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Top 5 Features in Windows Server 2019

The launch of Windows Server 2019 late last year marked the arrival of some great new features that updated Windows Server 2016. It corrected flaws in the previous system to show a tremendous advancement in its features in just three years. The new release delivers improvements in security, the application platform and the infrastructure, providing better performance and results for users.

One tremendous advantage included with Windows Server 2019 is that Microsoft has vastly improved the in-place upgrade experience for users. That means users will find it easier to upgrade from a 2012 or 2016 server with less risk of losing data, and you can expect fewer complications.

Windows Server 2019 has a different look and feel than its predecessors, and it checks some of the boxes that were missed last time around. When Server 2016 was released, many IT admins were disappointed by the lack of a graphical user interface (GUI). With the release of Server 2019, admins have two options: to use the Server Core option for a GUI-free experience or to use the new “desktop” GUI option, which provides an experience that will feel familiar to anyone comfortable with Windows 10 desktop.

There are many new things to discover with Windows Server 2019, so let’s take a look at five of the top features that make the latest Windows Server truly stand out.

No. 1: Enhanced Security Capabilities

The inclusion of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) ensures greater security within Windows Server 2019. Thanks to its endpoint behavioral sensors and response actions backed by cloud security analytics and threat intelligence, it can expose memory- and kernel-level attacks. Its sophisticated capabilities will help eliminate the latest threats, and its new emergency security intelligence updates ensure a faster delivery of protection from the unknown.

In the event of an outbreak, the Windows Defender ATP research team can issue an emergency request to all devices connected to the targeted server and pull dedicated updates directly from the Windows Defender ATP cloud. This feature reduces the need for security admins to take action or to have to wait for the internal client update infrastructure to catch up. Instead, it provides immediate protection for all connected devices.

No. 2: Storage Migration Services

The new Storage Migration Service is designed to simplify the migration of servers to a new version of Windows Server. It offers a tool that takes a visual inventory of all the data on servers and then, without the need for apps, it transfers the data and configuration to newer servers.

Among its benefits are:

  • Rapid transfer of files, file shares and security configurations from the source servers
  • It can take over the identity of source servers (cutting over) so users/apps don’t have to make any changes to access existing data
  • The ability to manage multiple migrations from the Windows Admin Center user interface

Migration involves a simple, three-step process.

No. 3: Project Honolulu

The Windows Admin Center, formerly code-named Project Honolulu, represents the evolution of the many in-box management tools provided by Windows Server, such as Server Manager and Microsoft Management Console (MMC). It is designed to work as a complement to System Center, not a replacement for it, and it brings together all of the aspects of local and remote server management to provide full control over the server infrastructure.

It is particularly effective for managing servers on private networks that are not connected to the Internet, along with other added benefits such as:

  • Provides a number of enhancements to make your management platform more secure, including the ability to gain insight into specific management actions performed in your environment
  • Integrates easily with Azure services
  • Offers the best available experience for managing hyper-converged clusters

The Windows Admin Center has been created with extensibility in mind, allowing both Microsoft and third-party developers to create additional tools and solutions.

No. 4: System Insights

System Insights is a brand new feature rolled out for Windows Server 2019, and it uses predictive analytics to warn administrators of potential problems. Using data collected from performance counters and the Windows Event Log, System Insight can help lower the cost of managing your Windows Server through the use of machine-learning models.

Cloud connectivity is not required for this local analytics feature, as all of the data is processed and analyzed directly on the local server. However, there is an option to forward events created by System Insights to your Azure Monitor and System Center Operations Manager to provide a more unified overview of your entire environment.

Right out of the box, System Insights provides these four forecasting capabilities:

  • CPU capacity
  • Networking capacity
  • Total storage consumption
  • Volume consumption

No. 5: Improved Reliability

Even Microsoft acknowledges that the Server Core in Windows Server 2016 was not very reliable. That issue is addressed with Windows Server 2019, which comes with a compatibility option called Server Core Features on Demand.

While this optional feature can be installed at any time, it can only be added to Windows Server Core installations and images. It increases the compatibility of Server Core for server applications that have already been developed and deployed by your organization, and it increases the app compatibility of software tools that are used in troubleshooting/debugging situations.

A Server for the Future

Reviews on Windows Server 2019 have been favorable, thanks to the many new features related to the hybrid cloud and the extensive security capabilities. For administrators who are nearing the end of life for their current server or want to upgrade to a more secure and agile environment, upgrading to Windows Server 2019 is well worth the investment.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Aventis Systems can assist you with your search for new server options and help with the migration as well. We can advise you on any additional equipment you might need and help ensure a smooth transition to your new server. Contact us at 1-855-AVENTIS or www.aventissystems.com to get started.

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