Give Your Feedback on Future Windows Server Releases

You have probably already heard about Windows Insider, a program for providing feedback and shaping the future of Windows on client devices – not that I did not say “Windows 10” because the Insiders program will live beyond the RTM of Windows 10 this summer.

Similarly, the Windows Server group has launched a feedback forum. Here you can:

  • Search for or browse for feedback
  • Comment on and vote for existing feedback
  • Submit your own unique ideas

Now let’s be realistic – not everything will be done:

  • Some ideas are daft 🙂
  • You’ll find a few things that are already in the TPv2 release of WS2016
  • Some things won’t suit Microsoft’s strategy
  • And some things will take more time than is available – but maybe planning for future releases will be impacted

Here’s what I’ve voted for, commented on or submitted so far:

  • Remember Domain Logins: I find it really annoying that the TPv2 release won’t remember previous domain logons and I have to type my domain\username over and over and over and …
  • Storage Replica Requirement of Datacenter Edition: Microsoft is planning to only include SR in the Datacenter edition of WS2016. Most of the storage machines I see are physical and licensed with Standard or Storage Server editions. It’ll probably be cheaper to go with 3rd party software than DC edition 🙁
  • Storage Spaces advanced tiering: I like the idea of bringing a cloud tier to Windows Server, instead of reserving it in the silly StorSimple appliance. I don’t agree with restricting it to Storage Spaces.
  • Create a Hyper-V Cluster without AD: Imagine a HYPER-V world (don’t let the SQL heads muddy the waters) without Kerberos!!! Simple SOFS, simple Live Migration, and yes, System Center would need to catch up.
  • VM Placement Without System Center: Even those who can afford or want to deploy SCVMM often choose not to enable Dynamic Optimization. Let’s bring this feature into Windows Server, where it belongs.
  • New integrated UI for Hyper-V: Let’s replace Hyper-V Manager, Failover Cluster Manager, and SCVMM with one integrated Hyper-V tool that is a part of Windows Server. The cloud folks can use Azure Stack. SCVMM is broken, and the experience is fragmented. Everyone agrees except fanboys and SCVMM team members.
  • Change how Hyper-V Manager creates VM folder structure: Sarah, Ben & Taylor – if you fix this, I guarantee a round of applause at the next Ignite. This is the CMD prompt CTRL+V of Hyper-V.

This is your opportunity to shape Windows Server. I’ve had that privilege as an MVP – it’s not always immediate but there are headline things in WS2016 that I’ve contributed some feedback for and it feels damned good to see them presented on stage. You can feel that too. If you choose to stay silent, then please stay that way when you’re unhappy.

Setting Up WS2016 Storage Spaces Direct SOFS

In this post I will show you how to set up a Scale-Out File Server using Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). Note that:

  • I’m assuming you have done all your networking. Each of my 4 nodes has 4 NICs: 2 for a management NIC team called Management and 2 un-teamed 10 GbE NICs. The two un-teamed NICs will be used for cluster traffic and SMB 3.0 traffic (inter-cluster and from Hyper-V hosts). The un-teamed networks do not have to be routed, and do not need the ability to talk to DCs; they do need to be able to talk to the Hyper-V hosts’ equivalent 2 * storage/clustering rNICs.
  • You have read my notes from Ignite 2015
  • This post is based on WS2016 TPv2

Also note that:

  • I’m building this using 4 x Hyper-V Generation 2 VMs. In each VM SCSI 0 has just the OS disk and SCSI 1 has 4 x 200 GB data disks.
  • I cannot virtualize RDMA. Ideally the S2D SOFS is using rNICs.

Deploy Nodes

Deploy at least 4 identical storage servers with WS2016. My lab consists of machines that have 4 DAS SAS disks. You can tier storage using SSD or NVMe, and your scalable/slow tier can be SAS or SATA HDD. There can be a max of tiers only: SSD/NVMe and SAS/SATA HDD.

Configure the IP addressing of the hosts. Place the two storage/cluster network into two different VLANs/subnets.

My nodes are Demo-S2D1, Demo-S2D2, Demo-S2D3, and Demo-S2D4.

Install Roles & Features

You will need:

  • File Services
  • Failover Clustering
  • Failover Clustering Manager if you plan to manage the machines locally.

Here’s the PowerShell to do this:

Add-WindowsFeature –Name File-Services, Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools

You can use -ComputerName <computer-name> to speed up deployment by doing this remotely.

Validate the Cluster

It is good practice to do this … so do it. Here’s the PoSH code to validate a new S2D cluster:


Create your new cluster

You can use the GUI, but it’s a lot quicker to use PowerShell. You are implementing Storage Spaces so DO NOT ADD ELGIBLE DISKS. My cluster will be called Demo-S2DC1 and have an IP of

New-Cluster -Name Demo-S2DC1 -Node Demo-S2D1, Demo-S2D2, Demo-S2D3, Demo-S2D4 -NoStorage -StaticAddress

There will be a warning that you can ignore:

There were issues while creating the clustered role that may prevent it from starting. For more information view the report file below.

What about Quorum?

You will probably use the default of dynamic quorum. You can either use a cloud witness (a storage account in Azure) or a file share witness, but realistically, Dynamic Quorum with 4 nodes and multiple data copies across nodes (fault domains) should do the trick.

Enable Client Communications

The two cluster networks in my design will also be used for storage communications with the Hyper-V hosts. Therefore I need to configure these IPs for Client communications:


Doing this will also enable each server in the S2D SOFS to register it’s A record of with the cluster/storage NIC IP addresses, and not just the management NIC.

Enable Storage Spaces Direct

This is not on by default. You enable it using PowerShell:


Browsing Around FCM

Open up FCM and connect to the cluster. You’ll notice lots of stuff in there now. Note the new Enclosures node, and how each server is listed as an enclosure. You can browse the Storage Spaces eligible disks in each server/enclosure.


Creating Virtual Disks and CSVs

I then create a pool called Pool1 on the cluster Demo-S2DC1 using PowerShell – this is because there are more options available to me than in the UI:

New-StoragePool  -StorageSubSystemName Demo-S2DC1.demo.internal -FriendlyName Pool1 -WriteCacheSizeDefault 0 -FaultDomainAwarenessDefault StorageScaleUnit -ProvisioningTypeDefault Fixed -ResiliencySettingNameDefault Mirror -PhysicalDisk (Get-StorageSubSystem  -Name Demo-S2DC1.demo.internal | Get-PhysicalDisk)

Get-StoragePool Pool1 | Get-PhysicalDisk |? MediaType -eq SSD | Set-PhysicalDisk -Usage Journal

The you create the CSVs that will be used to store file shares in the SOFS. Rules of thumb:

  • 1 share per CSV
  • At least 1 CSV per node in the SOFS to optimize flow of data: SMB redirection and redirected IO for mirrored/clustered storage spaces

Using this PoSH you will lash out your CSVs in no time:

$CSVNumber = “4”
$CSVName = “CSV”
$CSV = “$CSVName$CSVNumber”

New-Volume -StoragePoolFriendlyName Pool1 -FriendlyName $CSV -PhysicalDiskRedundancy 2 -FileSystem CSVFS_REFS –Size 200GB
Set-FileIntegrity “C:\ClusterStorage\Volume$CSVNumber” –Enable $false

The last line disables ReFS integrity streams to support the storage of Hyper-V VMs on the volumes. You’ll see from the screenshot what my 4 node S2D SOFS looks like, and that I like to rename things:


Note how each CSV is load balanced. SMB redirection will redirect Hyper-V hosts to the owner of a CSV when the host is accessing files for a VM that is stored on that CSV. This is done for each VM connection by the host using SMB 3.0, and ensures optimal flow of data with minimized/no redirected IO.

There are some warnings from Microsoft about these volumes:

  • They are likely to become inaccessible on later Technical Preview releases.
  • Resizing of these volumes is not supported. 

    Oops! This is a technical preview and this should be pure lab work that your willing to lose.

    Create a Scale-Out File Server

    The purpose of this post is to create a SOFS from the S2D cluster, with the sole purpose of the cluster being to store Hyper-V VMs that are accessed by Hyper-V hosts via SMB 3.0. If you are building a hyperconverged cluster (not supported by the current TPv2 preview release) then you stop here and proceed no further.

    Each of the S2D cluster nodes and the cluster account object should be in an OU just for the S2D cluster. Edit the advanced security of the OU and grand the cluster account object create computer object and delete compute object rights. If you don’t do this then the SOFS role will not start after this next step.

    Next, I am going to create an SOFS role on the S2D cluster, and call it Demo-S2DSOFS1.

    New-StorageFileServer  -StorageSubSystemName Demo-S2DC1.demo.internal -FriendlyName Demo-S2DSOFS1 -HostName Demo-S2DSOFS1Create a  -Protocols SMB

    Create and Permission Shares

    Create 1 share per CSV. If you need more shares then create more CSVs. Each share needs the following permissions:

    • Each Hyper-V host
    • Each Hyper-V cluster
    • The Hyper-V administrators

    You can use the following PoSH to create and permission your shares. I name the share folder and share name after the CSV that it is stored on, so simply change the $ShareName variable to create lots of shares, and change the permissions as appropriate.

    $ShareName = “CSV1”
    $SharePath = “$RootPath\$ShareName\$ShareName”

    md $SharePath
    New-SmbShare -Name $ShareName -Path $SharePath -FullAccess Demo-Host1$, Demo-Host2$, Demo-HVC1$, “Demo\Hyper-V Admins”
    Set-SmbPathAcl -ShareName $ShareName

    Create Hyper-V VMs

    On your hosts/clusters create VMs that store all of their files on the path of the SOFS, e.g. \\Demo-S2DSOFS1\CSV1\VM01, \\Demo-S2DSOFS1\CSV1\VM02, etc.

    Remember that this is a Preview Release

    This post was written not long after the release of TPv2:

    • Expect bugs – I am experiencing at least one bad one by the looks of it
    • Don’t expect support for a rolling upgrade of this cluster
    • Bad things probably will happen
    • Things are subject to change over the next year

Survey Results – What percentage of your Windows APPLICATION servers run with MinShell or Core UI?

Another thank you, this time to the folks that answered  this second survey that focused on Windows Server application servers no matter if they were physical, virtual , on Hyper-V or anything else.

In this survey I asked:

What percentage of your APPLICATION servers run with MinShell or Core UI? Consultants: Please answer with the most common customer scenario.

  • 0% – All of my servers have a FULL UI
  • 1-20%
  • 20-40%
  • 40-60% – Around half of my servers have MinShell or Core UI
  • 60-80%
  • 80-100% – All of my servers have MinShell or Core UI

In other words, I wanted to know what was the market penetration like for non-Full UI installations of Windows Server. I had a gut feeling, but I wanted to know for sure.

The Sample

I was worried about survey fatigue, and sure enough we had a drop from the amazing 425 responses of the previous survey. But we did have 242 responses:


Once again, we saw a great breakdown from all around the world with the USA representing 25% of the responses.

Once again I recognize that the sample is skewed. Anyone, like you, who reads a blog like this, follows influencers on social media, or regularly attends something like a TechNet/Ignite/community IT pro events is not a regular IT pro. You are more educated and are not 100% representative of the wider audience. I suspect that more of you are using non-Full UI options (Hyper-V Server, MinShell or Core) than in the wider market.

The Results

Here we go:


So the vast majority of people are not using any installations of MinShell or Core for their application servers. Nearly 15% have a few Core or MinShell installations and then we get into tiny percentages for the rest of the market.


We can see quite clearly, that despite the evangelizing by Microsoft, the market prefers to deploy valuable servers with a UI that allows management and troubleshooting – not to mention support by Microsoft.

Is there a regional skewing of the data? Yes, to some extent. The USA (25% of responses) has opted to deploy a Full UI slightly less than the rest of the world:


You can see the difference when we compare this to a selection of EU countries including: Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, France and Poland (53% of the survey).


FYI, the 4 responses that indicated that 80-100% of application servers were running MInShell or Core UI came from:

  • USA (2)
  • Germany (2)

My Opinion

I am slightly less hardline with Full VS Core/MinShell when it comes to application servers than I am with Hyper-V hosts. But, I am not in complete agreement with the Microsoft mantra of Core, Core, Core. I know that when it comes to most LOB apps, even large enterprises have loads of those awful single or dual server installations that right-minded admins dislike – if that’s what devs deploy then there’s little we can do about it. And those are exactly the machines that become sacred cows.

However, in large scale-out apps where servers can be stateless, I can see the benefits of using Core/MinShell … to a limited extent. To be honest, I think Nano would be better when it eventually makes it to a non-infrastructure role.

Your Opinion

What do you think? Post your comments below.

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Survey – What percentage of your Windows APPLICATION servers run with MinShell or Core UI?

And we’re back with a follow-up survey. The last time I asked you about your Hyper-V hosts and the results were very interesting. Now I want to know about your Windows Server application servers, be they physical, on VMware, Hyper-V, Azure, AWS, or any other platform. Note: I do not care about any hosts this time – just the application servers that are running Windows Server. Here is the survey:


As before, I’ll run the survey for a few days and then post the results.

Please share this post with colleagues and on social media so we can get a nice big sample from around the world.


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Continue To Use October 2014 Windows Server Preview

Lots of folks that are using Window Server Technical Preview (from October 2014) were facing a ticking time bomb. The preview is set to expire on April 14th (tomorrow). Microsoft released a hotfix that will extend the life of the preview until the next preview is released in May.

Lot of folks have reported that this hotfix didn’t fix their issue. According to Microsoft:

  • If you are running Datacenter edition with a GUI then you need to activate the install with the key from here.
  • Sometime you will need to run SLMGR /ato to reactivate the installation.

My Take On Windows Nano Server & Hyper-V Containers

Microsoft made two significant announcements yesterday, further innovating their platform for cloud deployments.

Hyper-V Containers

Last year Microsoft announced a partnership with Docker, a leader in application containerization. The concept is similar to Server App-V, the now deprecated service virtualization solution from Microsoft. Instead of having 1 OS per app, containers allow you to deploy multiple applications per OS. The OS is shared, and sets of binaries and libraries are shared between similar/common apps.

Hypervisor versus application containers

These containers are can be deployed on a physical machine OS or within the guest OS of a virtual machine. Right now, you can deployed Docker app containers onto Ubuntu VMs in Azure, that are managed from Windows.

Why would you do this? Because app containers are FAST to deploy. Mark Russinovich demonstrated a WordPress install being deployed in a second at TechEd last year. That’s incredible! How long does it take you to deploy a VM? File copies are quick enough, especially over SMB 3.0 Direct Access and Multichannel, but the OS specialisation and updates take quite a while, even with enhancements. And Azure is actually quite slow, compared to a modern Hyper-V install, at deploying VMs.

Microsoft use the phrase “at the speed of business” when discussing containers. They want devs and devops to be able to deploy applications quickly, without the need to wait for an OS. And it doesn’t hurt, either, that there are fewer OSs to manage, patch, and break.

Microsoft also announced, with their partnership with Docker, that Windows Server vNext would offer Windows Server Containers. This is a means of app containers that is native to Windows Server, all manageable via the Microsoft and Docker open source stack.

But there is a problem with containers; they share a common OS, and sets of libraries and binaries. Anyone who understands virtualization will know that this creates a vulnerability gateway … a means to a “breakout”. If one application container is successfully compromised then the OS is vulnerable. And that is a nice foothold for any attacker, especially when you are talking about publicly facing containers, such as those that might be in a public cloud.

And this is why Microsoft has offered a second container option in Windows Server vNext, based on the security boundaries of their hypervisor, Hyper-V.

Windows Server vNext offers Windows Containers and Hyper-V Containers

Hyper-V provides secure isolation for running each container, using the security of the hypervisor to create a boundary between each container. How this is accomplished has not been discussed publicly yet. We do know that Hyper-V containers will share the same management as Windows Server containers and that applications will be compatible with both.

Nano Server

It’s been a little while since a Microsoft employee leaked some details of Nano Server. There was a lot of speculation about Nano, most of which was wrong. Nano is a result of Microsoft’s, and their customers’, experiences in cloud computing:

  • Infrastructure and compute
  • Application hosting

Customers in these true cloud scenarios have the need for a smaller operating system and this is what Nano gives them. The OS is beyond Server Core. It’s not just Windows without the UI; it is Windows without the I (interface). There is no logon prompt and no remote desktop. This is a headless server installation option, that requires remote management via:

  • WMI
  • PowerShell
  • Desired State Configuration (DSC) – you deploy the OS and it configures itself from a template you host
  • RSAT (probably)
  • System Center (probably)

Microsoft also removed:

  • 32 bit support (WOW64) so Nano will run just 64-bit code
  • MSI meaning that you need a new way to deploy applications … hmm … where did we hear about that very recently *cough*
  • A number of default Server Core components

Nano is a stripped down OS, truly being incapable of doing anything until you add the functionality

The intended scenarios for Nano usage are in the cloud:

  • Hyper-V compute and storage (Scale-Out File Server)
  • “Born-in-the-cloud” applications, such as Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers

In theory, a stripped down OS should speed up deployment, make install footprints smaller (we need non-OEM SD card installation support, Microsoft), reduce reboot times, reduce patching (pointless if I reboot just once per month), and reduce the number of bugs and zero day vulnerabilities.

Nano Server sounds exciting, right? But is it another Server Core? Core was exciting back in W2008. A lot of us tried it, and today, Core is used in a teeny tiny number of installs, despite some folks in Redmond thinking that (a) it’s the best install type and (b) it’s what customers are doing. They were and still are wrong. Core was a failure because:

  • Admins are not prepared to use it
  • The need to have on-console access

We have the ability add/remove a UI in WS2012 but that system is broken when you do all your updates. Not good.

As for troubleshooting, Microsoft says to treat your servers like cattle, not like pets. Hah! How many of you have all your applications running across dozens of load balanced servers? Even big enterprise deploys applications the same way as an SME: on one to a handful of valuable machines that cannot be lost. How can you really troubleshoot headless machines that are having networking issues?

On the compute/storage stack, almost every issue I see on Windows Server and Hyper-V is related to failures in certified drivers and firmwares, e.g. Emulex VMQ. Am I really expected to deploy a headless OS onto hardware where the HCL certification has the value of a bucket with a hole in it? If I was to deploy Nano, even in cloud-scale installations, then I would need a super-HCL that stress tests all of the hardware enhancements. And I would want ALL of those hardware offloads turned OFF by default so that I can verify functionality for myself, because clearly, neither Microsoft’s HCL testers nor the OEMs are capable of even the most basic test right now.


In my opinion, the entry of containers into Windows Server and Hyper-V is a huge deal for larger customers and cloud service providers. This is true innovation. As for Nano, I can see the potential for cloud-scale deployments, but I cannot trust the troubleshooting-incapable installation option until Microsoft gives the OEMs a serous beating around the head and turns off hardware offloads by default.

An Open Letter To W2003 Upgrade Objectors

This post is dedicated to the person that refuses to upgrade from Windows Server 2003. I’m not targeting service providers and those who want to upgrade but face continued resistance. But if you are part of the problem, then please feel free to be offended. Please read it before you hurt your tired fingers writing a response.

I’m not going to pussy-foot around the issue. I couldn’t give a flying f**k if your delicate little feelings are dented. You are what’s wrong in our industry and I’ll welcome your departure.

Yes. You are professionally negligent. You’ve decided to put your customers,stockholders, and bosses at legal risk because you’re lazy.

You know that support is ending on July 14th 2015 for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, SBS 2003 and SBS 2003 R2, but still you plan on not upgrading. Why?

You say that it still works? Sure, and so did this:


 Photo of Windows Server 2003 administrator telling the world that they won’t upgrade

You think you’ll still get security fixes? Microsoft is STOPPING support, just like they did for XP. Were you right then? No, because you are an idiot. So you work for some government agency and you’ll reach a deal with Microsoft? On behalf of the tax payers of your state, let me thank you for being a total bollocks – we’ll be paying at least $1 million for year one of support, and that doubles each year. We’ll be landed with more debt because your incompetent work-shy habits.

You think third parties like some yellow-pack anti-malware or some dodgy pay-per-fix third party will secure you? Let me give you my professional assessment of that premise: HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!

Maybe other vendors will continue supporting their software on W2003? That’s about as useful as a deity offering extended support for the extracted failed kidney of a donor patient. If Microsoft isn’t supporting W2003, etc, then how exactly is Honest Bob’s Backup going to support it for you? Who are they going to call when there’s a problem that they need assistance on? Are you really that naive?

Even regulators recognise that “end of support” is a terminal condition. VISA will be terminating business with anyone still using W2003 as part of the payment operation. You won’t be able to continue PCI compliance. Insurance companies will see that W2003 as a business risk that it outside the scope of the policy. And hackers will have an easy route to attack your network.

“Oh poor me – I have an LOB app that can’t be replaced and only runs on W2003”. Well; why don’t you upgrade everything else and isolate the crap out of that service? Allegedly, there is an organ rattling inside that skull of yours so you might want to shake the dust off and engage it!

I have zero sympathy for your excuses. I know some of you will protest my comments. Your excuses, not reasons, only highlight your negligence. You’ve had a decade and 4 opportunities to upgrade your server OS. You can switch to OPEX cloud systems (big 3 or local) to minimise costs. You could have up-skilled and deployed services that are included in the cost of licensing WS2012 R2 instead of spending your stockholders or tax payers funds on 3rd party solutions. Yeah, I don’t have many good things to say to you, the objector, because, to be quite honest, there is little good to be said about you as an IT professional.

This post was written by Aidan Finn and has no association with my employers, or any other firm I have associated with. If you’re upset, then go cry in a dark room where you won’t annoy anyone else.

Release Of Windows Server Is Not Until 2016

I, like everyone else, have no idea what Microsoft’s plans are for release dates. And, BTW, I’ve cared less and less about System Center since the 2012 SP1 release, mainly thanks to Microsoft changing the licensing of System Center back then and killing sales completely in my market. I also have no inside information on System Center. I make guesses based on stages of development cycle, news, rumours, and past practices, etc. But I was damned sure that Microsoft was going to RTM Windows Server vNext in Q3 (July-Sept) 2015. I did think that GA was going to be after the GA of Windows 10, allowing the client OS to get some headlines by itself. But looking back, I forgot one thing, which I’ll get to and should have been obvious all along.

The news that broke last week (I was on the road) that “Windows Server and System Center” were not going to come out until 2016 really surprised me. I’ve seen some speculation on Twitter that “issues” in Windows Server are delaying the release. That is QUITE a jump in logic. I would remind everyone to take a look at the announcement again …

We’d also like to share a little more on what to expect from Windows Server and System Center this year. As we continue to advance the development of these products, we plan to release further previews through the remainder of 2015, with the final release in 2016.

… “Windows Server and System Center. Isn’t it interesting that none of the speculators has mentioned System Center and assumed that “bugs” in Windows Server is the cause of this relatively late release for Windows Server?

Only on one occasion in the history of System Center (including previous to the System Center label) has System Center been released at the same time as Windows Server; that was with the last release (2012 R2) and even then, some customers were unhappy that System Center was not on feature parity with Hyper-V and Windows Server (storage and networking) – they still aren’t BTW. Can System Center catch up with Windows Server by Q3 of this year? Hmm …. let’s see how much Microsoft has already announced in the cloud aspects of Windows Server vNext. That’s quite a bit of work accomplished by the Server group, right? I don’t think System Center could catch up in such a tight time frame. Remember, they don’t just have to keep up, but they have to add value.

So why can’t Microsoft release Windows Server ahead of System Center like they have done before? There’s three aspects to this:

  • Promises: Microsoft promised that System Center would be released with Windows Server. They cannot offer free ammunition to rivals and sceptics.
  • Sales to Cloud/Enterprise: Microsoft account managers do not sell Windows Server. They sell bundles like ECI or CIS to their enterprise customers. The customer is getting Windows Server and System Center. Look at the last quarterly results to see how System Center had double digit growth. That doesn’t come in sales to SMEs – Microsoft killed that market 2 years ago with the SML license.
  • Upgrades: Customers will not upgrade Windows Server if they manage it using System Center. And remember that some elements like VMM do not support newer versions of Windows Server Hyper-V.

My gut is screaming that this delay is nothing to do with Windows Server and everything to do with System Center. But that’s just me … guessing … with a little bit of history influencing my gut.

While I am disappointed that I won’t be talking, writing, and presenting on a new release later this year, I guess it means we’ll get a more feature rich, complete, and tested release sometime in 2016. That’s a good thing. Ignite 2015 will still have LOTS of great content on Windows 10, cloud innovations, and best practices for current tech (which most still aren’t using or are barely using), but Ignite 2016 could be quite the event to launch at! Yeah, I’m guessing that the launch of Windows Server and System Center 2016 will be May 2016 🙂

More Information For You To Read on Windows Server & System Center Previews

As I blogged last night, Microsoft released the technical preview releases for the Threshold generation of Windows Server and System Center, as well as Windows 10. Maybe by now you’ve started your downloads and begun exploring.

Maybe you’d like a little bit of reading to prepare you for what’s to come? Here’s what I could find so far:

  • What’s New in the Windows Server Technical Preview: The content in this section describes what’s new and changed in Windows Server® Technical Preview. The new features and changes listed here are the ones most likely to have the greatest impact as you work with this release.
  • Release Notes: Important Issues in the Windows Server Technical Preview: These release notes summarize the most critical issues in the Windows Server® Technical Preview operating system, including ways to avoid or work around the issues, if known.
  • Release Notes for System Center Technical Preview: These release notes provide information about System Center Technical Preview. To evaluate System Center Technical Preview, you need to be running Windows Server® Technical Preview and Microsoft SQL Server 2014.
  • Features removed in System Center Technical Preview: The following is a list of features and functionalities in System Center Technical Preview that have been removed from the product in the current release. This list is subject to change in subsequent releases and may not include every removed feature or functionality.
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