Microsoft announced today on its Windows Server Blog that Windows Server 2016 will officially launch at the Ignite Conference that will take place in Atlanta, GA from September 26-30, 2016. If you've been following the news around the cloud-ready server operating system, you may be aware that it's has been in the pipeline for quite some time: Microsoft released the first technical preview back in October 2014, and the last Technical Preview in April 2016, which the company claims is "feature complete," was released in April 2016.
According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2016 will deliver "new layers of security and Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business." The upcoming release will come in three different editions:
- Datacenter: This edition continues to deliver significant value for organizations that need unlimited virtualization along with powerful new features including Shielded Virtual Machines, software-defined storage and software-defined networking.
- Standard: This edition is ideal for organizations that need limited virtualization but require a robust, general purpose server operating system.
- Essentials: This edition is designed for smaller organizations with less than 50 users.
Additionnaly, the blog post explains that there will be three installation options for the Standard and Datacenter editions (Nano Server, Server Core and Server with Desktop experience). This will have implications for the servicing experience, as companies who go for the Nano server installation will get periodic releases known as "Current Branch for Business" (CBB) releases, which the company also describes as "a more active servicing model similar to the experience with Windows 10." However, customers who opt for the full Windows Server 2016 with a desktop experience or Server Core will still get 5 years of mainstream support plus 5 years of extended support, which will now be known as the "Long Term Servicing Branch" (LTSB).
Overall, Microsoft hopes that Windows Server 2016 will "meet businesses and organizations where they are today, and introduces the innovation needed for the transition to cloud computing when ready." The three editions will be available for purchase on October and you can get details on pricing over here. If you already tried Technical Previews of Windows Server 2016, let us know in the comments if you like the new capabilities of the server operating system.