What is Windows Server? Windows Server is a group of operating systems designed by Microsoft that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications. Previous versions of Windows Server have focused on stability, security, networking, and various improvements to the file system. Other improvements also have included improvements to deployment technologies, as well as increased hardware support. Microsoft has also created specialized SKUs of Windows Server that focus on the home and small business markets. Windows Server 2019 continues with new improvements and some old favorites.

To start with, the Desktop Experience is back in Windows Server 2019. It isn’t included in Windows Server, version 1709, Windows Server, version 1803, or Windows Server, version 1809. As with Windows Server 2016, during setup of the operating system you can choose between Server Core installations or Server with Desktop Experience installations. System Insights is a new feature available in Windows Server 2019 that brings local predictive analytics capabilities natively to Windows Server. These predictive capabilities are backed by a machine-learning model that locally analyzes Windows Server system data like performance counters and events and provides insight into the functioning of your servers.

Windows Server 2019 User/Device CALs box

There’s also the Hybrid Cloud. The Server Core App Compatibility feature on demand (FOD) greatly improves app compatibility of the Windows Server Core installation option using a subset of binaries and components from Windows Server with the Desktop Experience without the need to add the Windows Server Desktop Experience itself. This increases functionality and compatibility of Server Core while keeping it lightweight. It’s an optional feature on demand and available on a separate ISO. It can only be added to Windows Server Core installations and images using DISM. New, advanced security measures are included. ATP's deep platform sensors and response actions expose memory and kernel level attacks and respond by suppressing malicious files and terminating malicious processes. Windows Defender ATP Exploit Guard is a new set of host-intrusion prevention capabilities. The four components of Windows Defender Exploit Guard lock down devices against a range of attack vectors and block common behaviors used in malware attacks.

Break the language barrier

  • Attack Surface Reduction(ASR) is set of controls that enterprises can enable to prevent malware from getting on the machine by blocking suspicious malicious files (for example, Office files), scripts, lateral movement, ransomware behavior, and email-based threats.
  • Network protection protects the endpoint against web-based threats by blocking any outbound process on the device to untrusted hosts/IP addresses through Windows Defender SmartScreen.
  • Controlled folder access protects sensitive data from ransomware by blocking untrusted processes from accessing your protected folders.
  • Exploit protection is a set of mitigations for vulnerability exploits (replacing EMET)that can be easily configured to protect your system and applications.

Windows Defender Application Control ( known as Code Integrity (CI) policy) was released in Windows Server 2016. Feedback from customers stated it was hard to deploy, so there are now default CI policies that allow all Windows in-box files and Microsoft applications, such as SQL Server, while blocking executables that bypass CI.

Some other features include support for Linux, troubleshooting improvements, and branch office improvements. There’s also support for HTTP/2 for faster, safer web surfing. There are also many new storage features, including the ability to manage storage with Windows Admin Center. This is a locally deployed browser-based app for managing servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure with Storage Spaces Direct, and Windows 10 PCs. It is a separate download but comes at no cost. When you’re ready to upgrade to Windows Server 2019, Storage Migration Service is a new technology that makes it easier to migrate servers.

It provides a graphical tool that inventories data on servers, transfers the data and configuration to newer servers, and then optionally moves the identities of the old servers to the new servers.

There are many other storage features, including Storage Spaces Direct additions and additions to Storage Replica.

Windows Server 2019 Change existing applications into cloud-ready solutions and help developers to create new ones using containers and microservices. Nano Server focuses on cloud applications that support C#, Java, Node.js, and Python; it also targets Microsoft Cloud platform infrastructure that supports Hyper-V compute clusters and Scale-Out File Server clusters.

Windows Server 2019 improved security, more productivity, and superior connectivity. Reduce IT costs with user-friendly management tools that make it easy for your employees to work freely. Windows Server 2019 uses a core licensing model, which means you only need to purchase licenses for individual cores rather than users or devices. This can save you money and cuts down on IT demands.

Features of Windows Server 2019 Standard include:

  • Extra layers of security. Reduces risk with multiple layers of built-in protection.
  • Deployment options let you increase availability and reduce resource usage with the lightweight Nano Server.
  • Built-in containers let you develop and manage thanks to Windows Server and Hyper-V containers.
  • Cost-efficient storage lets you build scalable software-defined storage with reduce costs.
  • Software-defined networking automates processes with cloud-like efficiency.

Enhanced Security, Productivity, and Connectivity:

  • Trusted secure boot
  • Windows Defender protection
  • Shielded virtual machines
  • Host Guardian Services
  • Enhanced containers
  • Storage spaces direct
  • Hyper-V availability on Nano Server
  • Stretch clusters
  • Encrypted virtual machines and containers
  • Azure backup, storage, and site recovery
  • Azure active directory
  • Operations manager suite

Windows Server 2019 saves your company money while you run a powerful server that lets you work smarter. The improved security features and powerful tools a make Windows Server 2019 a server you can count on for security, productivity, and superior connectivity.

Which Windows Server Should I Choose?

Part of your choice will be based on the licensing needs of your company. To offer a more consistent licensing experience across multi-cloud environments, Microsoft has transitioned from processor-based licensing to core-based licensing for Windows Server 2019 Datacenter and Standard editions. Datacenter is ideal for highly virtualized datacenters and cloud environments, while the Standard edition of Windows Server 2019 is right for physical and minimal virtualized environments. The Essentials edition of Windows Server 2019 is for businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices. It does not require CALS, but does require a special servers (server license). Windows Server CALs are necessary for Datacenter and Standard editions.