Windows Server 2016 ISO now available for download, Microsoft offering free datacenter licenses to VMware users*
* Customers pay only the cost of Software Assurance. See also visitor comment below.
You may recall me doing a bit of Hyper-V testing and demonstration earlier this year, using the impressively-stable Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 (beta) code. I also tested it as a VMware ESXi 6.0U2 VM and found that the speed, performance, and compatibility was excellent, featuring that vaguely Windows 10 UI. Yes, the good parts of the Windows 10 UI, skipping much of annoyance of the Windows 8-like UI that Windows Server 2012 R2 was saddled with.
The final bits for Windows Server 2016 are now available, and you can try them free for 180 days, even if you don't have MSDN!
Mary Jo recently published two related article that may be interest to IT Pros and virtualization enthusiasts, since Window Server is highly likely to be in the mix at work and in home labs, even if Hyper-V is not the hypervisor they're using today. I personal prefer to try to keep both running in my home lab, to keep up with the latest advancements, and to stay familiar with both UIs and management tools.
I've had the good fortune to meet Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott, and I suspect many of you also listen to their Windows Weekly podcast. Here's Mary Jo's first of two related articles to check out:
- Windows Server 2016 will be generally available by mid-October. Microsoft's Azure Stack hybrid system is hitting Technical Preview today.
Sep 26 2016 by Mary Joe Foley at All About Microsoft
It's simple to get that ISO download going, just fill out that basic TechNet form found at this site:
Download Windows Server 2016 Evaluation 2016
the file you download will be called:
In my home, instead of the usual Akamai CDN for many Microsoft ISO file downloads, I discovered that the bits were coming from Cox Communications IP address 184.108.40.206 this time around. The speed was a decent 30 Mbps (of my 300 Mbps connection), taking about 15 minutes to complete. Your findings will vary.
While that's downloading, now you have some more time to read this second article, more enterprise-focused:
- Microsoft offers free Windows Server 2016 licenses to VMware switchers
Microsoft is kicking off a nine-month Windows Server 2016 promotion aimed at getting VMware vSphere users to migrate to Hyper-V.
Aug 25 2016 by Mary Jo Foley at All About Microsoft
Yeah, you're not likely to have software assurance for your home lab, but still, good to be aware of. Microsoft isn't exactly shy about their efforts to go toe-to-toe with VMware, see also:
Microsoft Cloud Platform Calculate your TCO
5 REASONS TO CONVERT VMWARE TO HYPER-V
- Migrate your workloads to Hyper-V and receive free Windows Server Datacenter licenses
*Customers pay only the cost of Software Assurance.
Jan 28 2017 Update
Special thanks to jcotton42 for his response under reddit/r/sysadmin:
- Install Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V on a Supermicro SuperServer with built-in Intel RSTe RAID
Jan 27 2017
This is wrong, you can go to paid using dism:
dism /Online /Get-TargetEditionsto discover the editions you can upgrade to, then
dism /Online /Set-Edition:<edition> /ProductKey:<key> /AcceptEulathen reboot
See more here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204(v=ws.11).aspx
Somebody out there tested this lately on a Server 2016 evaluatioin? Please drop a response below, so others will know.
See also at TinkerTry
Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE works well with Windows Server 2016 (beta) already, here's how
Intel Xeon D-1541 Supermicro SuperServer demonstration/presentation at Virtualization Group Boston
TinkerTry appearance on Microsoft Channel 9 - Everything You Need To Know About State Of The Art SSD Drives NVMe, PCIe, M.2
- How to easily install Windows Server 2016/Hyper-V on an Intel Xeon D Supermicro SuperServer