containers isolate applications from one another and from the host system, which helps to improve security. Additionally, they are a great tool to increase your productivity by reducing the time needed to deploy and scale. Microsoft continues investing in container technologies to keep up with customer demand and provide you with a robust platform for hybrid cloud environments. It’s also easier than ever to organize your application into a container. For example, API-dependent applications are easier to manage with a second image available for server-core deployments.
In addition to this, you can take advantage of a new feature called System Insights. It uses a machine-learning model for local analysis of performance counters and events to provide predictive analytics. It can be particularly helpful in identifying problems before they impact your servers and enabling you to take corrective action. You can also benefit from enhanced storage management by adding deduplication on ReFS. It reduces data storage requirements by removing duplicated data blocks and improves the reliability of ReFS file systems with a scrubber that scans for latent corruptions in data.
The network updates in Windows Server 2019 focus on security, reliability and scalability. In addition to a new Windows Admin Center, this update adds enhancements for Software-Defined data center (SDDC), storage and Hyper-V virtualization. System insight is a new feature that utilizes machine learning to analyze your Windows Server event logs and performance counters. This feature can provide suggestions for performance improvements and help you plan future computing, networking and storage capacity. Another significant network improvement is that Windows Server 2019 supports Linux in shielded VMs. It provides greater flexibility for customers using mixed-OS environments.
Additionally, troubleshooting for shielded VMs is easier with VMConnect Enhanced Session Mode and PowerShell Direct. This release also has many other small updates to the network components. For example, a new network congestion control provider enables more stable and responsive applications. The Windows Time Service now offers true UTC-compliant leap second support with a precision timestamp. Windows Server 2019 contains many important improvements for cloud and on-premises workloads. We encourage customers to evaluate these features and consider the benefits they can deliver for their businesses. For those still on Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, it’s important to note that those products are moving past EOL in 2024 and must be updated to avoid security vulnerabilities.