Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft announced yesterday that Windows Server 2019 is now generally available. It is the first Windows Server version that completely skips the Release to Manufacturing RTM phase, going directly to General Availability (GA). Server 2019 is available in Standard, Datacenter and Essentials editions.
According to the Core OS team at Microsoft, this is because of the “increasing popularity of virtual machines, containers, and cloud deployment“. Of course, this also means that validating hardware systems and certifying systems and components was not completed prior to this release, either. All that work starts now, with the GA release.
Windows Server 2019 is the first server operating system designed to be managed with the Windows Admin Center. You’ll see this screen as soon as you finish installation and boot to the Server desktop for the first time:
I was able to add Windows Server to Windows Admin Center on a Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18252 laptop in 30 seconds, to take total control of the server:
Another thing making its debut in Windows Server 2019 is its hybrid capabilities. These combine on-premises server and the cloud environment. Moving everything to the cloud will be a piece of cake, too. It is now easy to connect existing Server deployments to Azure services using hybrid capabilities built into the Windows Admin Center. This allows use of hybrid features like Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, and disaster recovery to extend existing datacenters to Azure. The Storage Migration Service will help to migrate file servers and their data to Azure with no need to reconfigure applications or users.
The final GA version of Windows Server 2019 is available since yesterday, October 4th. You can download an evaluation version from the Microsoft Evaluation Center, where you can choose an ISO or VHD download. Alternatively, you can choose to add it to Azure as a virtual machine. Volume licensing customers can download it from the Volume Licensing Service Center, and if you plan to test and use Windows Server on an Azure virtual machine, it is available on the Azure Marketplace as well.
I will upgrade my Windows Server 2016 to 2019 this weekend, and post more about my experiences in coming weeks.
For additional information please visit: Windows Server 2019 – Announcing general availability
Author: Kari Finn
A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.