Windows Server 2016 Released, Touted as Hybrid Cloud Enabler
Microsoft yesterday announced the general availability of its new operating system for servers, Windows Server 2016, which the company said is ready for traditional and cloud-native applications.
Redmond also released System Center 2016 to help companies deploy, configure and manage their virtualized, software-defined datacenters and hybrid cloud infrastructures.
The Windows Server 2016 release is just one of many reflecting Microsoft's deep commitment to the hybrid cloud, Mark Jewett, Microsoft’s senior director of product marketing for the cloud platform, wrote in a blog post yesterday.
“In our long-held view, hybrid cloud is the reality for all enterprise customers, even those with the most ambitious cloud plans. Some applications should and will move quickly to public cloud, while others face technological and regulatory obstacles," he said. "Regardless of where these applications run today or will run in the future, Windows Server 2016 provides a rich and secure platform.”
Portability Across Environments
Windows Server 2016 offers seamless portability across data centers as well as private, and public cloud environments, according to Microsoft. The OS uses both virtual machine (VM) and new container formats that can be deployed wherever they're needed.
The OS now also offers portability to Microsoft Azure with a new feature called Azure Hybrid Use Benefit that allows Windows Server virtual machines to be run in Azure at a discounted rate.
The effort to optimize the latest version of Windows Server for the hybrid cloud is part of Microsoft's broader strategy to focus on hybrid cloud across its portfolio, including its Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure services. The goal is to refocus its efforts on building a comprehensive set of capabilities across all of its platforms, according to Microsoft.
Consistency Across the Hybrid Cloud
While many IT companies are now turning their attention to hybrid deployments, Jewett said the way Microsoft is approaching the problem is fundamentally different from its competitors.
“Customers tell us it isn’t enough to be simply connected across cloud environments,” Jewett said. “Yes, great network connectivity and common VM formats are foundational requirements, but consistency is the real key. Consistency means IT professional, developer, and end user experiences don’t change based on the location of the resource, and provides the ultimate flexibility to use the right cloud resources at the right time.”
Jewett said Microsoft’s approach to hybrid cloud deployment will allow for more uniform software development, with developers able to deploy applications and services at optimal locations based on their particular business needs and technical requirements.
The new operating system also provides operators with a consistent interface, allowing resources to be managed and updated by DevOps across the hybrid cloud. That should eliminate the need for users to learn new environments when managing resources in the cloud.
It will also allow for more consistent security across geographic locations, as data can be maintained for longer periods at lower costs and without the need for enterprises to make changes to either their IT infrastructures or applications, according to Microsoft.