Windows Server 2019 – Now available in preview

On March 20th, 2018 the Microsoft Windows Server Team announced that Windows Server 2019 was now available in preview. This is the one of the first times we’ve heard about the new server operating system and it has certainly been met with mixed reactions. It is expected for release sometime in the second half of 2018.

Today is a big day for Windows Server! On behalf of the entire Windows Server team, I am delighted to announce Windows Server 2019 will be generally available in the second half of calendar year 2018. Starting now, you can access the preview build through our Insiders program. -Erin Chapple, Director of Program Management, Windows Server

This new edition of Windows Server seems to have come at at time where most enterprises are just now starting to deploy Windows Server 2016. This is primarily due to Microsoft’s updated release schedule channels.

Microsoft has indicated that Windows Server 2019 release will be part of the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), which also includes Windows Server 2016. Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) formerly called the “Long-Term Servicing Branch” is Microsoft’s release model where a new major version of Windows Server is released every 2-3 years. Users are entitled to 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support. This channel is appropriate for systems that require a longer servicing option and functional stability.

New in Windows Server 2019:

  • GUI-less focus – Project Honolulu
  • Hybrid cloud scenarios
  • Security – Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection now embedded
  • Application Platform – Docker, Windows Server containers and Windows Subsystem on Linux (WSL)
  • Kubernetes support in beta
  • Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)

Windows Server 2019 LTSC Build 17623 is available in ISO format in 18 languages. At this time Microsoft is encouraging user’s to try out the Technical Preview and focus on using the In-place OS Upgrade and Application compatibility.

Microsoft also snuck in a rather direct warning about potential CAL pricing increases that will arrive with Windows Server 2019.

It is highly likely we will increase pricing for Windows Server Client Access Licensing (CAL).

At the end of the day I think we all welcome new innovation and I’m excited to see what Windows Server 2019 can do but I personally I think it’s a little too soon for another major release. In my opinion Windows Server 2016 R2 may have been more appropriate and then waited until 2020 to release the next major.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Karl has been involved in the virtualization, server, web development and web hosting industry for over 15 years. In his current role at a managed service provider, he is focused on cloud-based solutions for enterprise clients. His diverse background of sales, management, and architectural/technical expertise bring a unique perspective to the virtualization practice.