What is windows server and its purposeWindows server is a server operating system released and maintained by Microsoft. Since windows was a great hit in the markert of operating systems and the majority of personal computers throughout the world are operating on Windows OS. Microsoft released Windows server to capture the market of server operating systems. Today windows server is also a huge success, although not as huge as Windows OS but still the number of users of windows server is also in millions.
Windows server can be termed as windows OS on steroids. As windows server not only includes most of the famous features of the windows OS but also huge server side software tools. When servers are configured for the need of any organization, their primary goal is to achieve maximum processing power and distribute it to all the incoming and outgoing traffic in that particular server. Windows server in a nutshell does this. Windows server focuses more on the server related processes such as hosting a website, users and resources management, user authentication and authorization and access control through the server.
Windows server 2016
The first windows server was released in 2003, and since then almost every year a new version is introduced with added features and better security. Windows server 2016 has cam a long way from the initial Windows server 2003 and it came along fulfilling many current generation requirements. The Windows server came with huge focus on Compute, virtualization and security, these three were the main selling points of Windows ser 2016. Still to this day many organizations are using Windows server 2016 because of its reliability and excess of functionalities.
The windows server 2016 came with some new features such as Nano server, containers and linux secure boot. All of these were game changers back then and these new features are what got the attention of large organizations to switch to windows server 2016. True experts of windows server 2016 take the 70 740, 70 741, and 70 742 certification exams to test their skills regarding networking, installation storage and compute with windows server 2016. And the people who pass this certification are termed as experts of windows server 2016.
Windows server 2019
In October of 2018, the Windows Server 2019 was released and it has been continuously updated since. It is the latest released in the series of Windows server operating systems, and includes some overwhelming changes. Some of the key features of windows server 2019 include advancements in container services, storage, security and administrations.
In terms of container services the Windows server 2019 now supports Kubernetes which is a huge deal for DevOps prospective, along with this also support for Tigera Calico for windows and linux containers now work on Windows too.
In case of storage, there are new features like storage spaces direct, storage migration service, storage replica and storage insights. For security the Windows server 2019 comes with shielded virtual machines and improved windows defender. Lastly at administration side, Windows admin center and SetupDiag are the two key features introduced in windows server 2019.
Windows server 2016 vs 2019
Windows server 2016 was ahead of its time in most cases and with the updates it got better with time. But now with the release of Windows server 2019, it is ahead of it’s time as well and slowly becoming the new standard. As windows server 2019 introduces some groundbreaking features that aren’t included in 2016 version, and microsoft does not intend to provide these features or any other new features to windows server 2016 from this point onwards.
The main difference is in the features of both, as 2019 is a newer version it comes with new features that you cannot get on 2016 but also 2016 version has some features that are now deprecated in Windows server 2019. The main reason for deprecating any features is because a new feature fills in its spot or some code level optimization leaves that old feature useless hence removed.
- Features introduced in Windows server 2019
Some of the new features introduced in windows server 2019 are Hybrid Cloud option, Storage Migration Service, Expect Breach, Embedded Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Shielded VMs for Windows Server & Linux, Extended support of VMConnect, Additional support for Linux VMs, Cluster Hardening (Requirement of Active Directory is eliminated for clusters in Windows Server), Linux containers (Managing Linux and Windows in the same environment), Windows Subsystem for hosting Linux, Server Core Features on Demand (FoD), Kubernetes support, Clusterwide monitoring, Kernel soft reboot, Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Improved SDN gateway
- Features that are in Windows server 2016 (deprecated in 2019)
Windows server 2016 is still unique in a way that it includes some features that windows server 2019 doesn’t such as Business Scanning/Distributed Scan Management (DSM), Internet Storage Name Service (ISNS), Internet Storage Name Service (ISNS), Print components for Server Core, Remote Desktop Connection Broker in Server Core installation and Remote Desktop Virtualization Host in Server Core Installation.
All these services are deprecated in Windows server 2019 and apart from these services the Windows server 2019 inherits all other services from Windows server 2016.
Is window server 2016 still relevant?
The simplest answer to this question is Yes, Windows server 2016 is in fact still relevant as of today. Because many organizations are still using it and haven’t made that leap of faith to windows server 2019 yet. So, demand for experts of windows server 2016 is still there and most of the people working on it are still in a gray area as for now, but they do need to quickly grab all the knowledge they can regarding windows server 2019.
Because technology is ever changing and ever growing thus it is important for organizations of any scale to get up to speed with the latest software. And for Windows Server line up it is windows server 2019 at this time. In the near future the Windows server 2019 will update drastically with more features, so it’s better to shift to windows server 2019 as of right now rather than later because the learning curve keeps getting bigger with time.
Also Read, Why Should You Disable Windows Defender?