Microsoft has currently launched the much awaited Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17650. This build comes with numerous new features and the company has specifically worked out in two areas, which they want you to try. These areas are:
- In-place OS Upgrade (from Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016)
- Application compatibility – please let us know if any server roles or applications stops working or fails to function as it used to
In its official blog, the company announced,
“Today we are pleased to release a new build of the Windows Server vNext Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release that contains both the Desktop Experience as well as Server Core in all 18 server languages, as well as a new build of the next Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel release.”
New features in this build
The following are the new features that Microsoft has released with this build 17650. They are as stated below:
Failover Clustering: File Share Witness
The file share witness comes with two new enhancements. They are:
The first enhancement blocks the use of a Distributed File System (DFS) share as a location. Adding a File Share Witness (FSW) to a DFS share can cause stability issues for your cluster, and this configuration has never been supported. Hence, Microsoft has gone on and added logic to detect if a share uses DFS, and if DFS is detected, Failover Cluster Manager blocks the creation of the witness and displays an error message about not being supported.
The second enhancement enables the use of an FSW for several scenarios that were previously not supported. They are:
- Absent or extremely poor Internet access because of a remote location, preventing the use of a cloud witness.
- Lack of shared drives for a disk witness. This could be a Storage Spaces Direct hyperconverged configuration, a SQL Server Always On Availability Groups (AG), or an Exchange Database Availability Group (DAG), none of which use shared disks.
- Lack of a domain controller connection due to the cluster being behind a DMZ.
A workgroup or cross-domain cluster for which there is no Active Directory cluster name object (CNO). Find out more about these enhancements in the following posts in Server & Management Blogs: Failover Cluster File Share Witness and DFS New File Share Witness Feature in Windows Server 2019
Failover clustering: Moving Clusters between domains
Moving a cluster from one domain to another has always been a daunting task as you must destroy the cluster to move it. Depending on the roles in the cluster, that role must also be removed and recreated. The following are two common scenarios mentioned in the Microsoft’s official blog:
- Company A purchases Company B and must move all servers to Company A’s domain
- Main office builds a cluster and ships it to another location
- Microsoft has gone on to add two new PowerShell commandlets to quickly take you from one domain to another without the need to destroy it.
The following improvements have been added to the storage replica (SR):
1. SR replicates a single volume instead of an unlimited number of volumes.
2. Volumes can have one partnership instead of an unlimited number of partners.
3. Volumes can have a size of up to 2 TB instead of an unlimited size.
Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH)
RDSH is a Remote Desktop Services role services that allow the users to share Windows based programs or the full Windows desktop. You will now be able to connect to an RD Session Host server in order to run the programs, save files and also use network resources on that server. It was due to a bug that the RDSH was missing in the previous release; however, this bug has been fixed with this release.
The Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview is now available with ISO format in 18 languages. This build along with all the upcoming builds will require the use of activation keys during setups. The unlimited activations keys are:
- Datacenter Edition: 6XBNX-4JQGW-QX6QG-74P76-72V67
- Standard Edition: MFY9F-XBN2F-TYFMP-CCV49-RMYVH
The Server Core is available only in English in ISO or VHDX format. The images are pre-keyed and you do not need to enter a key during setup.
It is important to note that this build will expire on 2nd July 2018.
To download this build, check here.