Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Beast Mode – Control and Customization with Linux

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 has a newfound love for open source and Linux, like other Microsoft products. This operating system combines old-fashioned admin tools with cutting-edge features. It is truly a beast for admins. We explore the details of how Server 2016 aligns with the Linux and Open Source ecosystems — and what this all means for your IT career.
You get big things in tiny packages
We discussed recently how Microsoft’s closed-door approach to open-source Linux is causing a lot of confusion.
First, the July Insider Preview release for Server 2016 was released. This brought with it more innovations by Redmond. The most significant change is Nano Server, which is extensively covered in our Advanced Windows Server Training.
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Start trainingThis lightweight OS flavor is stripped of many features to optimize for the cloud. To minimize your Azure and AWS bills, storage and compute requirements are reduced as much possible. The GUI has been removed, so management can only be done remotely. 32-bit support, group policies, NIC teaming and the ability to manage domain controller roles are also gone.
You can manually install and configure server roles, but the OS was built from the ground up for container use. Nano Server, now in the Inside Preview is a container-only option. There are no more bare metal installations. These missing features are now apparent from the perspective of container computing, which is scalable, automated, spin-up-and destroy. Kubernetes support enhancement will allow for all of this container power. These are features that Linux administrators should be familiar with and a development mindset.
Puppet’s automated server deployments make it easy to increase admin power. Puppet can be used to leverage your Windows stack if you have invested time, energy and training in it. This will further blur the line between open source and Microsoft administration.
HULK SmaSH
Server 2016 includes SSH and SCP support. This allows remote terminals to be used and file transfers can be done without the use of third-party tools. It’s been easy to download WinSCP and PuTTY to connect to Linux via the Windows desktop. This is a sign of Microsoft’s willingness and ability to accommodate admins who need to keep their feet in both camps and decrease their switching costs.
Server 2016 also improved support for NFS file sharing protocols in both client and server roles. Microsoft is the standard in the *nix community for sharing files such as Windows’ SMB. This shows Microsoft how it continues to build and improve an incredible utility belt of tools for admins.
Virtualization P-P-P-P-Power
All this talk about containers and automation would not be possible without Hyper-V. Microsoft’s hypervisor received a large share of the server’s colossal upgrades with Server 2016. Hot adding network adapters, memory, and nested virtualization are just a few of the many benefits that Server 2016 offers.
These constant improvements bring to mind the never-ending battle between VMware and Hyper-V. Some believe that Microsoft is always playing catch-up, and that Hyper-V is always behind in terms market share and features. This gap is rapidly shrinking with Microsoft’s current strength. VMware can’t afford to rest on its laurels.