The launch of Microsoft Server 2016 heralds the time for many UK businesses to start preparing for their next server upgrade.
Microsoft says its new server brings “cloud-inspired capabilities to your datacentre” – providing advances in computing, networking and storage power. It also comes with Windows Defender security installed and enabled as standard.
Gary Jowett from CNC in Brighton says: “Some companies may feel their current Microsoft server is still good enough. However, the reality is that all servers wear out over time and the superior core processing power of this new generation of servers means your business won’t be able to support evolving services using old technology in a few years’ time.”
What may surprise some businesses is the new licence fee they have to pay for each physical core of the server. As each physical server has a minimum of two processors – with eight cores in each – that means 16 physical cores need to be licensed.
Hybrid cloud services
Microsoft says its decision to charge a licence fee per core is one of the necessary steps it’s taking to evolve the development of its hybrid cloud services enabling companies to take full advantage of cloud services while still maintaining an on-site server.
While licensing of physical cores is an added cost, Microsoft Server 2016 comes with a number of attractive new features.
One is that you can configure Active Directory (AD) Federation Services to authenticate users stored in non-AD directories, an example being Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directories and SQL databases. Another feature is the support provided for Open Graphics Library 4.4 and Open Computing Language 1.1 in its Remote Desktop Services.
The server’s Storage Services also provide better protection against potential data loss during disaster recovery. One vital storage service is Storage Replica which provides synchronous and asynchronous replication of data. Microsoft claims this ensures zero data loss with data being replicated in blocks instead of files.
Gary adds: “Transition to the new Microsoft Server 2016 can be swift and painless. Perhaps allow a weekend for the switchover and testing to take place. We recommend that all businesses currently running the previous Microsoft Server should plan ahead for an upgrade at some point in the next two years.”