This blog post was authored by Dianna Marks, Product Marketing Manager, Windows Server Marketing.
HCI is all the buzz nowadays! What exactly is HCI? Spelled out it’s hyperconverged infrastructure, also referred to as the software defined data center (SDDC). It allows companies to run their storage, networking, and compute with lowered capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) since storage and networking are software-defined and don’t require the same amount of hardware and level of management. HCI offers centralized management, which is great for many types of environments including development and product workloads. Also, now that there is no storage area network (SAN), you can scale up more easily since all you have to do is add an additional node. With Microsoft, all of this is included in Windows Server. Let’s dig into the features.
New OS features and Azure Stack HCI launch
Azure Stack HCI launched in March 2019 with all the software-defined features in Windows Server 2019. Some of these features include native support for persistent memory to enable better performance, deduplication, and compression to save space and money, as well as increase efficiency, nested resiliency inspired by RAID 5+1 so two-node clusters can survive multiple simultaneous failures, and increased maximum scale by 4x to 4 petabytes.
At launch, there were more than 70 solutions from 15 partners. Azure Stack HCI is the evolution of the Windows Server 2016 based Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program. Did you know that if your hardware vendor supports it, you can officially get an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2019? This includes HCI and is officially tested and supported by Microsoft!
Now you can manage HCI with Windows Admin Center
If you are running HCI, you’ll want to try the gorgeous new unified user interface (UI) in Windows Admin Center. We just launched Windows Admin Center version 1904, which offers new HCI management capabilities like improved charting for RDMA networking, new drive latency and error statistics, full support for dark theme, and clustering enhancements. You can read more about it in the Windows Admin Center blog released last month.
New Azure connectedness features
Get even more out of your on-premises HCI by connecting to Azure. It’s totally optional! Examples include:
- Cloud Witness so that two-node clusters can achieve quorum without any other on-premises infrastructure.
- Azure Site Recovery to protect virtual machines with just a few clicks in Windows Admin Center.
- Connect your HCI to Azure Monitor to get text or email alerts when things fail, even when you’re not at your desk.
To learn more, check out the 70+ solutions in the new store-style catalog, and tune in to the Windows Server Summit on May 22, 2019, where the team will highlight some of their favorite novel new solutions.