Microsoft Sets Stage for Windows Server 2016 with New eBook
The latest item to post to the Microsoft Press Blog bears the headline Free e-book: Introducing Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, which foretells much of my story.
Microsoft is making free digital copies of this book available in both Standard and Mobile PDF format, and via Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The book is addressed directly to Windows Server Technical Preview 4, although Technical Preview 5 was released just yesterday (April 27) as I write these words.
You can grab V5 from the TechNet Evaluation Center at the Windows Server Evaluations page, where you'll find downloads for plain-vanilla Windows Server, Hyper-V Server, and Server Essentials ready and waiting.
If you really, really want V4 instead, you can find similar links to ISO files at TechGlobex.Net. (Miscrosoft doesn't want to publicize older versions, it would seem, once new ones become available. The older stuff, however, is still out there.)
The book is more than 170 pages long and structured into seven chapters. Each chapter is the work of a member of the Microsoft product team, or of one of its premier field engineers. Here's a brief summary of what interested parties can expect to learn as they peruse each chapter:
1. The Software-Defined Data Center: This digs into agile IT, the MS Cloud platform, and how these technologies can combine to redefine datacenter architectures and best practices.
2. Compute: Here you'll get an overview of discussion of failover clustering, Hyper-V, and Multi-Point Services, with special emphasis on additions, improvements and enhancements to these capabilities in the upcoming Windows Server 2016.
3. Storage: This part addresses Storage Replicas and replication mechanisms, Storage Spaces, deduplication capabilities, and Storage Quality of Service (QoS) topics.
4. Networking: This covers built-in SDN capabilities including network virtualization, network controllers, BGP routers, load balancing, and firewalls, as well as Web Application Proxies and their troubleshooting.
5. Security: Here you'll learn about mechanisms to support shielded VMs; threat-resistant technologies such as Control Flow Guard, Device Guard and more; threat detection technologies; and securing privileged access.
6. App Plat (Application Platform): This section breaks down Nano Server and Containers, subjects of great interest to many Windows admins.
7. Systems Management: The final chapter covers PowerShell improvements in great detail in the context of Local Configuration Manager, plus System Center 2016 and the Operations Management Suite.
There's a lot of good material in this book. It provides a solid overview of what to expect from Windows Server 2016 and a fairly detailed guide to the TP4 version of that software.
Best of all, the price is right: FREE. Grab yourself a copy today and check it out.