Look for cloud-optimized Windows Server

Cloud optimization key to next Windows Server

When Microsoft’s next server product debuts next year, it will be optimized for the cloud.

In a Day 2 Microsoft TechDays Online talk, Jeffrey Snover, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and lead architect for the Windows Server Division, outlined some of the features of the next iteration of Windows Server.

The next Windows Server product will be deeply refactored for cloud scenarios, with just the components for that and nothing else, Snover said. On top of that, Microsoft plans to build a server that will be the same as the Windows Servers that organizations currently use. This server it will have two application profiles. One will target existing APIs for Windows Server, while the other will target subsets of the APIs that are cloud optimized, On top of the server, it will be possible to install a client. This redesign is being conducted to better support automation, Snover explained.

Microsoft also is building two container capabilities in the next Windows Server. One of the containers will be focused on application compatibility. The other will be optimized for the cloud.

The next Windows Server is going to have "great Linux support," said Snover, who was wearing a "Microsoft Loves Linux" button. He claimed that Microsoft was the "largest contributor to the Linux kernel" a year and a half ago. Microsoft, in particular, has enhanced the performance of Linux on hypervisors, he added.

Microsoft has been more open in terms of its datacenter abstraction layer, Snover said. Those efforts include standards-based management, open source WMI (OMI), Redfish Consortium support, OData standardization, an open source Desired State Configuration platform, Linux guest support and CoreCLR support on Linux. Microsoft even is supporting Pester, which is a PowerShell unit test framework effort that Microsoft is working on in collaboration with VMware.

Snover provided some advice for organizations in his talk. He said organizations should just get off Windows Server 2003, which loses support in July. Organizations looking at new servers must also have remote management and PowerShell automation capabilities, he added.

Organizations should buy network interface cards (NICs) that support RDMA, which enables SMB 3.0. And they should look to invest in Trusted Platform Modules on their servers going forward as Microsoft will require them in the near future. Snover also suggested that organizations should "reward the right people" (no more "click-next admins") and they should "join the dev-ops revolution."

Snover’s TechDays Online talk is currently available on demand via Microsoft's Channel 9 portal.

A longer version of this article originally appeared on Redmondmag, a sister site to GCN.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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