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Announcing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 16278

By Dona Sarkar / Software Engineer, Windows and Devices Group

September 7, 2017

Today we are pleased to be releasing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 16278 to Windows Insiders. To obtain the build, registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page.  Matching symbols and the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) packages are available on the same page. When installed on a Windows 10 client, RSAT allows a user to remotely manage and administer Insider builds of Windows Server via GUI tools. Valid on Windows 10 client builds greater than 16250.

For the best experience, the Windows Server team recommends a clean install.

If you have not yet registered as an Insider, register through the Windows Insiders for Business program or the Windows Insider program.

General Scenario Highlights

Developers and Containers:

  • New base container images (available on Windows Insider Docker Hub repo)
    • Optimized Nano Server base image (over 70% smaller)
      • The .NET team is providing a preview image based on Nano Server with .NET Core 2.0
      • The PowerShell team is providing a preview image based on PowerShell 6.0
    • Optimized Server Core base image (over 20% smaller)
  • Support for SMB volume mounting
  • Infrastructure for Orchestrators
    • Networking enhancements for ongoing Kubernetes work
    • Named pipe mapping support
  • Bug fixes, performance enhancements

Cloud Guest:

  • IIS
    • TLS info: administrators can make specific recommendations to default to HTTPS
  • Disaster Recovery
    • Storage Replica Test Failover
  • Guest + Host better together
    • vPMEM in Guest: Tenants can use and manage PMEM/SCM
    • Tenant-Aware VM Start Ordering: App Ready / OS Heartbeat for better load balancing
    • Guest RDMA
  • Improvement in time accuracy
  • Azure enlightened clusters Ė optimized to run on Azure IaaS

Cloud Host:

  • Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) host
    • Security
      • Shielded Linux VM
      • SDN: Encrypted virtual networks
      • Secure clusters
      • SMB 1 disabled by default
    • Resiliency and Availability
      • SDN: Reduced downtime for tenant connections through gateways
      • Spaces Direct: Scoped Spaces to mitigate impact of multi-node loss
      • Spaces Direct: Marginal drive handling for predictive detection of drive failures
    • Efficiency
      • Data Deduplication available for ReFS
      • New Data Deduplication DataPort API for optimized ingress/egress
      • Space efficiency with ReFS Compaction
      • Performant Spaces Direct Multi Resilient Volumes (MRV)
    • Hyper-converged Scale
      • Cluster Sets: Significantly increases hyper-converged SDDC cloud scale by grouping multiple clusters into a larger fabric
    • Hardware support
      • Support for Storage Class Memory (SCM) in Spaces Direct

Whatís New in Build 16278 for Windows Server

There are no new features in Build 16278.

How to Download 

You may use either your MSA account or your AAD account to register as an Insider and access the Windows Server download page.

The latest Windows Server build and matching symbols are available for download here.  Simply click on the desired file(s) and save locally. Matching Windows Server container images will be available via the Docker Hub. For more information about Windows Server containers and Insider builds, please visit http://aka.ms/containers/insiders.

The following keys are available for unlimited activations of Windows Server. These keys may be used throughout the pre-release cycle.

  • Windows Server Datacenter Core: B69WH-PRNHK-BXVK3-P9XF7-XD84W
  • Windows Server Standard Core: V6N4W-86M3X-J77X3-JF6XW-D9PRV

The RSAT version currently posted has not been updated, so if you already have it, you wonít need to download it again.

NOTE: As we are nearing our final release date, todayís pre-release build is the last that will be made available for the Windows Server, version 1709 release. Stay tuned for updates on when pre-releases for the next Semi-Annual Channel release will begin.

Itís all about your feedback! 

Use the Feedback Hub app to provide feedback on Windows Server builds. Feedback Hub comes pre-installed on Windows 10. Register a Windows 10 device with the Windows Insider or Windows Insider for Business programs. Open the Feedback Hub application. Choose the Server category and then the appropriate subcategory for your feedback. Please indicate what edition and build number you are providing feedback on. The Feedback Hub app cannot scan a server for diagnostic information, however you may manually attach screenshots or other files to your feedback entry.

We encourage you to visit the Windows Server Insiders space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

The expiration date for this server preview build is 12/4/2017.

Known issues 

  • [New] Starting a system in the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) from a Fat32 disk partition in UEFI mode can fail, depending on the position of \sources\BOOT.WIM within the partition. This issue can block imaging and installation of the operating system.
  • Apps that call into the firewall, such apps that use networking, may become unresponsive until the user reboots because of an application hang end-task error (0xCFFFFFFF) in the Windows firewall API library (FirewallAPI.dll), which occurs when the library is blocked on an advanced local procedure call (ALPC) port while attempting to diagnose a connection failure and retrieve information.
  • Cluster Sets: A couple of key functionalities to enable end-to-end testing of Cluster Sets scenarios are not present in this build.
  • Local vs. remote management: Some command-line tools and PowerShell modules may not be available for use locally on a Server Core installation. To remotely manage RS3 Server Core by using the full set of GUI tools, command-line tools, and PowerShell modules, download Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), available on the Windows Server Insider Preview download page

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