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Ten reasons you’ll love Windows Server 2016 #6: Software-defined compute

This is the sixth post in the “Ten Reasons You’ll Love Windows Server 2016” video series by Matt McSpirit, Technical Evangelist at Microsoft.

Today, Matt talks to Mathew John, Principal Group Program Manager for Hyper-V and Containers. Mathew’s team is responsible for product vision and roadmap as well as partnering with the development team to deliver these features in Windows Server 2016.

In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft takes the approach of investing in the traditional IT Pro features for the infrastructure fabric as well as for the application runtime with new technologies such as Containers and PowerShell. Mathew kicks off the interview explaining the investments in the Cluster technology to make the upgrade to Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V faster and smoother with Rolling Cluster Upgrades and Mixed Mode Cluster. These technologies allow companies to move virtual machines to the new version of Windows Server without impact to the workload and without requiring new hardware investments.

Mathew follows with other great features for Hyper-V administrators to be able to improve performance and reliability with Production Checkpoints, Virtual Machine Backups and hot add and remove of memory and networking. All these new features focus on allowing the administrator to perform operations to manage the virtual machines while reducing the impact of these actions to the workload.

In the management space, PowerShell Direct allows Hyper-V administrators to easily manage virtual machines without network connections by connecting via VMBus. This allows new scenarios for virtual machine management while maintaining all the security aspects of it. Diving into the security landscape, Just Enough Administration combined with PowerShell Direct provide the administrator the ability to perform their functions while ensuring they don’t get more than what is necessary. Shielded VM’s also provide an amazing new security feature by encrypting virtual machine disks and state to prevent fabric administrator access to secrets inside tenant or workload-specific VMs.

Another aspect of the investments for Hyper-V and compute is the fact that Linux is a key part of it. In Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, the team is focused on making sure these new features and capabilities are also available for Linux guest OS.

From the application perspective, Windows Server Containers bring great new capabilities along with the partnership with Docker. Containers provide new capabilities to build “born in the cloud” applications, and was previously only available in Linux. In Windows Server 2016, we bring this technology to the Microsoft platform while leveraging customer investments with Docker. In addition to that, Hyper-V Containers provide an additional level of isolation that is necessary for multi-tenant environments such as Microsoft Azure or applications that need to meet certain regulations.

To learn more about the investments around compute in Windows Server 2016, check the documentation available on TechNet.

Get more updates on Windows Server 2016 by following the Windows Server team (@WindowsServer) and Matt (@mattmcspirit) on Twitter.

Check out the other posts in this series: