Microsoft has released to Insiders the first test construct of its next Windows Server. Build 17035 of Windows Server is identical to its PC counterpart, codenamed “Redstone 4.” Assuming Microsoft sticks to its six-month release cadence, both the client and server function updates are anticipated to be designated 1803 (for March 2018), and to start rolling out to mainstream users around April 2018.
In Microsoft dictionary, Windows Server 1803 could, therefore, be the next “Semi-Annual Channel release” for Windows Server.
As of this construct, Server Insiders get the selection of ISO layout or VHDX layout, with photographs pre-keyed, eliminating the need to input a key right through the setup.
An important announcement in 17035 is the return of Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), which mysteriously disappeared from Windows Server 1709, allegedly because of quality issues.
Since then, Microsoft has been promising “hyper-converged innovation” in “another release available very soon.” But now the tech leader has said that the software-defined storage tool is coming back with “some new and necessary updates” added to it including Data Deduplication and Resilient File System (ReFS).
The only other addition to this construct is that builders can use localhost or loopback (127.0.0.1) to get admission to products and services running in containers on the host.
With this new test build, Microsoft is making available Honolulu Technical Preview 1711 Construct 01003. Honolulu is a graphical control device for Windows Server. Inside Honolulu, Microsoft is making updates and adjustments to Remote Desktop, Windows 10 client management, Switch Embedded Teaming, and Data grid performance.
In its announcement, Microsoft has listed the recognized problems with Server 17035, such as the cases when the base filtering engine (BFE) service may fail to start preventing the Windows Defender firewall (MpsSvc service) from starting, and that testing of the Windows core may fail because of a timeout while attempting to load the test libraries. For Honolulu Tech Preview 1711, all the known issues have been listed here.
The return of Storage Spaces Direct is a definite takeaway. But is this build preview all that “big hyper-converged innovation” Microsoft teased us with? ReFS has been around since Windows Server 2012, and Data Deduplication is a checkbox feature for any storage device. We just have a feeling there could be bigger announcements in store.