This post was authored by Mark Jewett, Senior Director Product Marketing, Cloud Platform.
We are pleased to announce today marks the general availability (GA) of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. Customers can now broadly acquire the server operating system that accelerates innovation and security of both traditional and cloud-native applications.
As a cloud-ready OS, Windows Server 2016 inherently enables hybrid cloud. It was forged in our own Azure datacenters, learning from the rigorous requirements of a global, public cloud, and includes software-defined capabilities that are fundamental to fast-paced cloud innovation. Windows Server 2016 also offers seamless portability across datacenter, private and public cloud environments via virtual machine and new container formats that can be reliably deployed wherever the business requires. We’ve further enabled portability to Microsoft Azure with the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit that allows Windows Server VMs to be run in Azure at a discounted rate.
This release is just one of many reflecting our deep commitment to hybrid cloud. In our long-held view, hybrid cloud is the reality for all enterprise customers, even those with the most ambitious cloud plans. Some applications should and will move quickly to public cloud, while others face technological and regulatory obstacles. Regardless of where these applications run today or will run in the future, Windows Server 2016 provides a rich and secure platform.
Beyond Windows Server 2016, we’ve applied this hybrid cloud commitment across our Microsoft portfolio to build comprehensive capabilities across data, identity, management, application, and the infrastructure platform overall.
Figure 1: Hybrid capabilities built-in across Microsoft products and services
Recognizing hybrid cloud as the reality, other vendors from both traditional IT and public cloud are now also talking about hybrid; however, there is a fundamental difference to the way Microsoft approaches the enablement of hybrid cloud. Customers tell us it isn’t enough to be simply connected across cloud environments. Yes, great network connectivity and common VM formats are foundational requirements, but consistency is the real key. Consistency means IT professional, developer, and end user experiences don’t change based on the location of the resource, and provides the ultimate flexibility to use the right cloud resources at the right time.
Consistent hybrid cloud enables uniform development – developers can build in a common way, and then those applications and services can be deployed in the right location based on business rules and technical requirements.
Consistent hybrid cloud enables unified dev-ops and management – operators can use a consistent interface to manage and update resources across the hybrid cloud, alleviating the need to learn new environments and instead focus on deriving more insight and proactive action.
Consistent hybrid cloud enables common identity and security – users are protected and managed no matter the location of the application they are using.
Consistent hybrid cloud enables seamless extension of existing applications to the cloud – data can be maintained for longer periods at lower cost, and without any application or infrastructure changes required.
We are committed to help customers in their cloud journey and the general availability of Windows Server 2016 marks another important milestone in delivering the most complete hybrid cloud solutions for customers of all sizes. Get started now by downloading the Windows Server 2016 Evaluation, and tune in to the Windows Server 2016 webcast on October 13.